Teacher’s lessons were immeasurable

Teacher’s lessons were immeasurable

DEAR EDITOR:

Warren has a member of its community worthy of much praise. He served us as a member of the armed forces and then a member of our local school district as a teacher. He made a distinct difference in my life. The impact needs to be told.

I remember my study hall on my first day of East Junior High School. I was a kid in some unfamiliar place; it was the cafeteria, no homework, yet. Out of nowhere, the woodshop teacher walked in and asked if there was anyone who would rather be his assistant than sit in study hall. I raised my hand

Surprisingly, I was the only person to raise my hand. Oops, I thought, this must have been a big mistake! Wow, what a great opportunity was given to me, and I had no clue.

He taught me how to use the circular saw, the kiln, how to wet sand, use a planer and on and on. I was being taught to help teach on these tools, and I had a great teacher. Needless to say, I learned a lot! And he taught me how to teach others.

My life was changed even more by this teacher. I was asked by Harold Wilson, my woodshop teacher, to participate in building his house. He had designed his own home. He asked me, the metal shop teacher and his brother-in-law to help him build the house. Just the four of us.

I clearly recall my first day on the job. I did not want to mess up. After all, I was being paid $2 an hour. On that first day, our task was to drive nails through a piece of wood that connected the house to the cement foundation. I bent a lot of nails that day. He reassured me.

Then, we put down flooring and built walls, put up the second floor. We soon put in the electricity and the plumbing, built the roof, laid shingles and put up exterior siding. We did the cabinets, paint, doors, baseboards, window trim and the whole nine yards. Sinks, faucets, drains, you name it and we did it all. And just remember, I was being taught, every bit of the way.

Harold Wilson is the ultimate example of a teacher. He didn’t need an assistant in his woodshop that first day; he just wanted someone to teach.

I am now in my 50s and use what Mr. Wilson taught me 35 years ago, daily!

This thank you is far overdue.

Todd Inskeep

Phoenix

Special Christmas gift

DEAR EDITOR:

After running some errands the morning after Christmas, I stopped in at Cornicelli’s Dry Cleaners and Laundry to pick up some shirts and drop off my dirty ones. George Pahoulis, the owner, and I exchanged greetings and a bit of banter about the really nice Christmas we’d both had. Behind me, a young man who had pulled into the parking lot after me was waiting for us to finish our business and conversation.

I pulled out my wallet and apologized to George for only having a $50 bill. I could see my carelessness was going to hurt his ability to make change for other customers. I offered to go to the car to get a check. As I turned to go, I asked the young man if he had change for a $50. He opened his wallet and I saw a $20 and a $5 bill. He nicely commented his wife must have been in his wallet first. Then, without hesitation, he offered to pay my bill.

George and I both were stunned. I accepted the kindness and looked him over carefully. He was tall and lean, wearing his hair high and tight. I asked if he was in the service. He is in the Air Force, stationed in Hawaii. Staff Sgt. Chris Westfall gave me a Christmas gift. Sure, he paid my tab. The true gift is the one he gave to both George and I – hope, proof that the coming generation can be kind and generous.

When Sgt. Westfall had gone, I brought my checkbook in and wanted to pay his dry cleaning bill. George beat me to it with a “no charge.” We agreed about the gift we had just been given.

Thanks, Chris, and you, too, George, for a great day!

Joe Spahr

Warren

Understanding of social gaps offered

DEAR EDITOR:

In 1965, Daniel Patrick Monihan published a report on black families. Though criticized by civil rights activists at the time, it was the first meaningful attempt to explain cultural attitudes and conditions that existed in the black community. Since that 1965 report, study after study always has focused on some negative statistics of people of color. Now, that focus is changing.

C-Span host Bill Scanion recently interviewed sociologist and scholar Barbara Ehrenreigh. She released an article in the Washington Journal titled “The Death Rate Rises for Middle Class White Americans.” The age group targeted was from 45 to 54. Ehrenreigh noted that while the longevity gap between blacks and whites was five years, a similar gap had developed between the white working class and the affluent whites. According to Ehrenreigh, that wasn’t supposed to happen, especially to whites, considering advances in past years.

