GETTING OLD ISN’T FOR SISSIES. In a week, on Wednesday, January 25th, I will turn 51 years old. I am now a year removed from the pains of turning 50; and as I head into my sixth decade, I find myself in the midst of changes.
It’s really strange that I sit here and type this as a person who’s lived for over half a century. The old saying that “days drag by and years fly by” really has some meaning to me now, as I continue to reconnect with classmates from high school and college – who are just as old as I am.
Where did the time go?
My mother is fond of telling a story that when I was little I walked up the street to a neighbor’s house and told the lady that my grandfather was about to die.
Racing down the street to our house, our neighbor tried to be a comfort to my mother – except my mother had no idea what she was talking about.
After getting the story, I was called into the kitchen for an explanation as to why I would tell such a tale.
My reasoning? Grandpa was about to turn 50, and I assumed that meant he was ready to die.
That story comes with a little bit of sting as I am now past that milestone – in the eyes and mind of a little kid, I must be cheating death.
Isn’t it funny how memories remain so vivid, even with the passing of time? I can’t seem to remember to buy milk when I’m at the store, but I remember my locker combination from my freshman year of high school (31-13-26) and what the room looked like in my first class of college (World History with Dr. Trout – the man is an entire book all by himself).
I shared a story recently with some friends about my eighth birthday, when my parents bought me a real, honest to goodness store-bought birthday cake, complete with my name in icing across the top.
That was a special cake, not only because it was store-bought, but it was also the last birthday that I would share with my Grandfather Lanman. When you’re eight you only think about nine, but sometimes life changes greatly over 12 months.
But my birthday is always remembered by my family for snow.
Lots of snow.
I was born on the coldest day of the decade, so cold that that tires of my dad’s car froze to the hospital parking lot. I don’t recall ever attending school on my birthday, it was always snowed out. My freshman year at Hanover? Classes canceled for snow. The Blizzard of 1978 that many of us remember? Started on January 25th - yep, you guessed it.
So we fast forward to this year, and this week has been a mixture of strange weather, from a weekend filled with chilly, cold air; to mid week thurnderstorms (who remembers thunderstorms in January?) and some tornadoes in Madison; to more fairly warm temperatures.
The forecast for Vevay this Wednesday, January 25th? Well, it looks like a 60-percent chance of rain with temperatures near 50, I guess we’re safe for another year.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the 1937 Flood that struck this area, and Vevay Newspapers will be observing the occasion with a series of stories and personal observations about the flood from those who lived through it.
If you lived in the county and experienced the 19378 Flood, we invite you to call the Vevay Newspapers office at 427-2311, and set up a time when we can talk with you about those experiences.
Also: anyone having any photographs of the flood that you would like to share or other artifacts, bring them by the Vevay Newspapers office and we’ll scan the photos and hand them right back to you.
The Great Flood of 1937 impacted this community in a big way and continues to do so, and we ask that to observe the occasion, please share your thoughts, memories, and items.
Alogn with that, there is an exciting new exhibt on the 1937 Flood opening at the Switzerland County Historical Museum. If you’ve never been to the museum, this is the perfect time to go and take your kids or grandkids and see all of the wonderful and unique pieces of Switzerland County history and Ohio River history that resides there.
If you’re a fan of Wikipedia or other Internet sites, you may have noticed that there wasn’t much information flowing on Wednesday of this week – in fact, there was none at all in some areas.
Wikipedia held a 24-hour blackout on Wednesday in protest of Congress’ consideration of the “Stop Online Piracy Act”, which it considers to be the first step towards censorship of the Internet.
Censorship is a slippery slope, because ultimately it will involve personal beliefs and feelings. It’s something that is never black and white, there are always shades of gray.
You may feel that certain topics should be censored for the sake of your children, or you, personally. That may apply to a variety of topics; but there are other topics that you have feelings about that you would jump up and down and scream about if those subjects were censored.
It’s sort of like watching someone burn the flag.
It sickens me to watch as someone burns our American Flag, but we live in a country that provides each of us with wide ranging rights and freedoms. It’s how people choose to exercise those freedoms that come under attack. Those feelings come to light because although we are the “Great Melting Pot”; ultimately we are individuals who have our own thoughts and ideas.
Watch someone burn the American Flag and you’re outraged.
Watch someone burn the Qur’an and you don’t think much of it.
But in some areas of our country you would find the exact opposite reaction.
That’s because we are a country that celebrates our diversity – or at least we should.
For Congress to step in and place censorship restrictions on the Internet flies in the face of everything that our country was founded on and stands for today. You may not like all of the information that the Internet can provide; but – like television – there are blocks and walls and safeguards that can be installed to keep your children from those areas, or they can keep you from those areas.
Like it or not, we have a wide range of individual freedoms in this country. To protect yours while trying to take from others just doesn’t work.