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Never Say Never

By Staff | Jan 29, 2020

I grew up playing outside in the sun. My father was a heavy smoker and my grandparents both smoked, my whole family smoked. Our house was not smoke free. Every where we went someone was smoking, in the stores, restaurants, at the parks and at ball games. Even on the beach. Somehow for some reason I was never a smoker. I tried it a few times, but just couldn’t handle it. My grandmother ( a heavy smoker who died of lung cancer) made me promise her, the night before she died that I wouldn’t smoke. I lived up to that promise, I was 13 years old.

However, everyone else seemed to smoke, it was like the fun thing to do, I got my fill of second hand smoke in the bath house at work and hanging around with those that did. It seemed like everything I most enjoyed in life was either illegal, immoral or fattening.

One thing I love about this country above all is it’s political system. I sat on the front porch of my Aunts house (my Dad’s sister) with my Grandpa Parsons. It was in Ravenna , Ohio, and the Kent State Riots were happening a short distance away. We heard the guns shots and we heard the cries, sirens were loud and boisterous. Not knowing exactly what had happened and unaware there had been students shot and killed, we talked about everything from life on the farm topolitics.

“With the way things are going it won’t be long until the Lord returns,” he told me. I said that’s what mom always says, but I still believe we have a long way to go. I wanted to know why, why the government kept giving money to foreigners, and what about drugs, and war and crooked politicians. Grandpa smoking on that old pipe he had just filled with tobacco, looked over and said, how about social security and medicare?

I didn’t have a clue about those things and in fact I remember asking him what the hell he was talking about. He grinned from ear to ear and said, “you will some day.” On that historic day May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard gunned had down four Kent State Vietnam war protesters in what is still a controversial subject at nearly every level. Was it justified, was it self defense or was it murder? I was there, but never found out what really happened. What it did do was open my eyes to politics.

Although I’ve never been deeply involved in politics, I find them fascinating, fascinating because they seldom change. The same promises from 1960 to today are being made by both sides. Most people today, find disgust with the sleazy, petty tone of politics as usual. People see the two major political parties as anachronistic, collusive bundlings of special interests.

The two parties rant against each other for political effect, but get together when it really matters, to raise their pay and make budget deals that ignor the deficit. Today’s political climate is much worse than the one I remember back on that day in 1970. My TV set has been tuned into the newest Presidential impeachment hearings. I find it very similar to the other two since then. As a result my conclusion of modern day politics is “they’re all crooks.” “They’re all fools and liars.” There are conspiracies everywhere and it’s time to clean out the barn.

While discussing politics at the local restaurant the other day I gave my view of the upcoming elections both locally and nationally. My view is we need to be more informed on the real issues. I mean the ones which really matter. Like health care, homeless people, veterans, clean water, social security, abortion, gun control, the war on drugs, prayer, illegal immigrants, jobs, imports and exports, foriegn relations, and the list goes on. Then we need to examine with a microscope the candidates, because all to often name alone is the deciding factor who gets elected.

Our discussion went south however, when my friend made the statement we need to be more passive -aggressive. My mind went back to the day I sat on the porch with my grandpa and he spoke of social security and I thought what the hell are you talking about. Passion aggression is a crime of omission. It’s sugarcoated hostility, aggression with an escape clause. Passive aggressive people are invariably an hour late, a dollar short and a block away, armed with an endless list of excuses to deflect responsibility. To make matters worse, they then turn the tables on you, making themselves the hapless victims of your excessive demands and tirades. Why should we be more passive aggressive?

I wanted to leave and go get a drink, but I don’t drink either. We’ve all heard the saying “you’re driving me to drink” I’m about to break my promise to my grandmother and take up smoking. It’s a big choice to make, please pray for me; if it isn’t against your religion. eparsons@tylerstarnews.com