Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 17, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
John Gould Saturday, July 17, 1971 THf LETHtRIDCE HERAID S White egg or brown a matter of taste rpHE ancient controversy over brown vs. white eggs has never had any standing in our family, and it is because of Mrs. Callahan. We are, of course, brown egg people, but if a white egg shows up we eat it before it gets away. Boston, I guess, is the cul- tural center of the brown-egg belt, and I have never heard any convincing explanation why. Maine had a robust Bos- ton influence, and so seeming- ly did New Hampshire. Ver- mont runs to a Guelph Ghibel- line lector, and while folks in the Connecticut Valley tend to support Ihe fundamental doc- trines of The Hub, white eggs prevail on the West Side. The Green Mountains thankfully of- fer a buffer, and open conflict is only occasional. New York State, of course, is while-egg country, and there is no culture west of the Hudson. I suspect, and have no strong- er evidence, that the breeds of hens involved is the best an- swer. The Rocks, Reds, and brown egg birds were pre- ferred in early eastern agron- omy, while the Leghorns and Wyandottes proved more suit- able otherwheres. And I should state now, I suppose, lhat if you take the shell off an egg you can't tell if 'twere brown or white. But bastions have been reduced for lesser causes, and even today on the egg quota- tions the market carefully dis- tinguishes. We doubtless owe Mrs. Callahan a debt of grati- tude for the way she taught us to ignore the whole absurdity. It was in 1907, and my fath- er- and mother to-be had set up housekeeping in the middle flat of a three decker in Brigh- ton, which is part of Boston. They were both straight off farms, and never really liked li.ing in Brighton they re- tired back into the country soon enough. But Brighton was not, in those days, altogether city. They not only had backyard privileges, but behind the apartment house was an open field of some size. They could also get some country flavor, although it was forlorn, from the cattle, swine, and sheep which paraded to Brighton's principal industry the abat- toir. Indeed, there was Mr. Finnegan on the end of the street kept a pig, and the lady next door, Mrs. Callahan, had a flock of white hens. wirt of like that. Dad said, Mrs. Callahan and make an- "Take this lo Mrs. Callahan other pleasant suggestion. This and suggest pleasantly that went on for weeks and you HUBS v. must bear in mind that if Mrs. Then one evening Dad found one brown egg in his nest and six white ones, and he said, "I think Mrs. Callahan has had ample time keep them." m" Mother did but Mrs. Cal- Callahan's hens were sneaking ample time keep them." AndI eJU time in to lay, they were also filling So Mother didn take: any white lahan didn't. And every Dad found a white egg in his their or. nest Mother would take it to there. while they were eggs over to Mrs. Oallahan, and the next day Mrs. Callahan put up a wire fence. So this is why the while- vs. brown egg controversy has never had standing in our fam- ily. We just quote Mother, who always said of a white egg, "Eat it, and teach Mrs. Calla- han some manners." I'm not a silly goose! (Pholo by Walter Kerber) Book Reviews Life in the foreign service cinity, they were permitted to roam the big field to the rear, and it mellowed my mother's dislike of city living to be able to see them from her sink win- dow. Little did Mother sus- pect that circumstances were contriving to deprive her of this. Back here on the farm my grandfather, Dad's father, found his thoughts lurning on the youngsters up in the big city, and he wondered how they were making out. When he learned that they had the use of a considerable (for Brighton) backyard area, he applied one of his economic principles lhat everybody should keep a i.w hens. He nailed together a crate, rounded up a half doz- en pullets in the raspberries, and carted them in his wagon to the depot, where he express- ed them to Brighton. They were delivered to the sidewalk in front of the three-decker, and the deliveryman climbed lo the second floor lo get the receipt signed. They were still on the sidewalk when my father came home at suppertime, but' my mother had pried off one slat so she could feed and water them. The corrugated carton wasn't common then, and almost ev- erything came in wooden crates and boxes. My father scavenged the neighborhood to find enough of these to make a IMIe coop, and by nightfall he had his pullets under cover. In the next few days he carried crates and boxes home from the stores until he added a small pen. These hens lived through two