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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - January 16, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta Saturday, January le, 1�71 - THI IE7HBRI0CE HERALD - 3 Margaret Luckhurst Those gone but not forgotten garments 1S7HEN our little grand-w daughter got r e a d y for kindergarten the other morning I couldn't help but compare her neat, sensible clothes with the layers of stuff I had to put on 40 years ago, and regardless of sociologists' gloomy assessment of our decaying world today, in the field of apparel I'll maintain that we're miles ahead of yesteryear. That morning, which was cold, Janet put on a thermal combination set, tights, a thick but light woolen sweater and skirt, and a pair of neat, two strap shoes. It took her about five minutes. After breakfast, she pulled on a quilted lined coat with a snug-fitting hood, a pair of fuzzy-lined boots which came to her knees, wind-resistant mitts, then off she went to school, snug against the chilly weather. In my day however, whether It was 80 above or merely seasonable, we put on our long underwear on the first of October end we wore the things until the 24th of May, which at the time, was celebrated as Queen Victoria's birthday. The Queen would doubtless have been surprised had she known that many Canadian children looked forward to her birthday as de-long-underwearing day. We always prayed for good weather because a poor day might influence our mothers to insist on an extra day' or two with the things, just as a precaution. It was quite useless for us to question this tradition. It had something to do with the wool protecting our chests, and the mere fact that warm weather was bound to make the skin itch intolerably was no reason to substitute these ugly garments for something suitable. Getting dressed when I was little was not an interesting task but rather a matter of hand to hand combat with a formidable pile of clothes. Climbing into my long Johns was like solving a problem in geometry for they were all arms, legs, flaps and holes, and to co-ordinate them properly as I shivered over the hot air register, quite often ended in errors so that I'd have to begin all over again. Once into these however, (I don't know why we always referred to longs in the plural, but there certainly seemed to be several of them) I put on my waist. This was a button-up-the-back grey, fleece-lined vest with long garters dangling from it and its only purpose was to keep up the stockings. Funny things, years later I found out that everybody else put their's on the wrong way; they buttoned them up the front. Then came the wrestle with my black wool stockings. These were coarse things which one of the hired girls was kept busy knitting in her spare time. The very roughness of the wool, I suspect intended to create a sensation of warmth, and in this they succeeded. It was no easy task to tuck sagging drawer-legs into a neat fold at the ankle and then ease the bulky stocking over this bump. Of course on Sundays when the underwear was fresh it had some elasticity to it and was quite manageable, but in a day or two the ankle opening would have quite easily slipped over the leg of an elephant and still bagged. It took several attempts to get the stockings neat and flat enough so that my black boots fitted comfortably without too much of a pinch. At the time there was a gradual trend for little girls to wear oxfords but many mothers still preferred boots for their daughters, at least until they were ' ten, because they helped to keep the ankles trim. If the weather was twenty below or thereabouts, boots or oxfords were discarded in favor of stout mocassins big enough to hold several pairs of heavy bush socks. Having completed a general all over base coat, I was ready for the next layer. This consisted of a grey fleece-lined petticoat, buttoned down the back, and navy blue fleece-lined bloomers, the best the catalogue had to offer. These my big sister fastidiously attached to my waist with a pin for she had suffered the humiliation of having the elastic snap during school one day, and a little hill of navy blue bloomers formed around her ankles. She wasn't going to let that happen to her little sister. Finally, on went my skirt and heavy wool hand-knit sweater. I was snug as a bug and scarcely able to move. But I wasn't through yet. Although outer clothing weighed a great deal, the fabrics were porous and the wind blew breezily through, chilling me to the marrow before I'd walked a mile. To offset this I wore another sweater under my coat and mother tied a wide scarf around my head, winding it across my chest and around my middle like the Order of the Garter. On my feet I wore overshoes, high buckled affairs that got all plugged up with snow and frost, and became stiff and unyielding as they thawed out. All in aU, our winter wearing apparel left something to be desired, Summer was a little easier, but the season of no