Great American Conversations
                    With The Alumni of RHS
                   Issue 93 October 7, 2000

        "Life is the childhood of our immortality."
                            - Goethe

        Sharing Viewpoints
        Anna Durbin '69

        The man who does not read
        Chuck Monasmith '65

        Your Children Will Be Grateful
        Janie O'Neal Janssen '65

        What Were These Guys Thinking???
        Jenny (Smart) Page (87)

        History Revision and Mobility
        Steve Carson (58)

        Presenting Homosexuality as an OK Lifestyle
        Steve Carson (58)

        Check out "McCain Reform Now"
        Andrew Eckert `54

        Letter To The Media
        Mary Ray Henslee (61)

        If a Picture is Worth A Thousand Words
        John Northover `59


Subj:   Sharing Viewpoints
From:   Anna Durbin '69

Dear Sandboxers,

I would just like to say that I thought our dialogue
 was all about tolerance and sharing our viewpoints
 with others.  I would never presume to tell anyone
 else how to raise their children, and if anything I
 ranted out here sounded that I was, I am sorry.  I
 was sharing my approach, which so far (gulp),
 seems to have worked with the children that have
 been entrusted to me for the short time before they
 are off on their own.  I think we basically want the
 same things for our children; among others that
 they are protected from evil, they get good
 educations and learn to think, and they find a 
 happy life that contributes to the welfare of
 humanity.  Unfortunately, not everyone has that,
 but we try for it in our own muddled way, doing
 the best we can, just as our moms and dads did 
 the best they could.             

So, let's keep being welcome to our own opinions
 and sharing them.  This will become an unhappy
 country if we ever all start forcing each other to be
 exactly alike or believe the same things.  It didn't
 start that way, and it wasn't designed to work that
 way.  I think it has been very good for me to learn
 how other people live and think.  A lot of people
 are not as blessed as we Bombers were.  I think we
 should keep working really hard not to take
 personal offense at anything anyone says, but to
 keep our robust sharing of views.  I try to be
 nonviolent, but I would certainly verbally fight for
 anyone's right to disagree with me, even if I'm right
 and everyone else is wrong, or vice versa.  (That
 was tongue-in-cheek, okay?) I learn from
 disagreements, and I always have something more
 to learn.
                         - Anna Durbin '69


Subj:    The man who does not read
From:    Chuck Monasmith '65

Re: The discussion of Jenny Smart Page and Harry

Well, Jenny, it seems we have started a lot of
 people thinking and speaking.  I hope you agree
 that is a good thing.

Your (and others) decision to not allow your
 children to read Harry Potter is the topic for this

My mother instilled in me a respect for reading.
 "Reading increases knowledge."  "Ignorance is the
 absence of knowledge." "Now, go read some
 more."  My own quote here would be "There is no
 bad knowledge."  

Your decision to prohibit books that your children's
 schoolmates are reading and discussing sends two
 distinct messages to your children.  One, their
 mother thinks their comprehension level is below
 that of their schoolmates.  Worst of all, their
 mother is teaching them that ignorance is a
 solution. You should be ashamed of your decision.

I do respect your taking responsibility for the
 development of the minds of your children.
 However, your action is an insult to me and to my
 mother and to all the other free thinking individuals
 in the world.

"The man who does not read is no better than then
 the man who cannot read" Mark Twain.
                - Chuck Monasmith '65

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj: Your Children Will Be Grateful
To Jenny Smart Page,
>From Janie O'Neal Janssen '65

I really have to write and tell you how much I
 admire you and what you stand for.  You've taken
 quite a bit of heat here in the Sandbox and you've
 lived up to your name: one pretty smart lady the
 way I see it. It's not easy taking the road less
 traveled but it's going to pay off in the end.  Not
 only will your children be grateful when they grow
 up, but your grandchildren and their children.
 Hang in there.
                     -Janie O'Neal Janssen '65

                                ~ ~ ~

Subj: What Were These Guys Thinking???
From:   Jenny (Smart) Page (87)

After the Harry Potter-less children were snuggled
 safely in their beds, I sat down to watch the
 summer Olympics the other night, just as I have for
 the last couple of weeks, hoping to catch the men's
 4x100 rely final.  Fortunately, I made it in time. 
 Off they went, sprinting so easily (at least to my
 untrained eye) to a gold medal.  Hurray for the
 USA!  We did it again!  But wait, what is that guy
 doing now?  Is he really behaving that way on
 international TV?  What is he thinking??  Oh, no... 
 now they all are acting up.  I can't believe they're
 "wearing" the American flag wrapped around their
 heads like that!!  Oh, how I hope they stop doing
 that before the medal ceremony.....oh no, they're
 still being comes the National
 Anthem...I sure hope they stop....yikes, they're still
 not showing any respect....What on earth are these
 four guys thinking?  Don't they know they're
 making fools of themselves and of our country??? 
 It's jerks like these guys that give Americans such
 a bad reputation as idiots with the rest of the world!

They ought to be kicked off the team, and banned
 from ever representing our country again in any
 sort of international sporting event like the 
 Olympics.  I don't care how fast they run, they
 don't deserve to wear the "USA" uniform when
 they can't even show a smidgen of respect for our
 flag and our National Anthem.  I hope someday
 they grow up and look back at the video footage
 of that ceremony and realize what fools they have
                 - Jenny (Smart) Page (87)

                              ~ ~ ~

Subj:   History Revision and Mobility
From:  Steve Carson (58)

For Jim Moran (86)

Interesting history revision re the repeal of
 prohibition.  Have never heard that the reason for
 the repeal was taxes.  Don't know that it wasn't but
 have never heard that interpretation.  Perhaps
 some of our senior classmates will chime in on this.

