Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 25, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta
-Salurdoy, July JS, 197-0 IITHBRIDOE HERALD S Margaret Luckhurst Vacation Problems: Leaving The Pets The Voice Of One -By DR. FRANK S. MORIEY OF THE big problems facing summer vacation- ers is what to do with the fam- ily pets while they are away. Usually it's not hard to get a small boy to cut and water the grass for a fee, and a kind nieghbor will take the house key and attend to goldfish and plants in the hope that the courtesy will be returned. But what to do with Rover and Kitty sometimes poses a big probelm. Dogs, if they can't be toted along as part of the family are sometimes best left in a kennel. They tend to pine and feel sorry for them- selves, but when the family re- turns, this neglect will be made up for by pence offerings of gourmet tid-bits and extra long walks. As a family, we were fortu- nate in having a reasonably portable dog who enjoyed trav- el, provided he could get out for walks often enough to pre- vent disgracing himself. Syl- vester, a dour, ancient black and white Persian, was non- portable however, and each vacation part of our planning was dampened by the repete- tive question "and what will we do with It was a nagging problem usually re- solved by some relative or neighbor who let us worry just so long before coming forward with an offer to cat-sit. The summer we planned to drive to Montreal, John and Joan next door had volunteer- ed (without too much hintng on our part) to mind the cat for the entire three-week peri- od. This seemed an inordinate- ly long time to impose on good neighborliness which caused us to wonder nervously what they had in store for us in repayment for services rendered. How- ever, they assured us it was "nothing" and the morning we were up early and ready to leave I fixed a box of Sylves- ter's specialties in readiness to deliver next door. Our friends were merely to feed the cat a couple of times a day, after which with, typical feline inde- pendence he would disappear through an unhooked screen window into our basement where he would sleep until he was hungry again. He wasn't really a nuisance, the only thing was, by the time the car was packed and Daddy was champing at the bit to get un- der way before the traffic got heavy, we couldn't find Hie cat. "Where do you suppose the stupid animal has Daddy fumed, "Why didn't you make sure he was around; you know cats have a habit of dis- appearing when suitcases come out; they think the family is moving." I resented the implication that somehow it had all been my fault, after all, hadn't I worn myself out getting the whole trip organized? Exerting immense control I skipped his hostile inferences and suggest- ed we all set off to hunt for Vestie, and do so in an orderly manner. So the kids piled out of the car, the boys going one way, the two little girls carefully checking under the step, under beds, in the laundry basket and other favorite haunts. No cat. We extended the search to the immediate environs so that every back yard in the block would be carefully inspected. No cat. Lunch time came. I hauled out the picnic basket and mess- ed up my kitchen again pre- paring lunch while the family went puss-pussing around the neighborhood. By one o'clock a neighborhood search party had got under way (voluntarily) and the old priest who lived two doors away, two old maids who had 4 cats and a bird, and all children over the age of two were kitty kittying to no avail. John, who was to assume re- sponsibility for the cat couldn't appreciate our anxiety. "What are you worrying about that old bag of matted fur for any- he asked in some amusement, "he's not worth a tin of cat We were completely shaken. A Maze Of Lights The double ferris wheel on the midway at night. by Waller Kerber. Book Reviews Buck Rogers: A Special Kind Of Hero The Collected Works of Buck Rogers in the 25th Cen- tury, edited by Robert C. Dille (Chelsea House, distri- buted by Random House, 376 pp.; TJUCK ROGERS is a special brand of hero the kind that almost, but not quite, lives. You'd know him if you met him on the street but he's un- fettered by the basic down-to- earth problems of reality. Buck was born in 1928-1929, first as two short stories titled "Armageddon 2419 and "The Airlords of pub- lished in Amazing Stories mag- azine but in them he had the now-unlikely sounding name of "Anthony" Rogers. Author Phillip Nowlan was in- duced by the National News- paper Syndicate of America to collaborate with an editorial cartoonist, Dick Calkins, and to change the hero's name. Their series started a 40-year run in 1929 that saw it progress from the rough-and-ready car- tooning style and innocent dia- logue of the 1920s and 1930s to the modern art form of cartoon- ing of the 1960s and dialogue with a lost innocence. Reading The Collected Works makes one realize how rapidly science has overtaken science fiction, as Buck's origins show. As every Space Ship Com- mander in the Buck Rogers Rocket Rangers no doubt knows, Buck was about 20 years old in 1919, just mustered out of the air service and working as a surveyor in an abandoned mine containing "glowing" rocks. The mine caves in and he wakes up 500 years later, pre- served by those glowing rocks, in an Orwellian world of near- today, where the Mongol hordes hold sway in some parts of the world, other weird groups con- trol other parts, and North America is on a constant mili- tary alert. Gravity