THE SANDBOX ~ Petty Gripes and Cat Fights
Issue #128 ~ 07/22/01
12 Bombers sent stuff for THE SANDBOX today:
Ken Ely (49), Mike Clowes (54),
Bill Lattin (58), Burt Pierard (59),
Richard Anderson (60), Mary Mike Hartnett (61), 
Sandra Genoway (62), Pam Ehinger (67), 
Paul Casey (70), Frank Standifer (72), 
Jim Anderson (72WB), Tedi Parks (76)
>>From: Ken Ely (49)

Re: Bombers vs. ???????
    The Student Body voted to change the name of the
Columbia High School Beavers to Bombers. The name was
suggested by someone, maybe Mr. Barker, and endorsed by
the Student Council, but the name "Bombers" was
overwhelmingly accepted by the students with a vote in
the Gym. Neither the school board nor the Superintendent
selected the name. Columbia High School was subsequently
changed to Richland High School, how or why, I don't
know. Was it the Board or Superintendent? Schools all
over the country have changed the names of their teams
because of political correctness. One high school in La.
was even changed because George Washington was a slave
owner. If the Board or the Superintendent wants to change
the name from "Bombers" to a color (like Stanford), we
can't stop them. The current and future students will
have to live with that. We graduates of Col Hi (or RHS)
will always be the "Bombers" and no one can take that
away from us.
    Historical meaning will be lost but history is always
being rewritten by those who opposed what happened
anyway. As I understand it, the Board resented the bomb
casing being placed in the school without its permission.
If this is what's buggin' 'em, you will have to stroke
their egos and not alienate them to get their permission
to have the "Mascot" returned to the school. If they want
to change the name, I suppose they have the power to do
that, too. But they are elected and can be voted out of

Forever a Bomber,
-Ken Ely (49) ~ One who voted to change the name from
    "Beavers" to "Bombers" because of the "Bomb".
>>From: Robert Michael Carlson, aka Mike Clowes) (54)

Re: "The Bomb"
To: Supt. Rich Semler

Mr. Semler,
    As a graduate of Columbia High School in 1954, I was
a bit set back when the student body elected to change
the name to Richland High School. However, I can
understand their rationale.
    What I cannot understand is the rationale behind the
current thinking that anything and everything to do with
"The Bomb" is in some manner a bad thing. Several people
have suggested that, perhaps, the school nickname came
from a certain B-17G, "purchased" by construction workers
at Hanford in 1944. That was their project, to help win
the war, but they had no knowledge of what it was they
were constructing out in the desert. If you were to ask
any of them today what they did at Hanford, they would
probably tell you they poured a lot of cement, strung a
lot of electrical and telephone wires, and but several
miles of steam pipes. But they could not tell you why.
    As have been reported and discussed in the Alumni
Sandstorm and its companion, THE SANDBOX, the team
nickname came from the contribution that the Hanford
Project made in the war effort. That contribution made
more of an impact on the ending of a war than did the
purchase of one B-17. The students, teachers, coaches and
even newspaper sports writers in 1945 seemed to come to
an agreement that the Richland "Beavers" should become
the Richland "Bombers".
    As a veteran I do not see war as a solution to
anything except over population. The use of any weapon of
mass destruction is not a solution either, but since 1945
the world has had to live with the prospect of nuclear,
biological or chemical warfare. Treaties have been
written and signed prohibiting the use of such
implements; but ask any Native American how good treaties
    Now, your bureaucratic action in removing the "bomb"
symbol should be followed by another action on your part
in painting over a certain mural on the side of the the
gym. It's only fair. By doing this you could completely
deny any graduate of RHS links to his or her past.
    In 1954 we were proud to be Bombers. We knew where
the name came from, and we were proud of the contribution
that our parents, other relatives, friends and neighbors
made to the war effort. I can only speak for myself in
saying that I am not proud of what you have done. You,
sir, are denying my history, and that is as "evil" a
thing as dropping a bomb.

-Robert Michael Carlson - Col-Hi 1954
>>From: Bill Lattin (58)

    Let me offer a different perspective on the Bomber
name change.
    The events surrounding World War II make up the most
significant event in two thousand years of human history.
Over 50 million people lost their lives and we all
struggle to make sense out of what happened. Our parents
were called upon to respond to these events in ways that
no generation has before or after. We all have a set of
vocabulary to describe these events and their effect on
us. We use words like The Holocaust, Pearl Harbor,
Normandy, the Battle for Stalingrad, Iwo Jima, to
describe places and events that were part of the greatest
man-made cataclysm in human history. For some of us the
name of a school's team, of a town, that was focused on
producing technology to bring these events to a close is
the way we make sense out of chaos. It is our link to
history and it carries our growing up years with it.
    An alliterative strategy to a name change might be to
stimulate a better understanding for the next generations
of the lust for power and the disrespect of human life
that called for destructive technology to be created, and
the ongoing challenge to manage these types of
technologies. The role Richland has played and continues
to play in the aftermath of World War II, is important
and should be honored.

