‘Pulpit props’ in letters
The recent listing in this place of “Letters to the Editor” writers during 2014 set me to thinking about the variety in the letters I read there. Some have helpful information. Some are plain, concise statements of opinions. I value these.
Others are not so. They make me think of my favorite “preacher story.” After 40 years as a “preacher/pastor,” I think I am qualified to tell it. As the story goes, on a Monday morning the congregation’s janitor was cleaning up the meeting place. He noticed some papers left on the pulpit. Thinking them discards, he picked them up and found they were the preacher’s notes for the sermon the day before. In bold script on the margin at one place it said, “Argument weak. Pound pulpit!”
I think of that when I read a letter that uses exaggeration, leading questions, innuendo or name calling. It seems to me, then, that if the writer doesn’t think the letter is strong enough without these “props” to hold it up, then I shouldn’t consider it to be strong either.
Perhaps other readers will want to remember this story and be reminded that a plain, concise statement of the “whole truth, and nothing but the truth” can stand tall without other “support.”
Watch for pedestrians
I used to work downtown in Hood River. I was always proud of the politeness of drivers and felt respected when I would walk to work or walk to get lunch. I now work from an office on the Heights and sadly, I find that I’ve left the polite drivers downtown. What on earth happens to drivers in that half mile up the hill? I find that it doesn’t matter which intersection you are (attempting) to cross, people often don’t stop. I don’t mind waiting a bit to cross the street, but watching local police and school buses fly by annoys me more than a little.
I have had people honk at me, flip me off and nearly hit me. One lady waved me on and then, apparently, forgot about me and started inching forward right into me. I’m hoping she forgot, at any rate … And, yes, in all these instances, I was in the marked crosswalk.
When I walk my dog, more than once I’ve had to jump into the ditch on the side of the road to avoid cars who “didn’t see” me. Unless I am walking downtown, I wait for cars to go by, then I hope for the best and run across a street.
Hood River takes pride in their treatment of pedestrians and bicyclists, at least downtown. Maybe we could take the time to remember we are the same people where ever we drive.
Thank you for listening!
‘I am schizophrenic’
I just read an article in the Washington Post from a schizophrenic man explaining some of his life’s dilemmas. The replies from the readers shook me to the core. They were god-awful. Somewhere along my way, I came to believe that there is no longer prejudice and stigma (especially, hate-filled) attached to mental illness.
Recently, I had a book of poems and prose published. I have been elated with the idea of finally being a published poet. A business asked me to come do a signing. When I admitted that I was mentally ill, everything changed. No emails were returned. In fact, my emails were blocked.
Later, a journalist asked me for an interview and a bio. When I emailed the journalist and revealed I am schizophrenic and excited to finally be recognized and valued again, I was shut down. Instead of taking the opportunity to elucidate the public, only a few friends and family know of my book. I am broken-hearted.
I am schizophrenic, but I have never been violent. I aspire to being gentle, loving and hospitable. I despise violence at any level. “Normal” people love violence ... see movies and video games. Not me. And I am schizophrenic. “Normal” people go to ballgames and argue with the opposing teams. Do you? I don’t. And I’m schizophrenic. “Normal” people drive aggressively, being rude, vulgar, making dangerous moves. Do you? I don’t. I’m schizophrenic. “Normal” people have tantrums that involve everyone around. Do you?
If I begin to feel unsettled, hallucinate, or perhaps feel an episode of confusion and voices, I excuse myself, go home and deal with it on my own. This takes strength, creativity, tenacity, patience and a strong will. Do you? I see it all around. Because it is me, I am schizophrenic, and that is a powerful force. It takes a powerful mind to deal with it.
My activities include writing, a walk to the post office, calling friends, playing with my dog and reading. See, I am a schizophrenic, well-read, well-travelled, well-spoken (or out-spoken).
I am busy being schizophrenic. The hardest part?
Having to explain.
Leatha Ann Martin
Work with Republicans
I believe that Mr.Tauscher is missing the whole point.
President Obama is eroding the very foundation of our country and form of government. This sets a dangerous precedent where future presidents can flout any law they happen to disagree with and alter the law without going through Congress. Each branch of government is to act as a check against the others and not sit idly by as one exercises authority it does not have. The President has said 22 times that he doesn’t have the authority to do what he has done. If it wasn’t crooked he would have done it before the mid-term elections. Twenty-five states are now part of a lawsuit challenging Obama’s lawless amnesty. Obama’s first goal should be to work with Republicans to secure the border, then work on the immigration issue, all while coming up with a plan to come up with enough new jobs so that we are not adding a few million people to our welfare system. We are already playing “Musical Chairs” with the job market.
Mount Hood Parkdale