has been partially licked, there are one-man anti- gravity flying belts, there are disintegrator-ray guns and yet biplanes with one propeller rule the skies. Radio is a fundamental part of the fabric of 25th Century life, but almost without music. Television exists, but only on a level we'd consider so primitive as to be cute and it is a military secret. Nuclear power doesn't really exist until the comic strip suf- fered through Hiroshima, and jumbo jets never did exist. But space travel and interplanetary rockets are commonplace. Mix these ingredients togeth- er with a few villains like Killer Kane and the beautiful Some Missing Prices Aberhart of Alberta by L. P. V. Johnson and Ola BlacNult (The Institute of Ap- plied A r t Ltd., Edmonton, TVOT HAVING lived in Alterta ta during the days of Wil- liam Aberhart, I read much of this book on a discovery basis. While it was an educational ex- perience to go through the book, I had the feeling that some im- portant ingredients must have been omitted from the story. Many readers doubtless will know why Mr. Aberhart aroused intense dislike as well as great devotion. They will know this because they heard arid read what the critics had to say in addition to what came from the admirers. I felt I could not grasp the full impact of tire man because not enough was included of the opposition. Obviously he was capable of creating deep antagonism since his nomination for an honorary degree failed to gain support in the Senate of the University of Alberta. Those who voted against granting the honor must have been opposed on more than just differences of politi- cal persuasion. I would like to know why the opponents voted as they did some member's rationalization must be avail- able. It was not clear to me, from the reading of the book, wheth- er Mr. Aberhart continued to wholeheartedly preach Social Credit theory after it became obvious that it could not or would not be allowed to work. More information about why the various Social Credit acts were disallowed would have made the book a more valuable record. A word of explanation might have been in order 'about why Mr. Aberhart was buried from a United Church. The impres- sion 'was left that he remained a fundamentalist Baptist to the end, which made the account of the United Church funeral unexpected to say the least. This is not exactly a lively biography there are too many long sections of quota- tions but it is informative. It may also very well be cor- rective of some wrong impres- sions. The material presented on the rift between Major Clif- ford Hugh Douglas and Mr. Aberhart, for instance, clearly put the onus of blame on the former. While the book might have been strengthened for me by the inclusion of more of what the critics said of Mr. Aber- hart, it is likely that it will be found by the lack of such ma- terial to be a more pleasing biography by others. It is, on any account, a valuable addi- tion to the historical record of this province. DOUG WALKER. but nefarious Ardala, add a lit- tle imagination and Buck was instantly catapulted into a tre- mendously adventurous and breathtaking future even be- fore today's real-life astronauts were borri. He was rapidly syndicated in more than 450 newspapers and translated into 18 languages. The Collected Works is a fas- cinating picture of a future so- ciety and political organization, and it is easy to see how it caught the spirit of adventure in every young, and old, boy for so many years. It had something for every- one: Wihna Deering for rom- ance (no "mush" though, so the boys were visits to ranches complete with western- style Buck Rogers stories, visits to real North American cities, often mentioned in the strip by name to arouse local interest, and later, visits to Mars, Venus, the Moon and a dozen or so other extra-terrestrial spots, kidnappings, underwater ex- plorations including an adven- ture or two in Atlantis, fantastic pseudo-scientific diagrams of weapons, machines and space ships and even interplanetary war. It had clubs for readers to join. It even had a regular moral behave yourself like a Rocket Ranger should to en- dear itself to parents. It fascinated enough people ta become a serialized radio pro- gram which unfortunately didn't ever become a television show. Twelve or 13 or so years ago I gave up my comic book col- lection like the rest of my friends and discovered a new world of real people. Gone were the stacks of Buck Rogers, Cap- tain Marvel, Superman, Bat- man, Flash Gordon. It's nice, now, to have Buck back, even if in an incomplete collection. JIM WILSON Our Sylvester? He couldn't have cut more if he's suggested that one of our children was a gargoyle. John immediately realized his shocking error and hastily made amends. "Okay, okay, I'm sorry. Now look, why don't you go on it will be dark soon if you don't get moving. He'll show up. and you can phone later if you're still worrying." That sounded sensible so after locking up the house again we all piled into the car, fastened our seat belts, and just as we were backing out the driveway Hedy sang put. ''I know where Vestie is." "Where, I asked ab- sently as I checked luggage and kids for the 10th time. "He's way up she said, and pointed to the top- most bar of a hydro pole. "Stop, stop the car I yelled, "Vestie is up the light pole." Daddy swore and lurch- ed the car back onto the drive- way. We all heaved out again and stared at the cat, perched high in the air on a narrow little ledge. The