-Bill Lattin (58)
>>From: Burt Pierard (59)

To: Richard "Dick" Roberts (49)
Re: CREHST Museum
    According to Keith Maupin's (47) book, the CREHST
display of Day's Pay included an addendum saying our name
was "changed to the Bombers in 1944 to honor Day's Pay."
A policy statement by the Museum Director, dated May 21,
1999, included a request by the CREHST Board of Directors
asking Connie Estep, Museum Curator, to review pertinent
material.  Soon after the review, the addendum was
    By the way, E. R. "Joe" Barker was a member of the
School Board, but never Supt.

Bomber Cheers (keep those cards, letters, & calls coming),
-Burt Pierard (59) ~ Monroe, WA
>>From: Richard Anderson (60)

Subject: Official RHS Nickname and Mascot

To date we have three pieces of evidence regarding the
installation of our 10'3" bomb in the foyer between the
two gyms at Richland High School:

1) Roy Ballard (63) and his helpers installed our bomb
mascot in the foyer on July 1.

2) The bomb was removed from the foyer on July 18 (per
statement of Dr. Richard Semler dated July 19; TCH
reported the date of removal as July 17).

3) Dr. Semler's statement of July 19 states that an
agenda item concerning the bomb mascot will be discussed
at the RSD Board meeting on August 14.  We do not know
what the content of the agenda item is. I shall endeavor
to find out and to report my findings as soon as

Many of us have engaged in baseless speculation as to the
content of the agenda item and have engaged in a torrent
of correspondence regarding our suspicions.  It is time
for cooler heads to prevail.

Until we know what the school board is to act on at their
August 14 meeting it is fruitless to bombard the members
of the board with e-mail; it is particularly fruitless to
bombard Dr Semler with e-mail. All that is accomplished
is to irritate the recipients -- it is nothing more than
spam and is treated as such.

Let us assume the worst: that the school board shall be
asked to eliminate "Bombers" as the official nickname of
Richland High School. What can we do?

First, the members of the board who assent to such a
resolution can be replaced.  Two members of the board
will be elected this fall; if you are a registered voter
in the RSD jurisdiction you may file for either of the
positions this week (July 23-27).  There is no fee to
file for candidacy.  Note: being a member of a school
board is serious business; if your only concern is our
bomb I suggest that you not declare your candidacy,
rather you should support a candidate who agrees with our
position.  The least attractive prospect is that of a
recall campaign; such campaigns are outright divisive in
nature and can poison the political climate for years to

Second, the personal touch is much (much!) more effective
than any campaign of form letters or petitions.  A
handwritten letter (assuming you have decent penmanship)
sent by snail mail is the most effective communication.
The appropriate recipient is a member of the school

Third, the TCH does not care about this matter; a letter
to that worthless rag may satisfy you, but is more likely
to irritate you when it isn't published.

Fourth, don't engage in ad hominem attacks (ones that
attack an individual as an individual); challenge the
policy or the position before you threaten to dismember
the person.

Last, let me reiterate: DO NOT BOMBARD ANYBODY WITH E-
MAIL.  It does no good whatsoever.

Forgive me for rattling on for so long.

-Richard Anderson (60)
>>From: Mary Mike Hartnett (61)

Re: What else??!!?? THE BOMB
    Having recently enjoyed the company of fellow '61
grads of Col Hi, (You do the math), I must admit I have
been mistaken as to my whereabouts for those years since
graduation. I Thought I had been in Seattle, WA;
Richland; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR' Tucson, AZ; and
once again in Portland, when in reality I must have been
residing in "the Twilight Zone"!!
    I'm aware that there has been some dispute regarding
the mascot of Col Hi over the years... certainly not to
the degree I am seeing now. I've heard all of the
arguments re: the insidious weapon of mass destruction
and especially loss of innocent lives, the tragedy of war.
Who are these people who want to minimize the
contribution of the bomb?? We mustn't lose sight of the
fact that wars happen (since time began). Terrible as it
is, they do occur and to dismiss something that, like it
or not, brought to a close a most tragic chapter in the
world's history, would "lessen" the lives of those who
fought and worked towards that end.
    Mr. Semler and RSB members should wake up and smell
something, even if it is the stink they have raised over
the School Mascot!!
    I'm proud of the fact that my dad, in some small way,
contributed to that effort.

A Bomber Nana,
-Mary Mike Hartnett (61) - Must dash, I have a letter to
>>From: Sandra Genoway (62)

    You guys and gals realize, of course, someone is
"listening in" (lookylous) on this "BOMB - BOMBER"
discussion! Like on the telephone, whenever certain
words are used in a conversation, the feds have to
check out the meaning of that conversation after they
are alerted by a computer that someone used some of
*those* words! We are probably driving them nuts!
    Anyway, I and my husband have been talking about
whether or not the *bomb* is the only mascot Richland
High ever had; or, could it also have been the bomber? I
seem to remember seeing bomber planes on some of the
letter sweaters and, perhaps, even the cheerleaders'
uniforms. Why can't it be both? You cannot have a
"bomber" plane without a bomb. After all, it was used to
drop the BOMB, which was partially produced at Hanford.
(The ingredients from Hanford were sent to Los Alamos,
NM, for completion in making the atomic bomb.)
   However, I must admit, that by the time that I was
actually going to Columbia High School, 1959 - 1962, that
our mascot was THE BOMB. It was about three or four feet
high, painted green and gold. I never gave it one thought
about being or meaning anything besides just being a
"bomb" and that it stood for a lot of POWER.


