The SANDBOX
                  Issue 76   Aug 19, 2000
         "Talking About What You Care About."

      "No man ever became great or good except 
            through many and great mistakes."
                           - Gladstone

                           Subscribe at:
               The SANDBOX@bigfoot.com
             or read and reply on the web at:
        http://www.bigfoot.com/~The_Sandbox
        

Here's what we're talking about today:

     "I am not saying if bush was elected pres.
 That it would break everyone. I am saying that it
 would reduce the standard of living of the blue
 collar worker."
                     - Paul W. Ratsch (58)

     "When I was growing up, we had lots of
 "Horatio Alger" type stories of people who
 struggled against the odds, but who maintained
 their integrity and character to eventually succeed.
 Of course, many of the stories, like "the signers"
 were patriotic.  Many historians credit these stories
 as a major influence on the early success of our
 nation."
                          - Dick Epler (52)

     "When you look at the B-17 bomber "Pay Day,"
 painted on the wall of the RHS gym, you are
 struck by how much more colorful it looks, when
 compared to its companions in the same painting.  
 I was struck by it's bright yellow tail, and yellow
 wing tips.  I asked myself, what sane pilot would
 fly so colorful an airplane deep into enemy
 territory (Germany).
                      - David Henderson (60)

     "I try to look at the actual performance of the
 candidates.  So far I can't find anything that Gore
 has actually done, while Bush traded Sammy Sosa. 
 My research continues....."
                   - Mike Franco (1970)

     "Don't know the author but my friend, an
 Orthopedic surgeon, and my husband, a
 veterinarian use the expression now and then."
               - Peggy Lewis Johnson '62

     "...for heaven's sake don't cancel my
 subscription!"
                         - Chris Bolkan (72)

                            - - - - - - - -

Issue #76 of The SANDBOX salutes:
             The Class of 1976!

Check the site for E-mail addresses, To get there:
Go to: Http://www.bigfoot.com/~RichlandBombers
 and click on the year, 1976.  

                            - - - - - - - -

Here's More of What We're Talking About Today:

Subj:   BUSH
From:   Paul W. Ratsch (58)
pratsch@hotmail.com

Steve, I am not saying if bush was elected pres.
 That it would break everyone. I am saying that it
 would reduce the standard of living of the blue
 collar worker.  Texas is one of the worst
 nonunion states in the nation.  Right to Work
 state; no Davis/Bacon act; no prevailing wage
 laws; etc. The blue collar worker pays the taxes,
 the rich won't and the poor can't!  Take Some
 time to check it out.

The standard of living is high in Western
 Washington and California and we would like to
 keep it that way.
                     Paul W. Ratsch (58)
                     Des Moines, WA.
                     [mariners forever]

                              ~ ~ ~

Subj:    A Nation's Culture
            and the Stories We Tell Our Children
From:   Dick Epler (52)
           depler@ortelco.net

In Issue 69A, the "Wabbithabit" (affectionate
 screen name for Linda Reining Pitchford (64)
 posted a 4th of July story regarding the 56 signers
 of the Declaration of Independence. Then in Issue
 70, Jerry Lewis (73) cautions us to check the web
 for the "real story." Anna Durbin (69), in Issue 73,
 agrees. So do I!
 
Though I enjoyed the article Linda posted, I
 couldn't bring myself to accept it as the complete
 story. It was rather like one of the patriotic
 children's stories (folklore) I'd been taught when
 growing up. As Jerry pointed out "While the
 article is not totally false, it is overly simple and
 plays loose with the facts." I tend to believe that's
 true of most of the stories we teach our children as
 part of the culture we wish to support. And being a
 kid myself, I still enjoy them.
 
Nevertheless, getting a little closer to the truth is
 always a good thing, so I went to Jerry's
 "debunking site" to learn the truth. Actually I went
 to a number of sites. I read snopes.com's "Turning
 History into Glurge." It was written by James
 Elbrecht who obviously wants to discredit
 patriotism.  That's been a popular theme in
 academia the last 30 years. Elbrecht based his
 diatribe on an email from a female history
 professor (Harlowe) whose analysis was
 necessarily incomplete as it hurriedly addressed
 only a few of the inconsistencies. So I continued
 my search. I wanted to see if I could find a
 reasonable source. Using www.metacrawler.com
   it didn't take
 long.
 
