2018-08-04 / Viewpoints

The Old Timer

By Howard ‘Mac’ McDonald

Welcome to Mac’s world, where I hope you that you have a strong stomach. I have the usual list of beefs on my mind.

School will be starting in less than a month and the buses will be swarming the roads like yellow jackets. The halls of the schools in Cameron and Potter counties will be alive with students, or at least what is left of students, and the teachers will be back on their nerve pills. When the parents don’t do their jobs in the home, the problems spill out into the classroom and the teachers are expected to be miracle workers.

Meanwhile, the school boards will be trying to find more ways to cut back on things so they can keep paying the sky-high salaries to their head honchos. They are a lot like the big corporations. Keep the little guys down and give top management a fat compensation package. At least they are keeping up with modern times.

Another beef that is really gnawing at me is how the people who are so opposed to Mexican border security seem to love Mexico more than they do their own country.

Did you stop and think about why these people are so desperate to come across the border carrying nothing but the cloth­ing on their backs? The Mexican gov­ernment is corrupt and worthless. They allow drug cartels to run their country while the wealthy few live high on the hog and everyone else starves.

Before you go too far down the road of criticizing your own government, just take a look at what has caused this situ­ation. The Mexican people need to clean up their own act.

An article in the paper reported that there are more people setting out on driving vacations instead of heading to the amusement park or the beach. That should be good news in the Land of the Endless Mountains.

Pennsylvania is dotted with many state parks. Just about everything in them is free. Most state parks have some fasci­nating history.

Ole Bull State Park has a very inter­esting background. It’s named after the Norwegian musician who helped settle that area.

Ole was a trusting soul and wasn’t wise to the devious way of the real estate hus­tlers. They sold him mountainous acreage that could not be farmed and carved out the fertile valley land for themselves. It didn’t take long for old Ole to figure out he had been swindled and the dream of a new Norway in Potter County was over.

Tom Mix, who was born in Mix Run and became a famous wild west movie star, has a marker along the highway in Arizona where he was killed. There are also markers for him back home in Cam­eron County.

I was saddened to read in the Endeavor News that the Tom Mix Birthplace Park down at Mix Run had been closed and sold off. He will now slip deeper into the pages of history.

U.S. Rt. 6 has several markers desig­nating that highway as the “Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Highway.” This honors the soldiers who defended the Union during the Civil War.

On the battlefield at Gettysburg are several markers that tell where important skirmishes took place.

Valley Forge, where General George Washington and his Continental Army wintered, is another place where there are markers everywhere. Walking around there is like turning the pages in a history book.

Probably my favorite historic site is far from the mountains of Pennsylvania. It is known as Four Corners. There’s a marker where you can lay each foot in a different state and your arms in two other states. You can be in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah at the same time.

One of the hardest things to do today is follow the slogan, “Buy American.” I am really hung up on this subject, as I remember that the Japa­nese murdered around 10,000 American GIs on the Bataan Death March.

German cars don’t turn me on, either. I cannot forget that Hitler tried to eliminate a whole race of people.

Some people say that the foreign prod­ucts are better than American, but some of that is bunk. We whipped both of those countries in WWII with our American- made goods. For those who worry that we will some day have to go to war with China, take comfort: they would have no one to sell their products to.

Besides, what would happen to Walmart, which is the biggest importer of Chinese goods in the history of the planet?

My family’s conspiracy to keep me from attending this year’s Emporium Rotary Picnic, the highlight of my last days on this earth, has worked. I was re­ally looking forward to my last trip to the Land of the Endless Mountains, but it has been crashed on the rocks of the boulders that are in abundance in Arizona.

Rotary Picnic day is Aug. 15 and I will instead be visiting my memories of more exciting times. I hope the picnic is a great day for everyone and I will be thinking of all that attend.

My hat is off to the crew who works so hard to put on a spectacular production. The beer is always cold, the chowder is hot, the clams and shrimp are a seafood lover’s dream, and the finale of a steak dinner tops off a day to remember.

It is always good to see so many people smiling and laughing like they didn’t have a care in the world. With the sad condition of so many in this country, it is hard to find something to smile about.

And, lastly, any money that Emporium Rotary makes is put to good use.

Today in church the minister had a sermon on hope and it really made a lot of sense to a guy like me who is always bellyaching about everything that is go­ing wrong.

Hope is about all we have left when our nation is so divided on just about every­thing and common sense has gone out of style.

Regardless of how bad things might seem sometimes, the old blue marble keeps spinning.

Members of Congress still have a prayer breakfast that is attended by people from both sides of the aisle.

Prayers by politicians are a waste of time. Greedy, self-serving opportunists who abuse the public trust are not the people favored by the Almighty.

One of the big problems on this earth is that there are too many people. China and India’s populations have exploded. Most of the continent of Africa is plagued by famine, but they continue to reproduce as if they will soon have some magical source of food and water.

These doomsday people who say the world is going to end soon are off their rockers, but I do think that something catastrophic will happen to thin down the population.

On that cheery note, I will sign off and remind you all to sleep with your musket at arm’s reach and keep your powder dry.

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