EDITION OF WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19, 2017 (PetPowellPress) -- Dear Kids of the 21st Century, I know how you feel. Back in the late 1950s and early ‘60s, we’d wake up every day with a bombing scare. You’d hear planes overhead. You’d hear news stories about atomic bombs being tested. You’d hear questions about how nations might react and which nation could reach which nation with a nuclear warhead.
In Texarkana, on the campus of Highland Park Elementary School, a handful of us -- guys who’d later found Boy Scout Troop 22 together and work on the God and Country Award -- would discuss what to do in case of a nuclear attack. Someone would inevitably and proudly say that because of the munitions plant nearby, Texarkana would be among the top 10 targets of the Soviet Union. (That’s a 1964 AP Wirephoto of a missile display in Moscow. Cold War photo -- The Cold War was in black and white on our TV.)
At night, when we’d be trying to sleep in our safe homes, overhead we’d hear the drone of giant bombers from Barksdale Air Force Base or some other U.S. field crossing the sky. Some of us insomniacal kids would wonder if it was their planes or ours. And here, in the 21st century, six decades or so later, mankind hasn’t gotten a damned bit smarter. We still need Someone looking over us. And I’m still wondering if mankind deserves protection from itself. As a hint, there’s a photo of a stamp cancellation from 1964. United States Post Office. Just fyi.
REMEMBER THESE DOGS?
We wrote about them a couple of weeks ago. Four dogs living on their own -- sort of -- at Bethlehem, near Gilmer in East Texas. Word came from our Houston tipster Alexandra Kelsey that there’s been a good bit of news out of the Piney Woods.
The note reads: “Curtis and his wife have all four dogs in the car and are en route to the vet!! They said the dogs are super sweet and very loving, and the dogs are only about 35 lbs. each!”
Where are they now? “The dogs will be at Dr. Randell Spencer’s clinic, Spencer Vet Services, P.O. Box 568, Gilmer, Texas 75644, Tel. 903-725-6214. They will be under Leap Of Faith Canine Adoptions. If you donate, please specify for 'dogs in need.' Each dog’s vaccinations will be $50 and each spay will be $125. Curtis is looking for inexpensive boarding, may keep two at his house, maybe a rescue can help. Lots of people have been monitoring this story.
The bad turn it recently took is coyote-related. The note forwarded by Alexandra read, “Now, the coyotes have shown up. Perhaps they were drawn to the dog food being put out to feed these dogs. Perhaps it’s just that domestic dogs make good snacks. Or perhaps one of the dogs is in heat. No matter what, things are so desperate that a young man has pitched a tent in the field and stays there at night to keep the coyotes away. He takes the night shift in the tent, and his 80-year old grandmother gathers donated food to take out during the day.
“These are very sweet, gentle dogs. And if this isn’t the saddest mess, I don’t know what is. The dogs are in east Texas, where there are so few resources. One nice lady with a shelter out that way is desperately contacting anyone she can think of, because her facility is overfull but she wants these four dogs to get a chance.
“The young man in the tent will fall asleep one night at the wrong moment, and coyotes will do what coyotes do. It’s nature, but it doesn’t have to be that way for these four dogs.”
Apparently, there’s a new, safe path for these four dogs.
Want to help, here are the email contact points: Curtis at email@example.com and Janie firstname.lastname@example.org .
CONTEMPLATIONS: So I cleaned off one side of my desk and made room for The Senator or any other cat or adventurous climbing dog to nap. I thought, of course, that The Senator would not spread out like the contents of a glass syrup jar dropped in the aisle of a grocery store. However, this is The Senator, beginning his capture of my mouse and my mouse pad. His head is resting on a stack of unopened mail and a couple of his toes are wrapped around the wires of my current favorite set of ear phones, as we used to say in the 20th century. The Senator has allergies and he scratches. I’d move him but he’s so peaceful, I though I’d simply write about him and how he just showed up on our front porch one day, enjoyed a meal with the feral cats and came into the house when I opened the door. He was already neutered -- a bit of a rarity in our part of town. I’m glad he came to our house. He has added to the enjoyment of our lives and he’s made me a more careful writer -- if he doesn’t like what I’m writing, he nips my hands. Then I start over with a different verb or something. That's not a hairless spot on his tail -- it's just one of his several colors. Nearly matches his pink nose. ... Several years ago, when I was writing a daily column for The Then-Big Paper Downtown, I was helping an alumni group look for a photograph of Highland Park Elementary School in Texarkana -- it was a big old two-story school with a basement back then. Something built in the 1930s, probably. No air-conditioning, of course, but big windows you could open (with permission of the teacher!). Anyway, nobody ever turned up a photo of that dear old school. I’m making another run at the past. Anybody got a time machine and a camera and 20 minutes or so of free time? Or anybody wondering what photos are in that box in the attic in Texarkana? Way back in those days, nobody’s phone had a camera on it. That’s why the photo is hard to find. ... This really sounds like “fake news.” A Canadian beaver herding cattle. Here’s the LINK. The White House is not involved. I’m almost certain.
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