What I found is that the father of Rush Limbaugh
 III (the talk show host) would, as Rush was
 growing up, occasionally give a speech titled "The
 American's who Risked Everything" before the
 citizens of Cape Girardeau, Missouri. In
 September 1997, Rush honored his father by
 transcribing the speech into words and publishing
 it in "The Limbaugh Letter." It was later edited
 and abbreviated by Reader's Digest (July 1998).
 But it was also rewritten and widely distributed on
 the web as the anonymous work that Linda posted.
 I'm pretty sure I've received the same version over
 the web for the last three years now.
 
Rush tells us that the web version is not a very
 accurate account of his father's work, and so he
 put his father's version on his web site, but that
 was after I had already found it on
 http://rosecity.net/rush/freedom.html. If you read
 it, I believe you'll not only see a big difference, but
 will learn some additional details (e.g., the story of
 Abraham Clark). Rush's father, Rush H.
 Limbaugh, Jr., was an attorney and community
 leader in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, who had an
 obvious interest in history and in our nation's
 heritage.
 
So is the Rush version the complete truth? Probably
 not. Few of us have the time or need to completely
 research these things. I just checked the snopes site
 and was vectored to the site of the debunker:
http://home.nycap.rr.com/elbrecht/signers/signerind
ex.html. Here, Elbricht's latest effort does a fair job
 of identifying the many versions, along with dates
 and authors. As I read, I got the distinct
 impression that the creator of the term "History
 Glurge" was forced into further research in defense
 of his original highly-emotional diatribe. As often
 happens, better research resulted in a more
 moderate approach (fewer emotionally-loaded
 words) with the conclusion (mine) that "truth"
 (history without interpretation) is somewhat
 boring. Elbrecht admits that most of the
 interpretations are highly readable. Of the
 Limbaugh version, he says "[if true] it would rank
 on my top ten favorite stories of the times." I don't
 believe his disqualification "if true" is meant to
 imply that Limbaugh's version is NOT true, only
 that, without actually being there with video
 cameras (need several), we can't verify every
 aspect of Rush's interpretation.
 
So what's it all mean? Well, I read once that you
 can tell a lot about a nation's culture by the stories
 and folklore we pass onto our children. When I
 was growing up, we had lots of "Horatio Alger"
 type stories of people who struggled against the
 odds, but who maintained their integrity and
 character to eventually succeed. Of course, many
 of the stories, like "the signers" were patriotic.
 Many historians credit these stories as a major
 influence on the early success of our nation. On the
 other hand, there are other cultures whose folklore
 is depressing, contributing to widespread despair
 and acquiescence. The Irish are a good example.
 Read "Angela's Ashes" or see the movie. While
 Frank McCourt was able to succeed, most of his
 countrymen do not. They're victims of the British
 and, with few exceptions (mostly authors), they
 don't seem to know how to fix the problem.

I'm not particularly enamored with the stories of
 victims. Blame it on my childhood. And because of
 that I rather liked Linda Reining Pitchford (64)'s
 contribution to The SANDBOX. It made me feel
 good to be an American.
                       - Dick Epler (52)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj: B17 Bomber, "Pay Day"
(Follow-up re: Richland Bombers' New Mascot)
From: David Henderson (60)
david.henderson@lamrc.com

There was another side of the B-17 bomber "Pay
 Day" that I did not mention in my first e-mail,
 because it seemed so implausible to me. Since I
 received your e-mails I have given this a second
 look.