winters, one of which had heavy snow for Brighton, and did fine, not only keeping the middle flat in eggs but provid- ing some to sell, occasionally, to Ihe people upslairs and Ihe .ople down. And it was a big day, that same summer, when t first of the pullets matured and laid an egg. My mother remembers they had a little ceremony, aivj she enjoyed it "dropped" on toasl. Meantime, you see, Mrs. Cal- lahan's hens continued to roam the field out back. So one day, after all Dad's pullets had be- gun lo lay, he went down to rolled, and he found five nice brown. Stale o' Maine eggs in his coop, and one auslander while egg, He was nol misled. The white egg was a Callahan cgfe- Dnd's heavier birds couldn't scale his litlle pen, but Mrs. Callnhan's hens were the white- gg kind who can fly, nnd one of them had become palsy-wnl- sy and had infiltrated. Hens are "Bright Levant: an auto- biography by Laurence Graff- tey Smith." Published by John Muivay; 287 pps. "DEFORE the British foreign service saw fit to combine the consular service with its diplomatic missions in foreign countries, British consuls were trained mainly to be able to speak a variety of languages. Their relationship with Foreign Office personnel was touchy Ihey were treated as inferiors if they were noticed at all. One of the anecdotes which Sir Laurence recalls in this books tells the tale of a consul who was interviewing Lord Dufferin. Treated with patrician con- tempt by milord, frustrated be- yond further endurance, the con- sul ended it all forthwilh. He blew his brains out. Lord Duf- ferin's reaction was to call for Ihe office boy and demand "a lot of blotting paper, Sir Laurence, now retired for many years, has written of lu's experiences, his friendships and his immersion in the sweep of Middle Eastern history from his first appointment in Cairo to his last, as British High Com- missioner in Karachi. (The lan- guage requirements leading up to this first appointment are astounding. Even before he WHS admitted for study prior to a consular service appointment he was required to have reach- ed a high standard in Latin, Greek, English and French, and to know some Spanish, German and Italian as well. Following admission to the program he embarked on a two year course in Arabic Persian, Turkish and His career, which began in 1916, involved him with all kinds of people the lowly and the high born and with a great many men who have now become the legendary charac- ter of history. Lawrence's King Hussein, was one. Sir Laurence writes of him with a certain affection, and a great deal of with King Ibn Saud. Attempting to explain diplomatically to Sir Winston that smoking or drink- ing whisky were anathema to Ibn Saud because of the King's adherence to the Wahabi sect was extremely difficult. Churchill, who at the time of the interview was clad in a many splendored Chinese drag- on dressing gown, gave the matter some thought and finally came to a decision. he said "I won't pull down the flag! I feel as strongly about respect, although he admits that smoking as His Majesty feels the King had certain somewhat about non-smoking." Churchill Biological terms By Andy Hussell term, conditioned re- flex, is biological termi- nology to describe the action of an animal as related to some unusual experience it encoun- ters. When a similar experi- ence repeats itself, the animal (including man) will likely move the same way it did in the first place. For instance, if garbage is handed out the back door of a wilderness lodge to a bear it will be eaten, and the bear will soon be coming back reg- ularly for hand-outs because it knows the feed comes from that door. If the bear subse- quently gets into an argument with some innocent bystander, or if it breaks in and hiber- nates in the place after it is closed for the winter, it is be- cause of a conditioned reflex. I recall one time when I was a boy coming back from fishing one day up in a mountain can- yon. We were riding single file on horsbeack with bulging fish sacks hanging from our saddle horns and our rods in our hands, some of them not even taken down but with the hooks just reeled up and caught in the tip guides. One of the boys was riding a lazy old plug that was poking along as though pulling one foot ahead of the other was more than it could stand. His tail was at half-cock, and he was breaking wind at tibout ev- ery other step. He about as inelegant as a horse can get. A fly must have landed on his ugly nose, for he suddenly stopped and put his head down to rub it off on his front leg. At this point, the rider coming behind, also half asleep, ran tip of his rod up under the old horse's tail. The hook caught on