In Our Community
Jim Backus had a long and varied career in show business. Both on radio, television and movies. He’s not a leading man as such, but very enjoyable nonetheless.
Regarding his radio career, there were two programs with his name: a 30-minute program appearing on Mutual in 1947-48, and a 60 minute show appearing on ABC in 1957-58. Backus was a comedian and character actor who was the voice of Mr. Magoo in the well-known cartoon series and was later a star of Gilligan’s Island on television. Both versions were comedy-variety programs written by Backus and his wife. On the 1947 program, Backus was supported by Dink Trout, France Robinson, and Jerry Hausner. Frank Graham was the announcer. On the later program, music was by Elliot Lawrence, with vocals by Jack Haskell, Betty Ann Grove, and The Honey Dreamers. Del Sharbutt was the announcer.
As far as I know there is only one episode available to the collectors of old time radio. I have yet to find that episode. Listening to KDTH’s Big Broadcast on Sunday nights from 6 to midnight you might catch Jim Backus in another role, such as on The Alan Young Show and Burns and Allen.
Don’t Mess With the VA
This is a big no-no. An Ohio man threatened to kill a Department of Veterans Affairs social worker’s daughters. You do not do that, no matter what your beef. You do not go after family.
The Ohio idiot didn’t even do it anonymously, sending a threatening text message, and it wasn’t long before the VA Office of Inspector General was all over it. Turns out he was known to the social worker because he’d availed himself of homeless-veterans services and had been given permanent housing. Several years later, he was evicted due to multiple complaints of physical threats and public intoxication. Upset, he sent the threatening text message.
At this point he’s indicted. No established guilt. Court to be held later. At his arrest he was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and obstructing official business. I hope the federal charges are stronger than that. You do not threaten family.
This next case I don’t understand. Oh, I understand the theft and scamming part. What I don’t understand is why it took so long.
In 2017, a VA employee who worked in the IT department was nabbed and indicted for attempting to sell the personal info of veterans and employees he’d grabbed off the computers. He’d even narrowed down the victims to those making over $50,000 per year, saying that would be valuable to identity thieves. He selected veterans who’d received compensation or a pension, those who went to a VA medical center and those who’d had a VA financial assessment. He even made fake credit cards and had the equipment to do that. He was picked up in a bathroom when he went to the VA to steal a server.
In 2019, he pleaded guilty to one charge in exchange for having the others dropped. Fast-forward to now: He’s just been sentenced to 46 months, plus two years of supervised release.
What took so long?
© 2021 King Features Synd., Inc.
Where to Focus
I was helping our daughter record a short message to post on the internet. We had chosen an outdoor location at Refuge Ranch where she and her family live in Mexico and where my wife and I also live part-time. Our daughter settled down on a blanket for the recording with a profusion of wild marigolds blooming behind her. What was she looking at while recording? The camera that I was holding, of course, but just behind my camera and me was a wire-enclosed burn area filled halfway with ash and unburned trash.
Looking one direction there was a flower festooned view, while 180 degrees the other way was a view of trash. It all depends on where you focus your attention as to whether you see trash or flowers.
Can you think of a situation in your life where this principle could be applied? How about a whole lot of situations and circumstances? That’s certainly the case with me!
Our ability to focus on something while not focusing on something else goes way beyond the functioning of our eyes. The mind and heart can do the same.
The grandparents were disappointed they couldn’t take the grandchildren on a picnic because it was raining, but because it was raining they enjoyed playing games with the grandchildren at the kitchen table. A visit to the doctor wasn’t the best way to spend a good portion of the morning, but there was the opportunity to have a good conversation with another patient in the waiting room who desperately needed a listening ear and some encouragement. It was a long wait as the car was being fixed, but a great article in an outdated magazine in the waiting area would not have been read if the car had been fixed quickly. We have the God-given ability to choose where we focus our eyes and also where we fix our thoughts and upon what we fixate our hearts.
