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Today's Meeting

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  • Mr HOWARD BENNETT
    Hi All: I am sorry that I will not be joining you today. Creed fell and hit his head. While it is not thought to be serious they kept him in the hospital
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 21, 2007
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      Hi All:
       
      I am sorry that I will not be joining you today. Creed fell and hit his head. While it is not thought to be serious they kept him in the hospital overnight for observation. I decided not to make the long drive alone, especially in view of the fact that one of my sons will be coming home for a visit.  I wish you all a great and happy Thanksgiving and hope to see you next month.
       
       
      Howard
       
      "When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. Now I'm beginning to believe it."
      -- Clarence Darrow
       
      I paste my submission for today. It's a little weird, but definitely me.

      Written In Stone

      I once thought that many things were written in stone, but I was younger, more idealistic and surer of everything. Now it seems that the opposite is truer. I believed that civility was a given. Look at our political process. I never hear anyone campaigning about why he or she should be elected, but why the opponent is a crook, thief, liar, degenerate, coward, or you fill in the pejorative of choice. If one disapproves of the Iraq war he is said to be disapproving of the troops although nothing could be further from the truth. We twist and spin.

      As a youth I knew that marriage was written in stone. Those words, "Until death do us part." seemed reasonably clear. In the America of 2007 about half of all marriages end in divorce. Even that statistic is questionable when considering how many couples live together without taking formal vows and later split. Does this indicate that we should do away with part of the marriage ceremony, or like what our beloved president does with laws, have each of the couples attach a signing statement to the license indicating under which circumstances they will ignore which part of the vows they took?

      I knew that homosexuality, or anything other than heterosexuality, was both wrong and immoral. After all I learned this almost while still in the cradle from parents who incorporated a whole mass of prejudices that they were eager to pass down to their progeny. After all they learned it as children so it had the force of precedent. I was well passed voting age when I finally started to disabuse myself of these teachings. My father was dead, but my mother remained no less sure of her prejudices until she died at eighty-six. Now I believe that we are all sexual beings and our sexuality in any form is one of the gifts we have been given.

      How about religion? To marry someone, or even to date someone, of a different religion could lead to disastrous consequences. Excommunication was a given in some churches, shunning in others. In any event, it was probable that the miscreants were headed for hell. My highschool was all male. I remember a class trip on the Delaware when coincidentally there was also a class from Little Flower. I danced with several Catholic girls, assuming that all the girls in that school were Catholic. I could never tell my parents about that part of the trip experience. They would have felt that I was scarred for life.

      Today, we are seeing a crisis in organized religion. People are leaving churches because they no longer can buy into their teachings. I am a Unitarian Universalist and my church professes no creed. When I ask a Lutheran friend who shares somewhat similar beliefs how he can recite the Apostles Creed, he replies, "I just leave out some parts." How does one define hypocrite? I call myself a Unitarian Universalist Christian. If I say that I have to explain it. Apparently "Christian" is not etched in stone.

      So what is etched or written in stone? How about Philadelphia soft pretzels? You cannot imagine how nervous I am away from the city when the prospect of a real soft pretzel is dim. Even more than cheese steaks the pretzel experience is unique to current and past Philadelphians. My wife, born in western New York, deludes herself thinking that if you have tasted one pretzel you have tasted them all. And, thank God for cheap yellow mustard. None of that fancy Dijon stuff for a true aficionado.

      Bad, dry turkey on Thanksgiving is written in stone. We have messed up turkeys so badly to ensure a super abundance of white meat on hideously distended breasts that we almost eliminated the specie. In recent years we have been celebrating the holiday with a grandson, his wife and two boys. Our grandson is the principle chef at large family gatherings. The last several years he experimented with deep frying the turkey. It never cooks according to the timetable, is still dry and you have all that hot oil to manage. Still, even this may not be written in stone. Have you ever tasted a heirloom or heritage turkey?

      I leave you with the thought that perhaps the only things still written in stone are the lists of my current prejudices.


