In Our Community
Father Knows Best, one of the bright spots of late radio, was first heard August 25, 1949, on NBC. It lasted until 1954, carried all the way on Thursday night by General Foods, for such products as Post Toasties and Maxwell House Coffee. It told the story of the Andersons, an average family who lived in an average town were the father was an insurance agent and the mother and children were so lovably American.
Stepping into the role of Jim Anderson was Robert Young who had made more than 100 films and had appeared in enough radio to qualify as a veteran first class. Appearing as Margaret was Jean Vander Pyl. Rhoda Williams went all the way as Betty, Ted Donaldson was Bud, and Kathy was played by Norma Jean Nilsson.
The stories almost always revolved around the problems of Betty, the eldest, or Bud, who exasperations at life’s tricks manifested in the catch phrase, “hol-ly cow.” One such episode dealt with Bud wanting a car and another about Betty’s dating problems. Little Kathy had her problems also, which seemed so insignificant to the rest of the family.
Robert Young was the only original Anderson to survive the jump from radio to television. On TV, Margaret was played by Jane Wyatt, Betty by Elinor Donahue, Billy Gray was Bud and Kathy by Lauren Chapin. After listening to many episodes of this series, I felt that Robert Young was much more sarcastic when dealing with the every day situations of the children. On TV, Young had a softer and more loving relationship with his family.
If you listen to AM 1370 KDTH’s Big Broadcast, heard every Sunday night from 6 to midnight, you no doubt will hear Bud say “holy cow.”
Mental Health Care 24/7
The Department of Veterans Affairs is serious about providing mental health care for veterans, especially in light of the ongoing, unchanging statistics for veteran suicides. A recent press release serves as a reminder that mental health resources and crisis intervention are available 24/7 at any VA health care facility.
In 2018, 1.7 million veterans received mental health services at the VA. That includes 84,000 psychiatric stays, 41,700 residential stays and 21 million outpatient visits. For that year, 48 percent of in-person mental health visits were held on the same day as the veteran’s primary care visit. So far in 2019, 51 percent of in-person visits were held on the same day as the primary care visit.
What happened, one wonders, to the remaining 49 percent? The 24/7 mental health coverage includes other services: a telehealth or video visit, scheduling an appointment, talking on the phone to a nurse or getting a prescription filled. Is that how the others received same-day services?
Still, all it takes, per the VA website, is to walk into any VA medical center, day or night, or into a Vet Center during operating hours and you’ll get help.
If you’re in crisis or know a veteran who is, call the Veterans Crisis Line at 800-273-8255 and press 1. Or you can send a text to 838255. Or chat at VeteransCrisisLine.net.
If you’re concerned about someone else, check Defense Suicide Prevention Office (www.dspo.mil) for symptoms you should watch for. Scroll down to the Prevention (service members & veterans) and Intervention (warning signs) categories.
If you just need advice and want to talk to a veteran who’s been where you are, the Military One Source Be There peer program will hook you up with a peer coach, if you’re freshly out of the service (up to one year). Call them at 800-342-9647.
© 2019 King Features Synd., Inc.
It’s construction season in Iowa
With more than 500 zones managed by the Iowa Department of Transportation on our state’s highways, not to mention smaller maintenance projects and all the work being done on county roads and city streets, chances are pretty good you’ll be driving around orange cones sometime in the near future.
There have been nearly 700 work-zone crashes on Iowa roads in each of the last five years. Of these crashes, 75 percent were rear-end crashes where one driver hits the vehicle ahead. Navigating a work zone can be a little tricky, but there are several things you can to do to avoid becoming a statistic.
• Expect changes to normal driving. Normal speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes may be changed, and people may be working on or near the road.
• Slow down and don’t tailgate. Speeding is one of the major causes of work zone crashes. Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you. Be prepared to stop.
• Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the road workers and their equipment.
• Pay attention to the signs. The warning signs are there to help you and other drivers move safely through the work zone. Observe the posted signs until you see the one that reads “End Road Work.”
• Obey flaggers. The flagger knows what is best for moving traffic safely in the work zone. A flagger has the same authority as a regulatory sign, so you can get a ticket for disobeying his or her directions.
• Stay alert and minimize distractions. Dedicate your full attention to the task of driving and avoid changing radio stations, using cell phones or other distractions while driving in a work zone.
• Keep up with the traffic flow. Motorists can help maintain traffic flow and posted speeds by merging as soon as possible. Safe merging takes the cooperation of everyone on the road.
• Be patient and stay calm. Work zones are not there to personally inconvenience you. Remember, road workers are friends and family. They are doing work that will benefit all of us.