Children’s TV personality, the late Fred Rogers, remembers being frightened by some news as a child. His mother told him, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Mr. Rogers never forgot the advice, nor should we!
We can focus on the trash or switch our focus 180 degrees and focus on the flowers. It’s a 180 degree switch I want to make when facing a lot of situations. You too?
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
Each Spring, I spend a weekend cleaning out my garage and house wondering how I accumulated so much stuff since last year. It doesn’t take long for things to pile up. It’s not difficult for me to get rid of things that I don’t need or want anymore. However, for some, this task is not that easy. It is estimated that somewhere between 3 and 5 percent of the population are compulsive hoarders. This accumulation of “stuff” causes not only health issues but also fire safety risks to the occupants as well as to the first responders that may respond there.
Hoarding increases fire risk in several ways. Often, cooking is unsafe due to combustible items being too close to or even on top of or stored inside of the stove or oven. Oftentimes, portable heating devices are used in the home, which may tip over on unstable items or surfaces causing a potential fire to occur. Combustible items may also be too close to these heating devices increasing the risk for a fire. Extension cords may be used to power items since outlets may not be available. Trip and falls hazards are also a major concern due to hoarding of the home
If you or someone you know has an unsafe home, here are a few things to do to keep it safer. Make sure there are working some alarms in the home. There should be one in each bedroom, the hallway outside the bedrooms and one on each floor of the home. Make an escape plan and practice it. Make sure there are paths that are unobstructed so that persons can get out of the home in case of an emergency and that first responders can safely get in and out if needed. Reach out to community resources. There are lots of resources available in the community that you may not be aware of. And lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help or to accept help.
If you have any questions or would like further information, I can be reached at 563-589-4195 or at Dpaulson@cityofdubuque.org.
Writers try and “hook” their readers in the first paragraph of their column, article, or other sharing works. So, after my introduction to this column, don’t cheat and go to the end of the column to learn why I was astonished and flabbergasted at an incidental moment.
Recently, my daughter and I attended the wedding of a friend’s granddaughter. Both groom and bride had been married before. The groom has two daughters and the bride has two sons. The minister was an aunt on her father’s side of the family.
Since this was a second marriage for both bride and groom, it was a more casual wedding. The color scheme was teal and white. The wedding party did not have tuxedos or fancy formal wear. But the brides two young sons wore suits. The children in the wedding party took their parts of the wedding seriously. The groom did wear a nice suit with a red cummerbund.
The bride wore an off-white, waltz length, fitted dress. She was beautiful.
The entire wedding festivity took place at one location. The wedding was in a room where the guests sat at decorated tables. When the wedding ceremony was over the wedding party, including parents and grandparents of the bride and groom, went to an enjoining room and brought back their food. Then the guests were allowed to follow suit.
When it was time for the “toasting” of the bride and groom, Danielle’s youngest son (almost three years old) got to hold the mike. He did a great job of sharing his thoughts. But he didn’t want to let go of the mike. The situation was solved but crying did occur. He was getting tired so grandpa carried him as he slept.
Now, here comes the dilemma, or you can call it a surprise of innocence. There was a wedding bar whereby water, pop, and draft beer was offered to the guests. After my daughter and I had returned to our table with our food she offered to go and get us each a beverage. Well, when I am out for a special event I have been known to request a beer. My daughter came back with pop for herself and a bottle of Heineken beer for me. I was surprised because I know that expensive drinks are usually not offered free at most weddings. I asked her what it cost. She said, “You don’t want to know!”
But I did. I quizzed her until she told me the cost of that one bottle of beer. It was $6. I would never pay that much money for one bottle of beer. Actually, I usually don’t pay for a beer out in public because I’m always with family and someone else just treats “gramma” to a Heineken, if she wants one.
Ironically, I guess you are never too old to learn. From now on I’ll drink water, pop, or draft beer at weddings.
Local Funeral Home Now Offering