When you look at the B-17 bomber "Pay Day,"
 painted on the wall of the RHS gym, you are
 struck by how much more colorful it looks, when
 compared to its companions in the same painting.  
 I was struck by it's bright yellow tail, and yellow
 wing tips.  I asked myself, what sane pilot would
 fly so colorful an airplane deep into enemy
 territory (Germany).  So I got my hands on a
 number of color photos of WWII B-17 bombers.  I
 found that all the bombers in the photos were
 painted a dull green.  Now some of the planes had
 large letters on their tail (colored red, or black, or
 white), but NONE of the bombers had a bright
 yellow tail and yellow wing tips like the painting of
 "Pay Day."

As I wrote in a previous e-mail, the rotation of the
 propellers, on "Pay Day" are in the opposite
 direction of a normal B-17.  So I ask myself why
 did the artist paint "Pay Day" so colorfully and
 with the wrong propeller rotation?  One possibility
 is that the artist(s) failed to do their homework on
 B-17 bombers.  The second possibility is that the
 artist knew exactly what he or she were doing, and
 they painted "Pay Day" in such a way as to create
 discussion.
                - David E Henderson (60)

                                ~ ~ ~

[Speaking of WWII items, Michael West Rivers,
(68WB),  mwestr@lasvegas.net,
 points to August 9, 2000, as marking the
 55th anniversary of the dropping of  "our bomb."]

                                 ~ ~ ~

Subj:    OK...I couldn't resist...I'm back!
From:   From Mike Franco (1970)
Bmbr70@aol.com

OK...I couldn't resist...I'm back! I  have read the
 Sandbox regularly these past months but without
 contributing was beginning to feel a little oily...so,
 a few responses to issue #73 or "what I learned":

Interesting point made about the relative 
 "smartness" of Bush and Gore. Applying the
 criteria of formal education (ie: Gore had a
 bachelors degree form somewhere, Bush a BA
 from Yale AND a masters in biz from Harvard) I 
 suddenly, shockingly realized how much more
 brilliant  Bill Clinton is than Ronald Reagan (not
 really...well, maybe....nah!) 

I also learned that "government doesn't work"...but,
 but  almost EVERY country seems to have one !!! 
 Why is that? I am confused (again.... still) ... I too
 am mildly interested in the Libertarian bunch, but
 what do we call them ??? Not "libs", or "arions"
 ...those don't work. Don't treat this problem 
 lightly.  In a year like this one with so little
 substance or real (at least new) issues, things like
 abbreviations, acronyms, nicknames, slogans and  
 brainless marketeering can really sway things. My
 14 year old daughter right now supports Gore
 (slightly) because she finds Bush "more annoying"
 but this can change quickly. She also finds me less
 annoying than Bush, but I'll never get her vote.  I
 try to look at the actual performance of the
 candidates.  So far I can't find anything that Gore
 has actually done, while Bush traded Sammy Sosa. 
 My research continues..... 

Good health, happiness and hello to ALL fellow Bombers!
                   - Mike Franco (1970)

                                 ~ ~ ~

[Note: Issue 73 of The SANDBOX published 
 the following quote:

               "Perfection is the child of time."
                    - Bishop Joseph Hall
                           1574 - 1656

According to some, perfection can also become a
 stumbling block.  Peggy Lewis Johnson '62,
 gpjohn@sos.net, offers the following:]

             "Perfection is the enemy of good"
          
"Don't know the author, but my friend," she says,
 "an Orthopedic surgeon, and my husband, a
 veterinarian, use the expression now and then."

                                 ~ ~ ~

Subj:  Reads Every Issue
>From Chris Bolkan
ChrisB@cadwell.com

Al,

Just to let you know I look forward to each and
 every issue. Never really make much in the way of
 entries, but don't think for one minute I'm not
 reading. And for heaven's sake don't cancel my
 subscription!
                          - Chris Bolkan (72)

                                ~ ~ ~

That concludes this issue, folks. Lots more to
 come.  Perhaps in Issue 77, we'll even answer that
 frequently asked question, "Where is Shippenville?"
 Please remember to include your class year and
 former name, (if applicable), in all correspondence
 and subscription requests.
                        - Al Parker (53) -
                Your SANDBOX moderator

         
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