    • Elaine Procida
      Howard.... really enjoyed your essay. Sorry you could not make the meeting but looking forward to next month. I think you should think about sending it in
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 22, 2007
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        Howard....  really enjoyed your essay.  Sorry you could not make the meeting but looking forward to next month.  I think you should think about sending it in for publication.  Since I did not have a chance to read my essay this month, I will read it next month.  And.... not have to think of something for "radio."  Actually the only radio I can think of is the one of my childhood.  It was about two feet high and one foot wide.  As I was losing my hearing I would get closer and closer to it to "listen."  Until the day I got too close and the radio fell over to the floor with a crash that send my mother running up the steps to see what had happened.  I guess the look on my face was enough that my mother, instead of scolding me, just hugged me.
         
        See you next month.
         
        Elaine

        Mr HOWARD BENNETT <iamhoward@...> wrote:
        Hi All:
         
        I am sorry that I will not be joining you today. Creed fell and hit his head. While it is not thought to be serious they kept him in the hospital overnight for observation. I decided not to make the long drive alone, especially in view of the fact that one of my sons will be coming home for a visit.  I wish you all a great and happy Thanksgiving and hope to see you next month.
         
         
        Howard
         
        "When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. Now I'm beginning to believe it."
        -- Clarence Darrow
         
        I paste my submission for today. It's a little weird, but definitely me.

        Written In Stone
        I once thought that many things were written in stone, but I was younger, more idealistic and surer of everything. Now it seems that the opposite is truer. I believed that civility was a given. Look at our political process. I never hear anyone campaigning about why he or she should be elected, but why the opponent is a crook, thief, liar, degenerate, coward, or you fill in the pejorative of choice. If one disapproves of the Iraq war he is said to be disapproving of the troops although nothing could be further from the truth. We twist and spin.
        As a youth I knew that marriage was written in stone. Those words, "Until death do us part." seemed reasonably clear. In the America of 2007 about half of all marriages end in divorce. Even that statistic is questionable when considering how many couples live together without taking formal vows and later split. Does this indicate that we should do away with part of the marriage ceremony, or like what our beloved president does with laws, have each of the couples attach a signing statement to the license indicating under which circumstances they will ignore which part of the vows they took?
        I knew that homosexuality, or anything other than heterosexuality, was both wrong and immoral. After all I learned this almost while still in the cradle from parents who incorporated a whole mass of prejudices that they were eager to pass down to their progeny. After all they learned it as children so it had the force of precedent. I was well passed voting age when I finally started to disabuse myself of these teachings. My father was dead, but my mother remained no less sure of her prejudices until she died at eighty-six. Now I believe that we are all sexual beings and our sexuality in any form is one of the gifts we have been given.
        How about religion? To marry someone, or even to date someone, of a different religion could lead to disastrous consequences. Excommunication was a given in some churches, shunning in others. In any event, it was probable that the miscreants were headed for hell. My highschool was all male. I remember a class trip on the Delaware when coincidentally there was also a class from Little Flower. I danced with several Catholic girls, assuming that all the girls in that school were Catholic. I could never tell my parents about that part of the trip experience. They would have felt that I was scarred for life.
        Today, we are seeing a crisis in organized religion. People are leaving churches because they no longer can buy into their teachings. I am a Unitarian Universalist and my church professes no creed. When I ask a Lutheran friend who shares somewhat similar beliefs how he can recite the Apostles Creed, he replies, "I just leave out some parts." How does one define hypocrite? I call myself a Unitarian Universalist Christian. If I say that I have to explain it. Apparently "Christian" is not etched in stone.
        So what is etched or written in stone? How about Philadelphia soft pretzels? You cannot imagine how nervous I am away from the city when the prospect of a real soft pretzel is dim. Even more than cheese steaks the pretzel experience is unique to current and past Philadelphians. My wife, born in western New York, deludes herself thinking that if you have tasted one pretzel you have tasted them all. And, thank God for cheap yellow mustard. None of that fancy Dijon stuff for a true aficionado.
        Bad, dry turkey on Thanksgiving is written in stone. We have messed up turkeys so badly to ensure a super abundance of white meat on hideously distended breasts that we almost eliminated the specie. In recent years we have been celebrating the holiday with a grandson, his wife and two boys. Our grandson is the principle chef at large family gatherings. The last several years he experimented with deep frying the turkey. It never cooks according to the timetable, is still dry and you have all that hot oil to manage. Still, even this may not be written in stone. Have you ever tasted a heirloom or heritage turkey?
        I leave you with the thought that perhaps the only things still written in stone are the lists of my current prejudices.


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