• Prepared for your trip to take a little more time. Check radio, TV, websites (www.511ia.org) or call 511 for traffic information. Expect delays and leave early so you can reach your destination on time.
Remember that traffic fines for moving violations are at least double in work zones.
A Lesson from the Whistling Rock Fence Builder
I heard him whistling before I saw him. I was on my usual morning walk on a rustic lane near our home in Mexico. Besides the usual sounds of the birds, bees, wind in the pines and grass and the distant barking of dogs I heard this distinctly happy human sound. A few more steps revealed the whistler. He was alongside his stone fence, putting one stone upon another, adding to or repairing his fence.
Hefting and moving rock doesn’t strike me as a particularly joyous activity that would prompt whistling a tune, but that’s what this man, I’ll call him Rocky, was doing. There’s also the artistic/engineering hard work of strategically placing each oddly shaped rock upon the others so that they form a solid perpendicular wall without benefit of mortar. Still, Rocky whistled.
His unidentifiable tune of joyous whistling translated into a clearly articulated thought in my mind. If Rocky could whistle joyfully while rearranging rocks, then what’s my problem?
My day may sometimes be challenging or frustrating, but at least I’m not moving rock! Why am I not whistling more? Okay, I can’t whistle well, but I’m being metaphorical here. There are times I have to admit I don’t have the joy I should; there’s almost always something I can rejoice about, and often there are many things. It’s easy to fixate on that which is not going well, which takes the focus off what is going well.
Even in tragedy there’s good over which to rejoice. Children’s TV entertainer Fred Rodgers recalled his mother’s advice, that when you see a tragedy look for those who are helping in that tragedy.
We can always have joy because we have a good and great God! He is always up to something good! Yes, we can choose to focus on that which prompts joy! Joy is a choice. I determine to choose joy more often! You too?
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (The Apostle Paul telling his readers to choose joy in Philippians 4:4)
What Evidence is Needed to
Some people have a skeleton in their closet. I have one in my memory bank. This goes back to my grade school days. When it came time for the studying of zoology, I was usually in a positive mood. But because of an earlier lesson experience in which I had been intimidated by a picture of an aardvark, my mind was always on the look out for that Afrikaans “earth pig.”
I don’t remember ever telling an adult of my built-in fear of the aardvark. I do remember the image of a pig with a long nose. I also remember all the dreams of a fat pig, with a long nose, chasing me and gobbling me up with its long tongue. The fact that I was not an ant didn’t phase me at all. This was the skeleton that hide in my closet. And I’m not sure that it doesn’t lurk there yet? But, I don’t have bad dreams about them anymore.
Furthermore, in all fairness, I have researched the aardvark’s history and am no longer intimidated by its appearance. I found out that the aardvark lives in Africa. It lives in burrows and eats ants, termites, and other insects. And maybe a mouse or two. It is not like the anteater, which is toothless. The aardvark has about 20 cylindrical, rootless teeth. It seems they continue to grow throughout their lifetime.
A momma aardvark gives birth to one or sometimes two babies that can dig their own burrows by the age of six months. Aardvarks are timid and not prone to fighting but will defend themselves with their claws and powerful tails. My childhood fear of aardvarks now seems so senseless.
I guess the gist of this “chat” column is to help people realize the importance of teaching children more carefully about the world around them. As adults we see clearly how the world works but children depend upon us to teach them from our experiences. We can easily teach them the knowledge found in books but there is so much more we can teach them by our actions.
As a child I learned a lot from my sister, and three brothers, but even more from the adults in my family. Yet, I had never told a living soul about my aardvark nightmares. And it is a mystery to me why I did not reveal my childhood fear of aardvarks. Oh well, I guess life itself is a mystery.
After renting The Mule I said to myself, “Wow! …… Wow! …… Wow!” The film is based on a true story; it stars Clint Eastwood (who also did the directing); and it’s the absolute best movie I’ve rented in a long, long time.
Eastwood stars as Earl Stone, a grumpy old Peoria geezer who is an expert horticulturist, especially when it comes to growing lilies. The film starts out in 2005 at a time when Earl’s flower business was booming. We then fast-forward 12 years. The Internet has driven him out of business and he is about to lose his home. But fate takes a dangerously unseen turn when he is at an engagement party for his granddaughter. A seemingly kind soul offers him a job driving his pickup to haul cargo cross-country. Earl is making a ton of money for his trips and his cargo has the appearance of being innocuous, until he discovers that his cargo is drugs.
Earl continues driving because he needs the money to make things right with his family. He has been estranged from his wife and children because work always came first before anything else. Now in his old age he is filled with regret and finally realizes that family is everything. This must-see movie has an ending so touching that your heart will wear a king-size smile.
This film is rated R and is available at most