long underwear was remarkably short. Even so, regardless of the heat, most small girls wore an undershirt. I think it was the mark of being lady-like or some such thing. It was also the time of the panty-dress- dresses with pants to match- and since the pants were attached to those inevitable waists many mothers on very hot days allowed their small fry to dispense with the undershirts. I was fortunate in that my mother was quite forward looking and when short socks came into fashion I was granted permission to wear them. Many of my friends' mothers however, felt that it was neither healthy nor decent for girls to go latlygagging around with bare legs, and disapprovingly kept their little girls in lisle stockings all summer long. This was the generation dedicated to covering up. My baby brother was dressed pound for pound in layers of flannel or flannelette - I'm sure this was what they called "swaddling." To get navel band, vest, barri-coat, petticoat, dress, stockings, diapers and bootees on in the right order took training, patience and diligence. It also tired the kid out so that he slept until he was about three years old. While my brother lay motionless in his cocoon, my sister, at 16 was scandalizing father by teasing to wear shorts. He had given in on the matter of gym bloomers, mainly because the church, (which he considered was going to the dogs anyway) had consented to allow the girls to wear these pleated midi-length bags to play baseball in. Frankly I didn't think the shorts were worth making an issue over for they also had pleats and came well below the knee, not unlike the men's plus-fours which were so popular at the time. However my sister cried and fussed then triumphantly playing her (rump card, she showed father the spring and summer catalogue filled with girls in shorts, pants, longs and bathing suits with V necks. What could the poor man do? He gave in, naturally, but not before reading sister a lesson on modesty, reminding her that exposing skin was espousing sin. The light-weight, neat fabrics that have developed in the last generation or so have made clothing easy to look at, easy to handle and easy to wear. The styles have not always been as attractive as they might have been and the slavish devotion teens have to jeans surely must come to an end some day. There also should be laws preventing hippopotami from wearing stretch pants, bikinis and other garments suitable only for the skinny Winnies. Nevertheless, in spite of the hemline problems, the bare look, the mannish look, the unisexual look and other labels couturiers sell us, people from infancy to old age look more attractive and I think feel more attractive than ever before. Even long Johns have been updated and come in pretty shades, with little frills here and there to add a dainty touch, and I must admit they look cute. And when you absolutely have to wear them, and get that bulge neatened at the back, well, that's a different matter altogether. Brother, it's been cold! f -Photo by Elwood Ferguson. Book Reviews A legend in boxing: Sugar Ray "Sugar Ray" by Sugar Ray Robinson with Dave Anderson (The Viking Press, 376 pages, J6.95, distributed by Macmillan of Canada). IT'S a long, hard climb' * from "Black Bottom" (a few blocks from downtown Detroit) to the ring at Madison Square Garden where a gold trophy is being presented, inscribed to "The World's Greatest Fighter". That trophy is being presented to Walker Smith Jr., known to millions of boxing fans as Sugar Ray Robinson. Robinson did it all in boxing. He won the world middleweight boxing chamionship on five different occasions, the world welterweight title once and came within a breath of capturing the light heavyweight title, only to quit at the end Jewish thought through the ages "The Spirit of Jewish Thought" edited by Bernard Evslin (Grosset and Dunlap, 304 pages, $11.95, distributed by George J. McLcod Ltd.). TTNDER six main headings in chronological order, samples of significant Jewish thought have been assembled by Bernard Evslin. the histori- cal and biographical material presented in connection with each selection is very informative. In the first section, naturally enough, are selections from the Bible. Then comes a section called 'Destroyers in the Ruins' which has material from the Apocrypha, the Talmud, Philo Mind-staggering "Sea Horse in the Sky," by Edmund Cooper (Putnam, 190 pp., $5.75; distributed in Canada by Longmans Canada Limited). TMAGINE waking up from a nap on a transoceanic jet flight - and finding yourself on another planet (or was it?) with 15 other people. Further imagine that you'ro all from different countries, and can't speak each others' languages - but somehow you can completely understand eacn other. Then add yard - high metal spiders that come and go in the dead of jiight to restock the food you've taken from the supply provided; add golden-haired, flying fairies, medieval knights in armor (sort of, anyhow) and cave people. Add a river