Odds and Ends

December 8, 2020

Dear Editor:

As usual, many of our trees have proudly displayed their brilliant red and gold leaves. And that reminds me of one of my favorite short stories:”The Last Leaf,” by O. Henry (William Porter), who is well known for his surprise endings. Another one is “The Gift of the Magi,” especially appropriate for this time of the year. If you are not familiar with these stories, I’m quite sure you will enjoy them.

As many of you know, life can be unfair. Some examples: A nearly bald elderly gent like me usually is charged the same amount as a young man with a full head of hair. One pays the same for a quart of skim milk as a quart of whole milk. But the skim milk is devoid of the butterfat from which we get butter, ice cream, cheese, etc. And milady with only half her teeth is charged as a person with all her teeth for a cleaning.

“Allah does not deduct from the time of man the time spent in fishing. (Anon) (I may have benefited,)

Luis Urea says in “The Devil’s Highway”: “Baja California is changing into a mecca for American retirees. Certain projections suggest within a decade there may be one million white North Americans living there I suggest when you have one white American living there, it is no longer Mexico, it is Iowa.”

“For many Americans, poetry has connotations of elitism, obscurity, and impracticability.” (Understanding Vietnam,” by N Jamieson.) Oh, for another Longfellow.

Have you ever wondered why the Confederates won so many battles despite being heavily outnumbered by Union forces?

Animal lovers everywhere rejoiced when word came that Kaavan, a lonely elephant living under unsanitary conditions in Pakistan had been moved to a sanctuary in Cambodia. (“Time” 12-14-2020)

Among the U.S. military leaders who initially opposed the use of the Atom bomb was Dwight Eisenhower. Among those favoring its use was George Marshall. Fortunately, Harry Truman was among the latter. Servicemen scheduled for the invasion had no doubts.

Bob Hall