Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 1, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta
Saturday, Auamt 1970 THE UTHBRIDGE HERAID g G. Fraser Hodgson On The Trail Of The Miraculous Cure A feature story about Mr. Fraser Hodgson appears to- day ill the city news section of The Herald. This account oE a couple or experiences he had in the early stages of a disabling disease is an extract from a much longer piece which he titled "Our Wander- ing Wheels." have, been my only means of transporta- tion for the past fourteen years. This is no place for a 1'Tg de- scription of the reason for my disability, or a detailed discus- sion on the symptoms and pro- gress of (lie disease known as Multiple Sclerosis, which went to work on me in 1536. Anyone wanting more information can easily get it, as the crippling disease is becoming better known all the time. It pro- gresses differently in nearly ev- ery case, and mine took the slow route, gradually cutting down on my muscle control un- til now I am about as helpless and useless as possible. When the kids were pretty well grown, and my doctor told me I was probably going to be immobilized sooner or later, Belle and I took several very nice car trips. After a lot of pressure and advice from friends and well wishers, we went on a wildgoose chase to visit a faith healer in Ashland, Oregon. The doctor had told me in very strong language, not to spend anything running around the country looking for a cure for my troubles, because if and when a cure was found I would know about it immediately, along with the whole world. He pointed out that although money didn't mean anything where health was concerned, it was foolish to spend it trying to find the impossible, and maybe do- ing myself more harm than good. He advissd spending it en- joying ourselves and seeing something new, as we would probably be stuck at home for a long time someday. We knew this healer couldn't hurt me very much, and she ac- cidently did me some good, by the wonderful carefree two month holiday we had in that beautiful and interesting coun- ty. Every day we took a dif- ferent country road and follow- ed it till it ran dry, and next day started out on another. We went to visit the healer every evening except Saturday and Sunday, and slipped a dol- lar into her apron pocket after about thirty seconds of her ca- ressing our heads, backs, and arms. We both took the "Treat- so if there was any ben- efit neither would have any ad- vantage over the other. There was one big room where all the "patients" gath- ered and waited their turn. About a hundred could sit on folding chairs in this room, and our healer worked at one chair in a little clearing at the far end. As she waved at one and then another, they walked, stag- gered, crept or were carried to this chair. Most of the time she took them in rotation from the end seat, and then the whole room shifted over one seat, just like Chinese checkers. Over in one comer was a bench along the wall known as the "emer- gency" seat, and after a couple of visits I got to occupy this seat of honor, along with sev- eral other crocks. I never could see where this emergency busi- ness helped much, unless the name made it sound impres- sive, because we seldom got through the assembly liie any faster than anyone else. The place was full of rumors and stories about how she came by her healing ability. The most often repeated was that when she was a little girl back in Kentucky or Tennessee, she was sitting on her father's knee and he complained about a sore ej'e. She said she would fix it for him and rubbed her hand over his eye. Next morning the eye was cured, and the news went through the hills like a high wind. Fabulous cures were at- tributed to her power, and some years later they moved west where more people could come, because of the climate, to be helped by her spiritual connec- tions. I think the town was divided in about llu-ee ways over her presence there, some belifived in her completely, others not at all and wanted her run out as a quack and a charlatan, and the big majority didn't care much either way and thought it didn't hurt anybody and was good for business. Even the church she went to was divided, and a number of scraps devel- oped over her being allowed to attend, and others because she wasn't hallowed as a saint. A small percentage of those we saw should have been home resting or in a hospital, be- cause I'm sure they were be- yond any earthly help. Prowl- ing around half the night cer- tainly didn't do them any good. 0! course they were there look- ing for a miracle, and who knows one might be found. They knew they had no other hope, and figursd Ash- land was as good a place to die as any. Standing around outside when the room was jammed and hot, waiting to get into the lineup, we heard a great variety of stories and testimonials. One man had a big hunting dog, and I heard him say he was back on his second trip in a year, because some mysterious trou- ble the dog had was greatly re- lieved by just running around outside the building for a few evenings. That was a little hard to swallow. Another very nice looking young