the edge of his equine exhaust pipe and all hell broke loose. Results bordered on sheer magic. The old white horse came alive with a thunderous sound of exhaust and went straighl up in the air like a three-star' rodeo bronc. The reel of the surprised fisher- man's rod screamed like a banshee as line tore off it. That astonished individual brought the uproar to a re- sounding crescendo by rearing back on his rod as though fight- ing a leaping tarpon. About the third jump, the white horse Ihrew his rider up in the tops of the trees along with his fish sack, and then lit out, still im- paled by the hook and trailing a considerable length of line. It took three of us a half hour or so to run down that horse. Every time we got close, somebody's mount would step on the trailing line, which launched another stampede for distant places. When we final- ly got hold of him, we were in something of a dilemma, for ihe hook was still imbedded in a very tender place, and trying to remove it was a barefaced invitation to get your head kick- ed off. Somebody hobbled his front feet, and then he was blindfolded with a jacket. A hind foot was tied forward to his shoulder with a lariat, so he couldn't kick. Then cmdc sur- gery was administered with a jack-knife without benefit of anaesthetic. The operation was successful. But ever after that when we were riding along and lhat horse began to lag, all some- body would have to do slrip a bit, of line off a reel behind him. Whereupon that lazy horse would tuck down his tail nnd take off like a scalded cat. Thus he wns henceforth en- dowed with what coitld be term- ed a conditioned reflex. unattractive sadistic qualities. He reports that the King used to invite him for a quiet break- fast "a deux" fairly frequently. This was an invitation he ac- cepted with reluctance because the King who ate nothing him- self insisted on feeding his guest himself. He would poke the food down the unwilling consular mouth, much as a Peking duck is force-fed, until the recipient's eyes felt like bulging marbles. Sir Laurence, a forebearing and forgiving man, thinks that this was sim- ply an indication of Hussein's odd approach to human rela- tions. In 1945, Sir Laurence, who had been appointed minister lo Saudi Arabia, found himself in Cairo where he had Ihe difficult task of briefing Sir Winston Churchill on the protocol re- quired at the latter's meeting Egyptian legends "Myths and Legends of An- cient Egypt" hy T. G. H. James, illustrated by Brian Melting. (Grosset and Dun- JAMES has compiled an illustrative collection of Egyptian legends and myths. As a result one is intrigued and wishes to go on after the hook is finished. The author whete one's appetite with this tiny collec- tion. The book's only shortcom- ing is its size, which cannot nearly encompass the ancient literature and sagas of Egypt. With each story the author has an explanation and gives the background which is need- ed. This is something rare in such a book but it Is certainly necessary for those not already acquainled with the subject. As a result one gels the events re- laled in some sort of perspec- tive and the stories become more interesting. Mr. James has translated stories into readable English and explained what is miss- ing from papyrus rolls in each case. He has given us these tales as they are and left it lo the reader lo enjoy Ihem with- out the scores of footnotes which ruin so many other books of this type, lie brings tlw stor- Focus on the University By J. W. FISHBOURNE Why compulsory education "THE other day, I heard a freelance broadcaster editorializing about a re- cent decision by the Calgary School Board to reaffirm compulsory school attendance for students over sixteen years of age The broadcaster's position was that the School Board was absolutely right to de- cide as it did, and that it is self-evident that youngsters should stay in school until they graduate, and be forced to if neces- sary. As a means of proving her point, the broadcaster went on to describe what would happen if all these teenagers were permitted to choose between staying in school or not, and the verbal picture she painted is a disturbing one. Hordes of youngsters would leap aboard cars and motorcycles and roar recklessly around the city streets, messing up traffic patterns and complicating parking. Those lacking wheels would hang around corners, crowd the sidewalks, and some might even infest the shops and other places of business. The more depraved and I gather this is a substantial proportion would spend their days carrying on with the evil (though un- specified) activities with which they now occupy their nights. Of course, I don't live