In Our Community
Tarzan, the bronzed white son of the jungle came to radio in 1932, in what has generally come to be regarded as the earliest major syndicated series. This early version began with the initial novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan of the Apes. It followed the tragic end of Tarzan’s British parents, Lord and Lady Greystoke. Stranded on a lonely African coast, mother and father were killed by apes; their infant son was taken alive to the den of the apes to be raised as one of them.
James Pierce, one of the early screen Tarzans, played the Lord of the jungle in this 15 minute three-a-week serial. Joan Burroughs, the creator’s daughter and Mrs. Pierce in private life, played Jane. With the conclusion of Tarzan of the Apes, new stories were dramatized for the air. In all, more than 350 chapters were produced, featuring such accomplished artists as Gale Gordon, John McIntire, and Jeanette Nolan in supporting roles. The serial was still running on some stations in 1935, by then Carlton Kadell had replaced Pierce in the title role.
Although the character was ideally suited for air drama, no other major attempt was made to bring Tarzan to radio until 1951. The new Tarzan was syndicated by Commodore Productions. Lamont Johnson played the ape man, opening with the famous war cry that kids still associate with the shadowy figure of the jungle vines. Unlike the earlier version, this was complete in each 30 minute installment. It was produced by Walter White Jr., and in 1952 was bought by CBS under sponsorship by General Foods. It ran one year on the network as a Saturday night show, and enjoyed a healthy rating, especially since it came at the so called end of radio’s golden age.
This later series is what I listened to every Saturday night. You may catch Tarzan bellowing his ape call once again if you tune in to AM 1370 KDTH’s Big Broadcast on Sunday nights from 6 to midnight.
Sarge the EMT
The retired sergeant, the one with the 6-foot foldout measuring stick, wasn’t there when I headed for the order window at the coffee shop. The rest of the veterans were uncharacteristically quiet, arrayed around the sidewalk in folding chairs and blankets against the cold, listening to an emergency scanner.
“Where is he?” I asked.
“There was an accident out on the highway. We suspect he was involved somehow,” one said. A pause, then: “He was a career Army combat medic, E-6. Tried to sign up with the EMTs here. Wouldn’t take him. Too old, they said. Policy.”
It was an hour before Sarge pulled up in his truck and climbed slowly out, blood on his coat. He snapped open his lawn chair and dropped into it.
The story came out in a tired voice: He was three cars behind a nasty wreck, multiple crushed vehicles, one a pickup truck that had rolled, ejecting a toddler onto the pavement.
“I grabbed my medical bag,” he said. “Injured baby, blood everywhere, but thank God, still strapped in her car seat.”
One of the other vets pushed up out of his lawn chair. “You’re a bit shock-y,” he said and handed Sarge his blanket.
The story kept coming out: Sarge had wrapped the baby’s leg that had the worst of the damage and kept pressure on it with one hand while washing the blood off her face with the other, singing to her for distraction, and managed not to kill on sight the drunk father who stumbled over and demanded to know what he was doing to his daughter. The EMTs eventually showed up, bouncing down the median.
His phone rang and he pulled it out, listened and grunted “I’ll be there.” He snapped the phone shut and slid it back into his pocket. “The baby will be fine eventually.”
We saw a tiny smile, and then: “The EMTs want me. Said maybe I’m not too old after all.”
© 2020 King Features Synd., Inc.
“Small Object, Big Shadow”
I saw a beetle crawling across my path. The sun was just up, to the beetle’s back, casting a long shadow in front of him, about two of the beetle’s body lengths. He was a good sized beetle as beetles go, but still a small object; I could have inadvertently stepped on him. We think of shadows being cast by big objects like clouds, trees, and buildings, but comparatively speaking, here was a big shadow being cast by a bug.
You can’t have a shadow without light. Light also happens to be a very important metaphor in the Bible. God is described as brilliant light. Jesus called Himself the light of the world and invited His listeners to walk in His light. We, too, are invited to draw near to the light of God, walk in His light, and in the light of His Word.
Back to the little object of a beetle casting a shadow bigger than himself. It’s all because of the angle of light in which he basks.
Shadows, of course, have no substance, no weight, no texture, and are one dimensional. They come and go and shift location with the movement of the light that casts them. Yet they can be helpful. Then we give them another name, shade, a good place to stand when it’s hot and sunny.