woman was there about a week for a refresher course, she had been cured of a cancerous growth in the sinus passages. She had two little black, wrinkled, marble sized tilings that came out of her nose to prove it. She claimed to have been given up by the best doc- tors in the land, but the failh healer cured her after a long tough tussle. After almost two months I got wondering what I was do- ing there so long. If this wo- man was going to do me any good why didn't it begin to show up. I was feeling fine and so was my wife, and then one day it struck me. If I was going to be cured or improved mira- culously by the Lord, 1 didn't need anyone mortally attached to earth to imimbte or rub their hands over me. I could ask Him myself, without a middleman, and when and if He thought the time was appropriate, He would take over my troubles without any outside help or advice. All this was in the spring of 1954, and I am getting ahead of myself a little. In June of 1953 we spent two weeks soaking up uranium rays in a health mine near Helena, Montana. This too was after considerable pressure from friends, and we figured it was as good a vacation spot as any, so we headed south. About three miles north of the city, we saw the switchback road gouged out of the side of a low mountain, leading to the tell- tale dump of the mine. In town we got a motel by the week, and next morning went for our first "treatment." It was a hot day and a very dusty crookec road, with a few turnouts to- meeting other suckers, I mean travellers. The theory that the uranium in the mine helped ar- thritic and rheumatic sufferers, was suppos e d 1 y discovered when the miner's wife got tired of sitting outside waiting for her husband, and walked in to see what was keeping him. She thought her arthritis was im- proved when she came out, so went in with him again for sev- eral days. The news soon got around that she was much im- proved, and the uranium health mine industry was launched all around Helena, Montana. Some went into the business in a big way, providing hotel or motel accommodations right at the site. A few even had steam and massage parlors with ex- pert attendants to take care of patroiis, and they would help them in and out of the mine if necessary, for a price of course. They were practically all walk- in type mines, so no elevator was needed, and some had the old mine cars and tracks still in working order. None were oper- ating for the original reason of muling for minerals, but now they were mining for the pre- cious metal carried in the pock- ets of the poor people looking for refef from pain and other troubles. Of course they didn't promise anything, and only charged for the accommodation and hired help, but they saw to it that plenty of favorable tes- timonials floated among the health seekers. A gift opened the slatted door and in we went. It was a rough but solid rock roof, with a pair of wires fastened into the cracks leading to the first dim light bulb away ahead, and some signs about no smoking and to keep our heads down. You could walk erect ths first fifty feet, but the farther you went the lower came the roof, till at the end of the t u n n e 1 you were stooped pretty far over. Tire floor was sanded to cover the rough rock, and here and there along the block long digging, was an exploration side room. These rooms had benches to rest on while absorbing the healthful uranium rays, and it was easy to see the narrow vein of ore the miner was following. It petered out in places, but seemed to be hi concentrated pockets in the rooms. Most of these mines had proved worth- less even if the whole country had a vast mineral content. I'm not saying that nobody got any help from the mine, maybe some did, and if they felt tetter after a few trips, they tried a few more. I know very well that any help I got was from ths general rest and'va- cation, and I suspect that is Where most everyone got their relief if any. A lot of people are not very friendly at home and will hardly speak to their next door neighbors, but at a gathering of this type every- body talks and exchanges symp- toms and troubles. I talked to a good-sized wo- man on a bench in one of the rooms, and she told me she had made a weekend trip to this mine for her arthritis, every month or so for many years. She had a small store in a northern Montana town, and when her joints got hurting bad enough she just walked out and headed for the mine. These rooms were really just high wide places in the tunnel, and when I came along she was sit- ting there taking deep breaths like deep breathing exercises. I asked if the uphill walk coming in had played her out, and she told me she was just making sure the u r a n i u m rays were penetrating her sinuses, as well as her arthritic joints. I didn't say anything, but wondered if maybe she might have been pulling my leg. Another man in all serious- ness, told me of an old rheu- matic collie dog carried in one day, and after lliree trips he came out and caught a rabbit for his dinner. One of the signs on the way in warned that individual mining was not allowed, if anyone wanted some uranium bearing material to take