in Calgary, which may account for the fact that I cannot get too excited over the prospect of that fair rity being ravished by its own children. I am somewhat more concerned about this whale business of compulsion, especially when it is applied to education. As Ivan Illisch recently observed, it is characteristic of our society that compul- s'on is exerted on individuals in inverse proportion to their capacity to resist. Those least able to resist the compulsion of society are the weak, the poor and the young, so they suffer most. There seems to be some basic aberration in the human makeup whereby we enjoy the sense of power we get from making other people do what we want, and we indulge this ca- pacity whenever we can, individually and institutionally. It lets us feel that we amount to something, and that whatever we may fear, at least there is somebody that fears us. So we delight in making rules, and mindlessly enforcing them. Chil- dren, of course, are natural victims, be- cause they have no way of fighting back effectively. When you get right down to it, why should anyone be compelled to attend school? Unless I have been seriously mis- however, did make one con- cession. He confined his smok- ing to the hotel balcony. As for drinking, he suggested that the use of opaque glasses would solve the problem which it did. Kurdistan, Mosul, Albania, Egypt, Madagascar and several other countries were familiar to this lively and humorous Brit- ish representative. In his old age he has recalled with wit and lively anecdote the kind of life he led; the strange habits of the people with whom he came in contact, always with understanding and affection. It is a nostalgic volume, full of lively impressions of the fam- ous and the distinguished men whom Tie came to know along the road to happy retirement in England. JANE HUCKVALE ies to life much more easily as a result. SIMON RUDDELL Books in brief "The Courage of Turtles" by Edward Hoagland (Ran- dom House, 239 pages, ANYONE who just wants to ad without having to wrestle with profundities would be apt to enjoy a ramble through these fifteen essays. They cover a wide variety of subjects from turtles which are strikingly described as "a kind of bird with the governor turned low" to circuses, country homes, tug boats, bear hunts, marriage, the family tree, and so on. Some of his ob- servations about tilings contem- porary are really quite refresh- ing, for example, "city people have started venturing lo the outback, buying acreage with all the premonitory fervor of Noah sawing logs." "Next to the new mysticisms, old- fashioned, nm-of-the-mill relig- ion is not so hard to swallow." more people want to write novels thnn arc willing to read them; there's a glut in the stores, a glut in the mind." lead all my life, the whole idea of school- ing is to confer an important and lasting benefit upon the pupil, by providing him the inestimable boon of an education. Does it not seem strange that this benevolent purpose should require compulsion? It seems strange to me; so strange, in fact, that I cannot think of a single rational argument to support compulsory education, at any level. On the other hand, I believe there might be a sound case for removing this par- ticular compulsion, and making school at- tendance completely voluntary, if we are indeed a free society (or perhaps if we're sincere in our efforts to become one) I should think the state has done its duty when it provides the facilities that are needed for educatiohal purposes, without compelling anyone to use them. I think it could be safely left to the parents to choose whether to send their children to school, or to teach them themselves. The opportunity should be available to those who want it, or those who want it for their children, but it should not be forced on anyone. Remember, the idea isn't to deny anyone the right to go to school, but just to re- move the compulsory aspect. Those who value the type of education offered would still attend school, while those who want or need something different, would be free to make their own arrangements. Those not interested in any form of edu- cation wouldn't be cluttering up the schools, diluting the efforts of teachers and gener- ally impeding the progress of more con- sciejicious students. So there should be some advantage to students generally; the would-be learners would have a better op- pcrtunily to learn, while (hose who prefer to loaf could do so somewhere else. As for teachers, there wouldn't be any noticeable difference at the elementary level but there'd be some real improve- ment for high school teachers. I should Ihink anyone would sooner teach really teach a