Great American Conversations
                      The SANDBOX
               Issue 81 September 9, 2000

  "The free expression of opinion, as experience has
 taught us, is the safety-valve of passion.  The noise
 of the rushing stream, when it escapes, alarms the
 timid but it is the sign that we are safe."

The SANDBOX is an ongoing forum participated
 in by the alumni of Richland High School, (AKA)
 Columbia High School, Richland Washington.

Look Who's Talking Today!
   Steve Carson `58, Paul W. Ratsch `58,
   Jenny Smart Page `87, Kelly Weil Austin `81,
   Jack Grouell '61, Barbara Seslar `60
   Barbra Williamson AKA Jeanie Walsh `63
   Ann Minor '70
                            ~ ~ ~
Let The Conversations Begin!

Subj:   Re: Brad Wear
From: Paul W. Ratsch [58]

(Referring to comments by Brad Wear in an earlier Sandbox)


                            ~ ~ ~

Subj: Laws, Skills and Living Standards 
From:   Steve Carson 58

For Paul - I just returned from two weeks in East
 Africa with my Dad and Brother.  Now there is a
 place where living standards are at the first
 Maslow level of sustenance.  Paul, I don't have
 time to find the actual statistics but The top 10% of
 taxpayers (the evil rich) pay 90% of the income
 taxes.  My issue with the democrats, coming
 straight out of Mr. Gore's mouth, is that he wants
 everyone to be able to pursue their dreams but if
 you succeed in achieving your dreams and the
 income to match you instantly become the evil
 rich.  And... the term "working families" confuses
 me.  Does the 60 hours a week I spend
 shepherding my company along not count as
 working?  I don't think your living standards
 depend on laws,  Paul, I suspect that your skills are
 what support  you.   Be Well!

                              ~ ~ ~ 

Subj:    Harry Potter And Another Choice
From: Jenny Smart Page (87)

    Although I have not read the "Harry Potter"
 series, I am reluctant to introduce it to my young
 reader for a variety of reasons. First, I am not
 comfortable with the wizards/witches, etc.
 storyline that is promoted. I agree that this single
 series of books is not going to turn the next
 generation into a bunch of witchcraft spell-spinners.
 But, I think it's also more than that --- its one
 more chink in the pole of standards of our society,
 making what used to be viewed as "abnormal" as
 "normal". Secondly, I've heard these books (among
 others) described as "junk-food reading"; meaning
 that although it may be an exciting story, there's
 not any real challenge to it. And, I would assume,
 that any 700+ page book that a kid can read in a
 matter of a couple of days confirms that.

For those of you looking for an alternative that
 does not involve a topic offensive to some basic
 Christian beliefs, I do have a suggestion. Point
 your kids (and yourself) to the "Left Behind" series
 by Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye. It's a series of
 six books (I think), for kids, and a series of seven
 in the adult series (but I know many young teens
 and pre-teens who have read the adult versions.
 The difference between the series is the age of the
 main characters). The books are about the Second
 Coming of Christ and the seven year tribulation
 period between the Rapture of the Church and
 Christ's actual coming. Excellent stories, so good
 in fact a movie is being made from the first book
 this summer (due out next year maybe?). Good
 guys, bad guys, lots of action, a little romance
 (but nothing even close to being graphically
 inappropriate for young kids), some violence that
 may make some squeamish.

Although these books are a quick read, they can certainly make you stop and look at your life, and
think about which side of eternity you might be on if this were to happen today.

                   -Jenny Smart Page (87)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Harry Potter
From: Kelly Weil Austin (81)

RE: Harry Potter

    8/23's sandstorm has probably beaten this subject
to death, but I'll put in my two cents worth.

    I have not personally read these books, but if I
 were to place my judgment on any book, it would
 be beneficial for me to read it first, right?

    I can thank people like J.R. Tolkien, Walt
 Disney, Lewis Carroll, and many other authors of
 children's literature and movies for helping to
 nurture my imagination in my childhood. I loved
 books and movies like "The Lord of the Rings",
 "Mary Poppins", "Bed Knobs and Broomsticks",
 "Star Wars" and many others of magical content.
 They haven't corrupted my mind or turned me to
 the "dark side". Plus, these characters used their
 magic for good, not evil. Most of the stories I've
 read were always good against evil, with good
 always winning out!

    I could site many a biblical reference (too many
 to list here) that pertained to magic. Many of our
 greatest prophets, Moses and Daniel to name a
 few, used magical powers with the help of our
 Lord to perform miracles and wonders. It is the
 Spirit whom they called upon to make a point that
 made a difference. Jesus cautions us not to call
 upon the name of anyone but Him. Many of the
 magicians, mediums of Pharaoh's and 
 Nebukednezzar's (sp.) courts didn't recognize
 God's power or assistance in interpreting dreams
 and performing their magic. In actuality, if they
 didn't side with God, they sided with Satan and
 all he stands for.

    This is the argument that many people have a
 problem with in comparing modern literature to
 what the Bible says about magic. God cares about

 the heart, not outward appearances.