Secondly, The American people will give up their
 gas guzzling cars when there is an alternative.  Gas
 guzzlers are not the issue, mobility is.
                      - Steve Carson (58)

                                 ~ ~ ~

Subj:  Presenting Homosexuality as an OK Lifestyle
From: Steve Carson (58)

For Missy Keeney Baker (59)

The "teaching" of homosexuality is represented by
 the system presenting it at as an OK lifestyle and in
 the mainstream of our culture.  It isn't. I lost a son
 to AIDS and can attest to the misery he
 experienced in his "alternative" lifestyle.  Having
 the schools "validate" (see encourage) this lifestyle
 will cause experimentation and many will be
 harmed.  The aggressive promotion of the lifestyle
 by activist groups is their right and it is our (my)
 right to work against the normalization of
 homosexuality in our schools.
                      - Steve Carson (58)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Letter To The Media
From:  Mary Ray Henslee (61)

Give us a break mainstream media!  We didn't all
 just get off the Jerry Springer show.  We do not
 want you to undermine our moral principles and
 insult our intelligence.  We resent your attempt to
 manipulate our perception of the facts to suit your
 own agenda.  We know when your news is biased. 
 We know when you are distorting the facts for a
 more sensational effect.  You are losing your
 credibility, which is the cornerstone of your
 profession.  You try very hard to convince us that
 the absurd is normal, but we aren't buying it.  We
 want the facts.  We want to hear both sides of a
 story.  We are not interested in your side.  

Diane Sawyer, shame on you!  What has happened
 to investigative reporting?  Why was Winifred
 Skinner (the can lady) newsworthy enough to win
 a spot on Good Morning America?  This after
 ABC spikes an interview with a witness to another
 possible Watergate.  I do not consider this woman
 the face of outrage.  I consider you an outrage for
 having her on your show.  Did you bother to find
 out how many cans one would have to pick up in
 order to make several hundred dollars?  How do
 you feel about portraying the city of Des Moines,
 Iowa as a city with a litter problem?  Did you
 bother to find out why this woman picks up cans
 to pay for her prescription drugs when she lives in
 a large metropolitan area where Medicare HMO's
 are available at little or no cost?  Certainly for less
 than she is supposedly paying out-of-pocket for
 prescription drugs.  She claims to be an ex-auto
 worker, which equates to an ex-union worker. 
 Hello!  Doesn't the Union take care of their
 workers with retirement benefits, including
 insurance?  Winifred Skinner joked about people
 telling her to get a life while she was picking up
 cans.  Get real!  I think that this woman just got
 off the Springer show before she showed up at
 Gore's campaign speech.  As a voter I would like
 to know if she was wittingly or unwittingly
 exploited?  I would like to know how much of
 what she said was fact and how much was fiction? 
 What do you the media do to answer my
 questions?  You tell me with your actions that
 exploiting people for personal gain is acceptable
 and should not be questioned.

ABC, CBS, and NBC you now have a chance to
 redeem yourself by doing some respectable
 investigative reporting on Tapegate.  This possible
 Watergate revisited begs for responsible reporting. 
 The American people would like to know
 whodunit before the election you know.  Is it all a
 lot of tomfoolery or is a calculating devious mind
 at work that should not be in the White House? 
 What's with the Gap?  Monica with her Gap dress
 and McKinnon with his Gap pants.  Is the Gap
 where the discriminating go to buy their
 incriminating clothes?  Inquiring minds want to
                  - Mary Ray Henslee (61)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Check out "McCain Reform Now"
From:   Andrew Eckert `54

Click here:  
McCainReformNow: Main

If you believe as I feel, that we the people have
 been outmaneuvered once again by the rich and
 powerful- (Those who at Caucasus pick those
 who will best serve their own personal needs and
 wants), then please consider fighting back.  

The people in state after state voted for John
 McCain over the bought and paid for Bush.  In our
 own state of Washington the actual vote by the
 people was 44% for McCain, 22% for Bush, &
 20% for Gore, In New York State the figures were
 the same and though not having the rest in front of
 me I can attest to reading that many were much the
 same.  I'll be writing in John McCain's name on my
 Ballot.  In watching these other two debate? It
 became clear that regardless of who might win the
 white house, I doubt that anything will change and
 all these empty promises will be just that.  Can
 anyone really believe that Campaign finance laws
 will be enacted by either party; that any of their
 pontificating on what they would do for us, would
 in fact ever be mentioned the day after election
 day?  I urge any of you who share my despair with
 the status quo to write in John McCain's name and
 to pass this letter on to a few friends on your
 mailing lists.  I wonder just how much of an impact
 we, the ignored, could have on this election.
                    - Andrew Eckert (54)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj: If a Picture is Worth A Thousand Words
From: John Northover `59

If a picture is a thousand words ... here
is my political commentary. 

                            John '59

                             ~ ~ ~

That concludes this issue of The SANDBOX folks.
 Please include your class year and (nee) name, (if
 applicable), in all correspondence and subscription
 requests.  It's easy to join us in the ongoing
 conversations here.  Just send your comments to:


 or simply hit your reply button and talk to us!  We
 are the Alumni of Richland High School, Richland
 Washington, AKA Columbia High School, 
 representing classes from 1942 through 2000. 
 Visit the Sandbox Archives at:

                 Be faithful to your day!
                     - Al Parker (53)
                    Your SANDBOX host

                            - 93 -