Here’s the life-principle I’m finding in all of this. No matter how small, insignificant, or unimportant we sometimes feel, when we draw near to God, the light of His presence means we cast a larger shadow of influence than we ever thought possible. We’re not big and important in and of ourselves, but the light of His presence makes us so!
Life is tough; all people in one way or another find themselves in a hot, dry, and thirsty land. Some of these folks are within our sphere of influence. When we walk close to God it’s as if His light casts a large portion of shade from us that can provide rest, comfort, and renewal for them. When we are blessed by God’s presence we can then be a blessing to others!
“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.” Psalm 89:15
Each season brings with it a certain set of hazards that we must contend with and winter is no different. Cold temperatures, slippery roads and sidewalks and strenuous activities are all things that we must be mindful of. And as we get older, the cold temperatures increase those hazards. Here are some dangers to be mindful of and tips on how to avoid them.
According to the American Heart Association, the risk of a heart attack during snow shoveling may increase for some due to the colder temperatures and physical exertion increases on the heart. When shoveling take breaks. Pay attention to how your body is feeling. Eating a large meal before or directly after shoveling can also put extra strain on the heart. If you have preexisting medical conditions consult with your doctor to see if shoveling snow is advised. Use a smaller shovel or invest in a snow blower.
While outside also be aware of the potential for hypothermia. As we age, the body’s mechanism that regulates temperature deteriorates. Dress in layers of warm clothing. Wear gloves and a hat. Much of the body’s heat can be lost through the head. Wearing a hat will help stop that loss.
Be mindful of ice and snow. The older we get the sensation in our feet decreases as well as the mobility. These factors increase the potential of slipping or tripping on the ice and snow. Allow enough time to get where you are going so you are not rushed or hurrying. Use extra caution when walking or getting in and out of vehicles. And use handrails or handholds as much as possible.
Lastly, do not be afraid to ask for HELP. Hire the neighbor kid to shovel your snow. Have your groceries, medications or meals delivered right to your door. And if you don’t need it today, stay in and wait for a day with nicer weather before venturing outside.
If you have any questions or would like further information I can be reached at 563-589-4195 or at Dpaulson@cityofdubuque.org.
Nowadays much communication is via the computer. But there was a time when face to face communication was the normal way of sharing news or stories of interest. I like to recall a time when my granddaughter. Amber, was a child, she would tell an event or an interesting story in never-ending details and before the conversation was over you were on the edge of your chair waiting for the unique ending of her story. She is now the mother of two frisky boys. Her seven year old son, Finn, takes after his mother, but his communication is by writing and drawing characters of his choice. He sent me a comic book of mystery and hidden spooky characters. I loved it. Her son, Ezra, almost four, hasn’t discovered his individual communication level yet.
Personally, I like face to face conversations and still have several friends and acquaintances who like to meet and share daily experiences. We also share telephone conversations. I guess you might say, that is ear to ear communication. And I don’t know how many of you remember just standing with a neighborhood friend and talking over a chain link fence. There are still several ways to communicate with people. One is letter writing.
I don’t have a lot of friends who write me but I do have one named, Margot. And believe it or not she has often written, via the computer, six pages of single-spaced letters. Whenever I go to the mail box and notice a rather thick envelope, I know she has written a whopper. But before I read her letter, I get a cup of coffee and get comfortable in my favorite lounge chair. I often wish I could write like her. She describes every single event and I feel as though I was there when it happened. Her experiences are told so they appear unusually unique. Once when she and her husband, Melvin, were taking their car in for a repair job, she described the outcome of the problem. Actually, they live in a farm house and often parked this car in the garage, and drove another car. Well, you guessed it. Mice had built a nest under the hood . They had chewed into a spot that caused the car not to work well. She told her story in so much detail that even I could understand how such a thing could have happened.
I never like to end a column with a negative, but because of COVID-19 face to face is now a covered face to face. Yes, we are willing to wear a mask and will do so until it is no longer a threat to the health of any society. But we can have a positive attitude of concern and still meet with caution and in small numbers to share our concerns about the future. We will get through our present dilemma. We are proud Americans. “GO AMERICA!”