home they could buy it at the entrance, all done up in neat little canvas bags. They would have been money ahead to leave that sign down, because as it was cool in the mine we all wore coals, and the precious dirt was lug- ged out by the thousands of pockets full. The idea was to put it under their beds and get the benefit of the rays as they slept, and not have to pay a dollar for some packaged by the owner. A few pockets full that I brought home lay in a box. around the shop for a while, and made a good conversation piece for some time. It may still be sending out rays from the yard, behind the garage, where it finally got thrown. Maybe the most help anyone got from the walks into ths the mines, was when they for- got themselves and rammed their heads against the solid rock roof. It jolted a person back to reality, kinked your neck, and cleared your mind making you remember you were supposed to be a rational thinking animal, not full of su- perstition and magic. Prairie Oasis by Bryan. Wilson A quiet corner in Lethbridge's Nikka Yuko Garden__________ _____ Book P.eviews A Terribly Cruel Nightmare "Good Luck, Miss Wyckoff" by William Inge (Little Brown: 37! pps. PWELYN WYCKOFF, spins- "J ter, 37 years old, teacher in a Kansas town high school, sits on the footstool in front of the fireplace in Mrs. Herning's boarding house, surrounded by her luggage. In these few mod- est suitcases are the posses- sions of her lifetime nothing very much, nothing very valu- able simply those meagre belongings which she felt she must have to set out on the new experience ahead of her. This is an experience which she contemplates, knowing that whatever it is, it will be a bit- ter one, pursued by the past which will follow her forever rath relentless cruelty. Miss Wyckoff, M.A. from Co- lumbia, talented, not unattrac- tive, one of the most respected teachers on Mr. Havemeyer's staff at the school in Freedom, Kansas, has until now been held in high regard by her col- leagues, by her students and by their parents'. She had dared to speak out at PTA meetings and toll the members that "we can- not be nursemaids to children who have been hopelessly spoiled or neglected in the home, nor can we fairly be held responsible for behavior outside the class room which reflects more upon home environment and parental guidance than upon what you call 'moral las- situde" among the teaching body." The sincerity of these prin- ciples will be brought in to question at future PTA meet- ings when Miss Wyckoff is far away from Freedom, perhaps even far enough to escape for a short time the story of what happened to her when she start- ed headlong down the iniquitous road of moral degradation. It had all begun with a hope- less feeling of when the effort to overcome her hal- lucinatory fears was too great" and she would be able only to sit with the evil company of her hopelessness. It seemed to Truly A Treasure "A Treasury of Literary Masterpieces" edited by Al- bert H. Morehead (Grossct and Dunlap, 680pp, distri- buted by George J. McLcod, Ltd., "FIRST published in 1353 as Literary Treasures, this large book has deservedly been republished. Apparently it has not been revised; certainly it has not been brought up to date by including recent literary masterpieces. Some 472 writings, acclaimed for their literary excellence or famed by having had great in- fluence, are treated in this valuable reference book. Each work is prefaced by back- ground information, followed by the plot summary. They are aranged alphabetically b y title. There are indexes for authors, titles, and proper names (persons and places in the Sampling some of the plot summaries for books I have read brought the stories back where they had been forgotten and seemed to be thorough re- views in those cases where they had not been lost to mem- ory. Students in literature courses would find this book of great assistance but the ordi- nary reader could also benefit by it since references to many of the writings included in it could be easily consulted to clear up any mystification. Every user of this book is likely to wonder at the absence of certain writings. In at least one instance the editor himself provokes the question. The background information on The Wind in the Willows says, "This book .enjoys a position among children's books of tliis century that is probably ex- ceeded by nothing except A. A. Mime's Pooh books." Yet A. A. Milne and the Pooh books do not rate a place in the honor list! This large, attractive, useful book sells at a bargain price as the cost of books goes these days. DOUG WALKER her now that she had no life whatever, that in her teaching she was only playing at having a life, as a child would play at being an adult by playing house." She had never before felt the acute pain of sexual frustration but now she did. And this is where Rafe Collins, Negro foot- ball star came into her life. Rafe knew what was the mat- ter with Miss Wyckoff his nose He just knew and he knew what he could do about it too. The psychiatrist couldn't do anything for. her, her doctor didn't understand, nor did her landlady or her friends but Rafe did. Like an evil