To explain this phenomenon, Ehrenreigh talked about the deindustrialization that took place in the 1980s and 1990s. As the better paying jobs left the country, many whites were forced to take lower paying jobs. They found themselves struggling to make ends meet. Despair followed as many turned to alcoholism, drugs and suicide. While diabetes, too, had increased in the white working class, these three diseases were of such concern to Ehrenreigh that she attempted to justify them in a related article, “What is happening in the white working class?”

The main part of the interview comes during the “call in” portion. In talking about the bottom 25 percent of the white working class, Ehrenreigh doesn’t hesitate to use the word racism. She points out the irony of being poor and supporting a candidate who favors tax breaks for the wealthy and favors holding down the minimum wage. To get a better insight on the Donald Trump supporters, look at the video. Barbara Ehrenreigh / “The Death Rate Rises for Middle Class White Americans.”

To make a final remark, Ehrenreigh is the Daniel Patrick Monihan of our day. Truly, she has provided the spark that will ignite an understanding of the attitudes and conditions that exist in the white family.

Alfred Spencer

Warren

Using technology to find companionship

DEAR EDITOR:

How many people in our world are alone or in need of companionship? You might not recognize them when you meet them, but if they had a glass heart, you would see their need for love. I do not think God put us on this earth to be alone. We all need to be wanted, to have someone waiting for us on our arrival at home. Just knowing that they will be there when we need to share our day’s activities with them. Just imagine having someone caring for you or loving you for who you are as a person. The poorest of the poor can still be wanted if the right person is attracted to you.

Today’s technology can make it easy to find that soulmate that you have been longing for. This is something I recently experienced on the Internet.

I joined Facebook a few months ago. I came across a music site and joined it, listening to songs and watching videos. After a few months, I had a person wanting to be my friend, so we became friends. She was about my age and had the same interests in life. We would select songs and comment on them.

Before I knew it, we were talking on the telephone every day. We were saying good night to each other on Facebook and good morning each day. I would come home, turn on the computer and, “Oh, my gosh,” she was waiting there for me.

Well, things became interesting; she now laid down the law to me. “Paul, do not talk to other women on the music site.” “Yes, dear,” was my reply. She went shopping one day and when she got home, she asked me what I was doing on Facebook while she was away. “Nothing, honey,” was my reply. She said, “That is not what I’ve been told. You were looking at a woman, DJ.” Someone had spilled the beans on me. Now, I refer to her as the War Department when we chat. My favorite song now is, “I Wish I Was Single Again.”

Paul R. Lawson

McDonald

Party attitudes differ on shootings

DEAR EDITOR:

“I will take a bullet before you do.” This is what a police officer said in San Bernardino after a mass shooting occurred, going room to room checking the entire building.

Outside a man said, “Pray for us;” a group of people formed a circle outside and were praying. Republicans said, “The families of these victims are in our prayers.” What do all the Democrats say right after it happened, even this man named Obama and Hillary Clinton? “We need more gun control.”

Their attitude is, do not let a bad situation go to waste; let’s get this gun control issue going again. Not waiting till all the information about the people who did it is in; not how are the families doing, is there anything we can do, how can I, as the leader of our country, do for these families. No! Right away, they want to take away the Second Amendment, our right to bear arms.

If this is terrorism, you would think they would be behind the Second Amendment to be able to defend ourselves. What is wrong with this administration? Do you think one Democrat would take the bullet for you? I do not think these two people who did this asked what party do you belong to. Who is running this country?

Ruth Lilley

Niles

Too much salt in frozen foods

DEAR EDITOR:

I am alone and the doctors put me on a low-sodium diet. Since I don’t cook, I use those frozen dinners. It is very difficult to find any with sodium less than 500 to 700 mg. By the time I have gone through the frozen dinners, my fingers are white (very cold). It is frustrating.

I went through two years and eight months of cancer treatments and ended up with no smell or taste, so it doesn’t matter what I eat. Can’t smell it or taste it. There seems to be sodium in everything. Why is that?

Use more on the roads in winter and less in the food!

Harold Pease

Warren