    Get to the heart of any matter before you place
judgment upon it!

         Thanks for letting me vent my opinion.

                   -Kelly Weil Austin (81)

                             ~ ~ ~

Subj: Re: Days Pay and The SANDBOX Issue 76
From:   Jack Grouell  '61 (Jack Grouell)


In the latest Sandstorm, Maren posted the ULL for
 a Web page that has quite a bit of information on
 "Days Pay" and a nice picture of the mural.  -Bob
 Carlson, aka Mike Clowes (54) also posted
 essentially the same information about
 uncamouflaged airplanes late in WW2 that I
 originally sent to the Sandbox.  I plan on doing
 two things:  I'll send the mural ULL to the 94th
 Bomb Group site and I'll draft a short post to the
 Sandstorm explaining what I have found about the
 markings on the mural accurately reflecting the 94th
 Bomb Group and finding a B-17 named "Days
 Pay" on the roster of 94th Bomb group aircraft. 
 Hope this is OK.  And keep up the great job you
 are doing facilitating the exchange of ideas and
 information on all subjects - it is a gift to all of us
 and we are very fortunate to have you and Maren
 taking this on!

                  Day's pay web page is at:

                     - Jack Grouell '61

                             ~ ~ ~

Subj:    Well said!
From:    Barbara Seslar (1960) (Brackenbush)
Re: When Did Being a Parent Change, and Why?
   (Patty Stordahl 1972)

Well said.  I believe one of the worst influences we
 have today is the television programming (even
 some of the children's programming).  I have a
 hard time allowing my grandchildren to watch any
 of it.  And I can't find a movie to go see.  I do
 enjoy checking movies out of the library -- they are
 from earlier days, before we even needed to
 impose a rating.

Someone stated "the media owned by the
 conservatives..."  That is the first time I ever heard
 that!  Please explain further.  :-)

                   - Barbara Seslar (1960)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj: Government By The People Is Still Alive
 And Well in Simi Valley
From:  Barbra Williamson AKA Jeanie Walsh (63)

Normally I don't reply to any conversations that
 take place in the SANDBOX but Anna
 Durbin's(69) comments about partisan politics and
 government "not really by the people" struck a
 sour cord with this elected official.  Just one
 question?  When was the last time you contributed
 to a "local" campaign?  When was the last time
 you walked a precinct for a candidate (any
 candidate) you truly believed in? Or the last time
 you donated $100 for a local, grassroots city
 council member? I represent a city of 110,000
 residents.  We are the safest city in the United
 States.  We are graffiti free. To run for re-election
 I need to raise approximately $60,000. For that,
 I will mail three mail pieces, (printing, 4 color is
 about $15,000) postage will run about $10,000. 
 Signs run about $2,000, etc. My salary for being
 an elected official is about $1,100, which I have
 to pay taxes on.  I travel about 800 miles a month
 and I attend such functions as the Disabled
 American Veterans, Boys & Girls Club Annual
 Auction, YMCA, and oh, I pay my own way.  I
 figure when all is said and done, I go in the hole. 
 The other eight hours of the day, I am a Vice
 President of a local bank, so the political thing is
 really a volunteer job to help make peoples lives in
 our city just a little bit better (especially senior
 citizens who live BELOW the poverty level
 because their Social Security check just can't quite
 make it and now HUD wants to take away
 their section 8)  I am in the local phone book so
 people can call, day or night (and they do) so I can
 be of service to them, after all, that is what I was
 elected to do.  I am not complaining, mind you, I
 just get a little ticked when silly comments are
 made.  Yes, I realize you were pointing at
 Congress, but it all begins at the "grassroots" level.
 As the old saying goes, "If you're not part of the
 solution, you're part of the problem" Just some
 food for thought.

       Barbra Williamson AKA Jeanie Walsh(63)
       Council Member
       City of Simi Valley

                                 ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Horatio Alger
From:  Ann Minor '70
Reply-to: (Ann)

After contributing to the "draw a peace sign an
 every brick" moment on every brick moment at
 Col-Hi, and yes, I admit it (and would do it again)
 "walking on the bomb" in the foyer, I now live on
 an Indian reservation and consider myself a
 recovering liberal.  War is still evil- but some are
 more evil than others. I cannot imagine willingly
 sending my twin boys off to one willingly...but as
 far as Horatio goes, like I said, I live on the rez
 and now support termination.  People who are just
 given boots can rarely seem to find the straps. 
 Don't think I could bring myself to vote for a Bush,
 but Gore is so smarmy I could only vote for him if
 he swore to wear a bag over his head for his whole
 term...BMW, Mike Franco, your father is still
 spoken of with great fondness in my father's
 household, and Al Parker, thank you for

                        -Ann Minor '70

                               ~ ~ ~ 
That concludes this issue, folks.
 Please remember to include your class year and
 former name, (if applicable), in all correspondence
 and subscription requests.  To join in the ongoing
 conversations here, send your comments to: or simply hit the reply
 button and start conversing with us!

                      - Al Parker (53)                 
                   Your Sandbox Host

                             - 81 -