genie Rafe pursues Miss Wyckoff, wearing down ter fde- fences, exploiting her situation with calculated cruelty, as if he bore the whole weight of black racial hatred against this white woman. Against Rafe's cal- culated evil attack, Miss Wyck- off was defenceless, hypnotized as a rabbit before the gaze of a boa constrictor. Miss Wyckoff, virgin school- teacher, aged 37 succumbs to Rafe Collins, black, student football player and janitor's as- sistant. William Inge has written his first novel. (He is already fam- ous for his dramas Picnic, Bus Stop, Come Back Little As he did in his plays, Inge displays a moving compassion for Us characters, that remark- able probing instinct which en- ters deep into the recesses of the psyche and comes up with the answers. Nevertheless, in Good Luck Miss Wyckoff, he is guilty of a deplorable sin in an author of such infinite ability. He has bowed to tha public in- terest in sex, in all its aspects. Bowed is hardly the term. Crawled on his'belly would be better. The seduction scenes are nightmares, quite impossible to believe, quite impossible to ac- cept. In the end Mr. Inge, splendid craftsman though he is, is the victim of his own ingenuity. The horror of Miss Wyckoff's situa- tion will not be forgotten but the strain on the reader's credu- lity is too much. The impact is lost by exaggeration by playing up to the public taste for the lurid m sex. It's called over- kill. JANE HUCKVALE. Focus on the University By J. W. FISHBOURNE A Small Sequel TVORMALLY tills column isn't used to respond to the occasional heckling evoked by some of the views expressed in it; even if it were not a misuse of the space, it would seem a little unfair to be- labor a critic who lacked a column of liis own in which to reply. Then, too, most of the comment I receive least in nvy little on the trivial side, and I must admit I don't pay much attention to it. Now and then, however, a point is made that seems to me to be worth pass- ing on. A week or so ago I said that I did not think there could be much substance to any university's reputation for quality, because of the lack of either an agency or a mechanism whereby objective judg- ments as to quality can be made. It has now been pointed out to me that there are accrediting agencies, who do make judgments about educational institutions, and which use generally accepted meth- ods and standards for doing so! I am quite aware that these agencies exist, and know something of their opera- tions. There are several of them in the United States, covering various regional areas, and using generally similar crite- ria. Some of them are quite lenient, but some are very exacting. It is fairly com- mon for the tougher ones to withhold ac- creditation from new institutions, because of failure to meet certain standards, and there are cvcii a few cases of accredita- tion having been withdrawn from estab- lished institutions. Also, I have seen the operation of the Ca- nadian equivalent, through the eyes of both the examiner and examinee, and know that the method is about the same (although in Canada it is applied in a somewhat more civilized So these agencies exist, have certain standards, and presumably apply them. But what does that prove? Simply that es- tablished institutions have a means of as- certaining whether or not new universities are organized on a basis that sufficiently resembles themselves. That's what the me- chanism is for, and that is what it does. It checks to ensure that there are li- brary books, laboratory and other facili- ties, that the staff has generally the same sort of qualifications as those of existing institutions, and that ths aspirations ex- pressed by curricula are generally con- sistent with the status quo. In short, it simply determines whether or not tho Tieophite institution appears to have the capability of doing whatever the others are doing, be this good, bad or indifferent. Really, now, is that any test of quality? In my view it does not establish the qual- ity of a university any more than gather- ing a crowd and a lot of instruments makes an orchestra. Assembling people and things might establish capability, but it surely doesn't guarantee performance. One olher reaction I received was from a gentleman who has upbraided me be- fore, and who now tells me that "every- body knows" that his favorite college (he named it, by the way) is a "wonderful" in- stitution, far better than any others, in- cluding this one. I must admit to a little skepticism about many of the things that "everybody I am not particularly impressed, for example, when a housewife who happens to be a good mother and an excellent cook tells me about a "wonder- ful" doctor. I cheerfully concede her vir- tues and hei sincerity, but I don't know how these qualify her as a judge of medi- cal practitioners. I am mindful, too, of how easily and enthusiastically all of us ac- claim or decry so many things and peo- performances, with which we come in contact. Children judge musicians, hairdressers criticize den- tists, clerks acclaim actors, politicians de- nounce artists, all without the skimpiest plea to competence in whatever it is they are