flowing from one side of the almost impenetrable wall of bone - freezing mist to the other - walls which more or less imprison you and your fellows, and your not-so-fellows in armor. You now have Edmund Cooper's latest science fiction book, and if you're not an S-F fan, you're to be pitied. Why everyone was taken to what eventually is called "Erehwon" and how they discover it makes a fascinating goal sought by the leading characters in a fascinating story - and the solution is entirely and rather mindstagger-ingly original. And the underlying theme of human seeking, peaking with the weird denouement, is quite worth some rather concentrated tliinking. JIM WILSON. and Josephus. The third section deals with the years of the exile and includes writings by Maimonides and Spinoza, among others. This is followed by The Enlightenment represented by such thinkers as Moses Mendelssohn and Hein-rich Heine. The fifth section, called 'Vision and Action', brings together the geniuses Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein. Finally, there is a section called 'Holocaust and Homecoming' which includes contributions ranging from David Ben-Gurion and Chaim Weizmann to Lenny Bruce and Paul Goodman. There are some extremely interesting pieces included in this anthology such as Sigmund Freud's theory of the origin of anti-semitism; Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler's application of the theory of evolution to religion; Franz Kafka's letter to his father. I was surprised that the last section included no writing directly dealing with the religious meaning of the slaughter of the Jews in the Nazi regime even though the introduction to this part referred to it as a burning question. The anthology is handsomely printed with a very wide margin and is enhanced by 52 photographs of works of art. DOUG WALKER. of the 13th round due to heat exhaustion. He engaged in 85 amateur bouts and won them all, 69 by knockouts, 40 taking place in the first round. Ray entered the ring as professional 202 times. He scored 109 knockouts in a career that started in 1940 and concluded in 1965. He lost 18 decisions and was kayoed only once - not by a man but by heat. He fought 16 world champions', and at one time had a consecutive winning streak totalling 91. Robinson, in conjunction with New York Times Sports Writer Dave Anderson, tells his story from childhood through to his emergence as the greatest fighter "pound for pound" of all tune. The book lacks the excitement that was Robinson in the ring. It over-dwells on Robinson's women instead of spending more time on his fistic achievements. The book in general, Is like a master boxer. It moves with ease, flicking out stinging little jabs', moving, weaving, but it never quite gets around to delivering a knockdown blow - let alone score a knockout. Ray touches lightly on the underworld influence in boxing, never divulging more than one already knows, but enough to let you know it's there. He misses a .great opportunity to raise an eyebrow or two when he talks of an arranged meeting regarding a bribe offer with a "Mr. Big". For some reason he fails to tag a name onto "Mr. Big". "Sugar Ray" brings put a deep, personal, devotion to God on Robinson's part. "God gave me the gift. I'm a blessed man, a chosen man". His intense belief in that statement has carried him through many troublesome periods. One such period was the death of Jimmy Doyle, which Robinson relates in a chapter entitled, "A Crown, A Cafe, A Coroner". The night prior to the Doyle fight, Robinson had a dream in which he saw himself standing in the ring over the lifeless form of Doyle. Robinson attempted to have the fight for bis welterweight title called off. It was in vain. The fight came off - so did the dream. At a coroner's inquest Robinson was asked if he "... intended to get Doyle in trouble." "Mister, it's my business to get him in trouble," Robinson said. Sugar Ray flattened Flash Sebastian in one round in his first bout after Doyle's death. Sebastian lay motionless. Immediately the whispers started - Robinson had killed another. "If he hadn't have come to I would have been tempted to quit boxing," Robinson said. From this one chapter one would assume Robinson was a cold, callous individual. But the love he expresses for his mother, his generosity towards friends and strangers, his deep hurt when his sister died, his faith in God, all contradict the callousness. The book doesn't involve the deep, pesonal feelings of the inner Robinson. It does, however, bring out his ego, pride and vanity. Another aspect the book failed to develop was the relationship between Robinson and his trainer George Gainford. He hints at differences but they remain fuzzy. One thing is crystal clear - Robinson loved to spend money. Five dollar tips to newsboys; flamingo - colored Cadillacs; an entourage of 17 on his European tour, and handouts soon ate up his ring earnings. Because the book is about Sugar Ray Robinson, perhaps the