small class of volunteers than be designated as the warden for a larger group of conscripts. Really, the more you look at this rule, the sillier it becomes. It provides no advantage to students, no advantage to teachers, and certainly no advantage to Hie taxpayer. It looks like another of our silly and archaic notions, for which we have forgotten the reasons, but which we enforce anyway. If anyone has a better explanation, I'd be pleased to hear it. The Voice Of One -By DR. FRANK S. MORLEY Oar addictive society rpHE SERPENT said to the woman in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and lhat it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof and did eat and gave also unto her husband with her and he did eat." (Genesis chapter 3) Increasing numbers of society try desper- ately to tap the secrets of the universe, to become like gods, to escape their personal- ity limitations, to discover cosmic con- sciousness, to discover their own self- identity, to answer the question "Who am Multitudes need the supportive effect of drugs to escape inadequacy, low self- esteem, and the feeling of social rejection. Some try self-hypnosis, others yoga or some form of mysticism. A great many others are driven by personality deficiencies into a compulsive need for drugs which provide a crutch. Many of them to procure such drugs follow a course of self-destruction, men turning to crime and women to prosti- tution and both to social ostracism where they are hounded as criminals instead of being regarded and treated as sick per- sons. One feature they have in common is their self-centredness. One group leader states that the one rule for her groups is that members talk only about themselves, not about their faith or techniques. "Talk about what makes you unique, so the others can become conscious of you." That re- markable philosopher, Martin Buber, re- marked, "The Waking have one world in common, whereas each each sleeper turns away to a private world of his own." But if anyone has made any great discovery, written or composed some masterpiece, discovered some transcendental truth, he- come divinely wise, or found God trough drugs, it is not recorded. All one knows for sure is that practitioners develop a remarkable affinity and tolerance for litter and dirt. Richard A. Blum in "Drugs: Social and Cultural Observations" claims that they in- crease one's self-knowledge, increase ma- turity, and give a new sensitivity for real- ity. There are whole marijuana-saturated societies in many American colleges and high schools, the students believing that drugs will provide a new elipir to provide the world with sanity, brotherhood and tolerance. Thus drags are considered part of the youthful idealism and that, through drugs of techniques of meditation, a new stage is coming in man's development, new states of consciousness and plateaus of spiritual and mental perfective powers, un- known to man at the present time. Others contend that drugs have given some peo- ple their first intimations of infinity and cosmic unity. A sharp distinction Is usually made be- tween marijuana, which is not physiologi- cally addictive, though it produces psycholo- gical dependence. It claims to differ from alcohol also in that marijuana "turns you while alcohol "turns you off." Mari- juana claims to improve the consciousness while alcohol depresses it. Alcohol releases aggressive or other drives normally kept repressed, while it is claimed by users that marijuana has the opposite effect, reducing the need for destructive or anti-social be- havior. One researcher reports that pot parties tend to be quiet, lethargic, and even reflective. The claim, however, that marijuana is not more dangerous than alcohol, that mari- juana is the young person's martini, is not comforting. Legalizing marijuana may open the door to a whole Pandora's box of demons and certainly will increase society's tolerance of drugs and their permissiveness. Must we resign ourselves to a drug cul- ture? Addiction is a disease and addicts are sick, not so the savage penal- ties to users is both unjust and stupid. The punitive approach is wrong as is the per- missive attitude. Drug addiction is a des- perately critical problem in Vancouver, very serious in Toronto and Montreal, and a tragic evil in other Canadian cities. It must be cured. Let us begin with the recog- nition that only a sick society would be- lieve that the good life Is attainable through chemical ballucogens. Peanut head By Doug Walker RIGHT out of the blue at the dinner burns grow. Tharo was agreement from the K table Elspcrh said she though, 1 might improve in looks if I let my greying sicks- a ihe to me.