damning or praising. About 300 years ago a wise was Izaak Walton, by the "that which is everybody's business is nobody's In the same vein, what "ev- erybody nobody really does. And that goes for judging universities, too. The Voice Of One -By DR. FRANK S. MORIEY Danger Of Deep Freeze TIISTOEIANS have described the Es- kimo as victims of their environment, imprisoned by the tyrannous Arctic, unable to progress, and two of the major histories of Canada in this' generation have been written without reference to them. Times have changed and, for better or worse, the Eskimo has been shaken out of the deep freeze. But it isn't only civilizations that run this danger. It happened to Dorothy Parker who said, "The older I grow the meaner I get." It happened to William Graham Sumner who lamented, "I have never dis- carded beliefs deliberately. I left them in a drawer and after a while, when I opened it, there was nothing there at all." It happened to the scholar, Bishop Wes- cott, who completely lost his ability to cany a tune, though in youth he had been so excellent a singer that a choral performance at Cambridge was postponed until he could participate. Charles Dar- win in his autobiography sadly, relates. "Up to the age of 30 and beyond it poetry of many kinds, such as the works of Mil- ton, Gray, Byron, Wodsworth, Coleridge, and Shelley, gave me great pleasure; and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare, especially in the historical plays. Pictures gave me considerable, and music very great delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry. I have tried lately to read Shakespeare and found it intolerably dull .so that it nauseated me. I have also almost lost my taste for pictures and music. My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts." The story is told that an elderly man brought to Rossetti, the artist and poet, some sketches he had made. Kossetti told him Iliey were worthless. The old man then showed him some paintings done by a student. Rossetti looked at them hi admira- tion and urged that the student be en- couraged. Breaking into tears the old man said, "I was that By now someone will be complaining that many things do not go bad in deep freeze, but are preserved. It might have been better to have used the simile of storing things in closets in Bermuda. "Never buy any clothes you aren't going to newcomers are told. "They mil- dew." But the point is that nothing is any good unless it is used and talents left un- used atrophy. There is more to it. Livy describes how a state tan reach such a condition that, to reform, it must be revolutionized, turned inside This Happened to the Roman Empire, according to Livy, and the Stoic belief in detachment was largely respon- sible. The great Seneca advised men to flee from the crowd, shun even a single companion." The great American historian, Frederick Jackson Turner, taught Americans to think of their destiny in terms of frontiers. The dreadful fear came to them that they had no more frontiers. Surely it would be easy to point out that endless frontiers exist in vertical directions, and that not only in the planets, but in personal and sociolo- gical living. The United Nations is an ad- venture on a frontier, a most perilous one. But what of the church? At the Cam- bridge Conference of the World Council in 1946 the church declared as "an ines- capable it must "interpret the Will of God in relation to the tangled problems of world politics and economics to contribute to those who bear responsibility in these fields the aid of Christian perspec- tives and to remind them of Christian im- peratives." Alas, anyone trying to imple- ment such brave declarations gels the label of a controversial disturber cf the peace. No one can read the Bible without feel- ing its dynamic nature, the sense of move- ment and development. Certainly there is as much dogmatism in radicalism as in conservatism, and only idiots want to de- stroy present good in the hope of some better future creation. Not only on tho highway is it true that "speed kills." But too many people are in the deep freeze, or, should one say, going mouldy in closets? Figures Don't Lie, But By Don Oakcly, NBA Service JOHN LEDBETTER, president of Civi- tan International and one of a num- ber of American civic organization leaders selected for a special fact finding mis- sion to Vietnam, reports that, some 100.000 Communist soldiers turned in their weap- ons during the past year and a half "to seek the democratic wav." This program aas been 92 per cent successful, he says. Now "some is some fantastic figure. It is, in fact, at least twice the number of troops North Vietnam has over deployed in South Vietnam at any one time. It is only less than the number of U.S. troops President Nixon plans to take an entire year to withdraw. And what is this 92 per cent business? Ninety two per cent of what? It can't be 92 per cent of the tolal North Vietnamcsa Viet Cong forces in South Vietnam, for that would mean the Communists are re- duced to carrying out their operations with n mere men. Tins is the kind of "fact-finding" about Vietnam that is driving Americans up the wall.