-Sandra Genoway (62)
>>From: Pam Ehinger Nassen (67)

    Well I did it! I sent today's Sandstorm to Rich
Semler. I think I drove him nuts! Or close to it! I wrote
him 3 times! YIKES! I'm a pushy ol broad! Hey I'm proud
of who I am and where I came from! I'm afraid to defend
our action. I tell them that Japan started it and we
ended it!
    I just hope they listen to our many voices!

Bombers Rule,
-Pam Ehinger Nassen (67) ~ Thorp, WA - nice and warm
>>From: Paul Casey (70)

    Wouldn't it be great if one of the qualifications to
sit on the Richland School Board was that you had to
actually be a graduate of Richland? The audacity of west
siders to come over here and try to shove their ideas on
us. We're letting them do it. We've got to stop.

-Paul Casey (70)
>>From: Frank Standifer (72)

Re: What else... The Bomb
    I am compelled to add my two cents to the Bomb
discussion. After re-reading the message from Supt.
Semler, I wonder just how quickly an iron statue of a
Beaver would have been removed? I'm sure someone would
have had the proper hand slapping, and maybe even the
Beaver would have had a black arm band. But instead,
Supt. Semler decided to err on the side of political
correctness (or at the least, what some believe to be on
the safe side of PC). For those of us who were born and
raised in Richland, it isn't about displaying a symbol,
it's who we are. Bombers. Period.

-Frank Standifer (72)
>>From: Jim Anderson (72WB)

    I'm alarmed at this whole "bomb" thing, and I'm
really disturbed by the "Lynch Semler" sentiment. I think
there is a mob mentality being fostered and fed here.
    It seems that you are comfortable running all letters
with popular pro-bomb sentiment, even though many of the
submissions are almost incendiary, while the only
dissenting opinion (Sean Lewis July 21) I have seen was
banished to THE SANDBOX.
    Please reconsider your editorial stance on this. Many
of the [Alumni] Sandstorm submissions are disturbing in
their "attack" nature, and appear to be accepted for
inclusion in sandstorm simply because of their popular
sentiment. This is an intellectually dangerous path to
follow, and raises many questions about the purpose of
[Alumni] Sandstorm.

Re: The politically correct thought police must be stopped!
    It's fantastic to see so many "true believers" out
there there! Clearly we've been wronged by the school
district and their PC tactics, and our energy and
activism has truly come alive around this earth-shakingly
important issue. Now there's even talk [in the Alumni]
Sandstorm of recalling Semler! All hail THE BOMB!!
    Certainly, the PC people will accuse us of
misdirecting our passion into an issue which lacks any
real significance. And there are those that may say that
we appear childish and petty when we rally with such a
vengeance around an argument about a school mascot. Still
other naysayers like those small-minded "outsiders" from
the Tri-City Herald will insist that we don't have to
continue to dress up a bomb and plant it in our gym to
justify our past. And, of course, some of the PC are
going to argue that the school board should have control
over such issues, and that the school board has much
better things to do with their time than deal with our
    BUT WE KNOW THEY ARE ALL WRONG, and that we have
righteousness on our side! We must never give in to the
outsiders, and we'll crowd the school board meeting so
full that they won't get anything else done, because we
have been wronged!
    And we must not stop here! Bombs should be installed
all over the city, in front of all the schools. First-
graders must learn now of the importance of the bomb, and
they will truly understand our brave past only when they
see a giant bomb installed in front of their schools. We
must install a bomb in front of those small-minded
liberals at the Tri-City Herald as well! City Hall must
have a bomb, Kadlec Medical Center too, we must put one
there to unmask the PC lies and speak out about the
health benefits of bombs! All the sports field in town,
even the city pool must have one!
    We must organize now! We will pass a law and anyone
who does not agree with us will be run out of town! All
citizens will be forced to take an "I love the bomb"
pledge, and those who refuse will be jailed!! Let's not
stop with this little school board meeting!! Let's form a
mob, to show the PC-police who really runs this town!!!
All hail THE BOMB!

To: Maren Smyth (64), Alumni Sandstorm Editor
    I hope you will run my PC Police submission in
[Alumni] Sandstorm. I think the balance is badly needed.
I'd be more than happy to work with you around specific
edits if there are parts that you want me to change. The
"mob mentality" features of recent [Alumni] Sandstorm
submissions needs to at least be pointed out.

Thank you for your consideration.
-Jim Anderson (72WB)
>>From: Tedi Parks Teverbaugh (76)

Dear Bomber Alumni:
    I just received word from the Richland School Board
that the donated bomb will be replaced by a giant Krispy
Kreme Doughnut.  Finally!!  Not to worry, folks... all is
well in Bomberville.

-Tedi Parks Teverbaugh (76)
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