greatest ring craftsman of all time, it is worth reading. His big fights are all there - LaMotta, Turpin, Olson, Bas-ilio, Fullmer and Pender. So are the closing fights of his career, the ones he muddled through with men who couldn't have had a ghost of a chance against the "old" Robinson. Questions arise from the book, most of them unanswered; perhaps one can fill in Uie answers when Sugar Ray visists Lethbridge as a head-table guest at the Kinsmen Dinner on Feb. 6. Sugar Ray Robinson is a legend in boxing, it is unfortunate his book will not be a legend in literary circles. GARRY ALLISON. Of foreigners and paving j^TOT too long ago, the government 0 f this province decided it was time to investigate the national and educational antecedents of teachers and administrators employed at Alberta universities. A committee has been appointed to carry out this inquiry, and one gathers that it is already at work. According to the press, the objective is to explore the extent of foreign influence in Alberta's educational system, and also to ascertain if there is discrimination against qualified Canadians in the educational job market. My first reaction, on reading about this, was a mild irritation that public money, so badly needed almost everywhere in the educational system, should be wasted on this sort of nonsense. I realize, now, that this might be nonsense, but it could be very dangerous nonsense. "Nonsense" and "dangerous" may seem rather strong terminology, when applied to an action of the government. I believe the words are apt, particularly the "nonsense" one. Without wishing to start a semantical argument, I think there is a difference between "not sensible" and "nonsense"; to me, the first means merely lacking in sense, whereas the latter implies opposition to sense, not simply its absence. A sort of "anti-sense", if you will. And, I submit, to waste time and money prying into the meaning of a relationship that (a) is inconsequential, and (b) probably doesn't exist anyway, merits the label "nonsense". The government claims to be concerned about foreign influence. (I don't believe the government gives a tinker's dam about it, but that's beside the point; politics is politics.) So what does it investigate? Not who dominates our economy, not who owns - or soon will - our national resources, not who or what controls virtually all the information we get about anything via the mass media. No, it must harass the educational system. And when it tackles that, it doesn't worry about the curriculum, or who writes or prescribes our textbooks; it has to find out where the professors come from, just as if this had anything to do with the point about which it says it is concerned. As it happens, I am a Canadian, born, raised and to a modest extent educated in this fair province. Likewise my children, all of whom have obtained such education as they possess in Alberta. In the 30-odd years that I have either attended myself or had one or more children attending some part of the educational system in this province, it has never once occurred to me - nor to my knowledge, to any member of my family - to wonder about the racial antecedents of any of our teachers. We never thought it mattered. To allow tor the possibility that we are an unusually dull lot, I have talked to quite a number of students about this particular proposition, and what it means. I have yet to find a student who cares one shrill hoot about where his professor comes from, providiiig he knows what he is talking about. This attitude makes complete sense to me. What a man knows and can teach is important; where he comes from is not. There isn't a special American brand of biochemistry any more than there is a peculiarly Canadian type of economics. To think that there could be is as absurd as pretending that there is a Roman Catholic physics or a Baptist mathematics. Shakespeare is Shakespeare, whether spoken by a Malaysian or a Scotsman. If you don't believe me, ask a few students; they'll tell you that they don't care whether their teacher is a Canadian or a Hottentot provided he knows what he is talking about. And just a word about my contention that this sort of an investigation can be dangerous. Inevitably, this inquiry will turn up some figures, and doubtless will show that a certain percentage of non-Canadians are teaching in our educational institutions. It may be that the government will let it rest at that, and forget the whole matter. Certainly the universities will be happy to see the subject dropped. But what about the unemployed Canadian who thinks he has academic competence but who no university will hire? As long as there is any significant percentage of "foreigners" shown on the university payroll, those figures will be regarded as a license for any native son with a degree (doubtless from a foreign institution, because he couldn't get into one of ours) to mount a "patriotic" campaign, and stir up any chauvinstic nitwit that will listen to him - and there are lots of them. As indicated above, I don't know what motivated tha government to start this particular exercise. Perhaps its intentions are "good", in which case it should have considered what kind of a road it might be paving. The Voice Of One By DR. FRANK S. MORIEY Reflection on our times AT the turn of the century religion and life became separated as they never had been in Christian history. In feudalism, in Calvinism, and New England Puritanism, religion was integrated with the total social, political, and economic life. In the 1890's only a few churchmen dared hit at social injustice. "The Muckrakers," a brilliant regiment of rebels, voiced the moral conscience of the U.S. hitting out at political corruption, labor oppression, poverty, impure food, crime, Negro exploitation, and child labor. Industrial society was exposed as a jungle, savage and lawless, cruel and demoralizing. Popular opinion, however, was againt state interference, except on the side of the supporters of the status quo, and one unchallenged article of belief was the absolute liberty of the individual, even if in fact such liberty belonged to a very few. If the evolution dogma has bred the doctrine of survival of the fittest, it has also bred an optimism legarding inevitable progress toward a Utopia of peace and prosperity. The dollar was as good as gold, nations were becoming more civilized, and man himself was part of the evolutionary pattern. The First World War shook but did not shatter this optimisim, for it was "a war to end all wars." The world was "made 6afe for democracy." The Jazz Age of the twenties, surely the most reckless and irresponsible period in American history ended in a gigantic crash. Then came the complete amorality of international economy when the U.S. withdrew her banking credits from Europe and imposed high tariffs on imports into the U.S., an act which was the greatest single factor in the economic debacle of the thirties. Now came a period of searching of the social and economic conscience of the U.S. and Canada. Socialists and trade unionists would still be branded as Communists. Industry and Business were still considered separate from religion. But gradually men came to see that unemployment and starvation were moral problems. Despite stubborn resistance changes took place in the social concern of the state unthinkable a decade earlier. The depression of the thirties spelt the end of laissez-faire capitalism. In Europe, however, the New Leviathan, the State, spawned the anti-rational, anti-human horrors of tyranny and terror in Mussolini, Franco, Stalin, and Hitler. Dostoievk&i's dreadful nightmare became a reality and would be spelled out in detail by Huxley in "Brave New World" and Orwelf in "1984." Confidence in the League of Nations went down the drain as Japan invaded China, Mussolini invaded Ethiopia, Franco imported mercanaries and enlisted Italian and German help to crush a legitimate government, and the Nazis terrorized Europe. Any illusions regarding man's humanity went up in smoke with the callous nuclear cremation of Japanese cities which surpassed in fear-fulness European obliteration bombing. Now came the stock-taking. At first men desperately assured themselves that they could make the world safe for the four freedoms. Depressions would end, nations would be free, Marxism would be restrained, and peace assured through the United Nations. At the beginning of the fifties, however, it had become clear that these hopes were vain. New nations did not attain a higher plateau of happiness and well-being. International hatred was not lessening. In Canada and the U.S. deep divisions appeared between classes and there was little mobility between them. The confident evangelism of the churches began to Have doubts which in the sixties, would reach into the authority of the Roman Catholic as well as the Protestant churches. Tlio fifties saw the revolt of the angry young men against middle class values. A word of emotional insecurity would surface entirely in the sixties in which youth rejected all restraints and authority. The sixties were the period of the "lonely crowd," of boredom and alienation, or an-ti-intellectualisn:, of the growth of pornography, obscenity, and casual abortion, of crime and violence. Now came the revival of nineteenth century anarchism and bomb-throwing, senseless destruction and violence for its own sake. White collar people were particularly vulnerable to the loss of faith, drifting without morals or morale, playthings of impulse, trying to find in eroticism and drugs an escape from reality. No longer were they self-employed as most had been at the turn of the century. Their fate was in the hands of vast corporations, many of them gigantic holding companies located in Bermuda or the Caribbean to escape taxation, wielding power with utter moral irresponsibility. And in their anguish theologians - some of them - talked of a world without God! (to be continued) ;