kids Immediately be- came panicky. "He'll fall off and break his poor little neck." "He'll get "He'll stay up there forever ever and starve, then he'll fall off and we'll have to pick "p his bones." "Daddy sweared." We all began coaxing, kitty ratting in our most inviting voices. Kitty wasn't impressed, "le'd glance down nonchalant- ly, but was quite unconcerned and sat there, feet tucked under, as if at a fireside. John, surrounded by a group of small children, came over to join the cat-watchers. "Never mind he said kindly, "you go on, he'll come down when he stops sulking." Sylvester suddenly stood up, stretched, turned around and teetered uncertainly. A roar went up from the crowd at the high wire antics. "I don't like to leave him up I said unhappily, "I won't be able to sleep all night." "I've got an Daddy said, "let's put a tin of salmon on top of a ladder and maybe that will coax him down." Somebody went off to get a ladder while I once again un- locked the house and opened a tin of perfectly good salmon. We carefully balanced the salmon on the top of the ladder and John whose reach was longest, held it up high while the rest of us "Fussed" an- xiously. Nothing doing. Vestie regard- ed tine gesture with only a pass- ing glance and yawned in dis- dain. "I'll get that cat off fast John said wrathfully, 'Til fill his fat backside full of buckshot." The little girls started to cry. "Why don't we call the fire someone sug- gested. "No Daddy objected, "they've got enough to do. T'hy. don't we nail a basket on top of a couple of two by fours and place the salmon in the basket then maybe he'd jump into it." That seemed to appeal to the gathering throng so the men went off to find the equipment. When the hand-made elevator was ready, the men heaved it into the air and held the basket-trap almost under the cat's nose, but Sylvester chose to look into the landscape as if in deep meditation. "Boy, if I could just get my hands on that Daddy muttered wrathfully. "L e t s mush the salmon around the top of the basket, maybe he'll get a better whiff of it." We did this and the men began raising the contraption again. "Just a John said, puffing, "let's stop monkeying around. You boys hold the planks with your Dad and I'll get the beebee gun. When Syl- vester bends over to get the salmon I'll give him some en- couragement. One shot in the behind isn't going to do much damage I'll swear." I didn't really like the idea, but it did have merit. Even- tually all was in readiness. The small children were banished to a safe place and John took up his position on the stern side of the cat. Cautiously the bask- et was raised and in a matter of seconds Victory was ours. Sylvester, overcome by the tantalizing fumes of fish, reached just far enough to re- trieve a juicy morsel, pop went the beebee, and in dropped kitty. John immediately took over. He scooped the cat out of the basket and ordcrd us to get going, which at long last we did. It's lovely to have pets; they add sonietlu'ng to our day-to- day lives, even though we may sometimes wonder what it is. However they don't do very much to make vacation time easier. Faretvell To Greatness CUMMER holidays are a good time for reading books one doesn't have time for UK rest of the year. So I visited several large book stores to get some best-sellers. One of the leaders I replaced on the shelf quickly when I read that, if the dirty four- letter words were removed, with the sex scenes, nothing would remain except the page numbers. Vladimir Nabakov, hailed as the greatest living novelist and his book "Ada" a literary masterpiece, "Witty and turned out to be a smutty, dull, fel- low. Half a dozen other highly recom- mended choices, some carrying the impri- matur of the highest literary critics of America, were repetitious into barnyard filth. They make one want to vomit, quite literally. Commenting on this decline from de- cency to a man who is father of several teenagers and frequent lecturer to youth, he reproached me for not knowing that and all other virtues associated with good ness, truth, and beauty, were rejected and out- moded today. They carry no conviction or meaning. A wedding certificate, for exam- ple, is a silly scrap of paper. "What .is Recently Newsweek magazine, in a superb series of articles by six promin- ent historians on "The Spirit of '70" ex- pressed a mood of profound concern over these and similar signs of social deca- dence. It is quite unfair to say that the concern springs mainly from a fear of change, a conservatism that would "rather be dead than different." Nor is there merely a cri- sis of faith and morality, devastating as it is. There is the urban crisis, the ecology crisis, the labor crisis, the technology cri- sis, the money crisis, the credibility crisis, and the crisis of both national purpose and purpose for individual living. Secrecy and falsehood are not monopolies of U.S. diplo- macy. Recently Canadians were embar- rassed by statements in high places which in former days would be called plain lies. The answers made by experts to these crises are depressing. Eugene Genevese, for example, thinks "the spiritual crisis" can only be resolved "through the crea- tion of a political movement" and "through the restructing of our economy." The old problem remains, how to get golden con- duct out of leaden instincts. It can't be done as .Justinian, that master re-organizer of the Empire, proved for all time. Soms trace the roots of our ills to the loss of dig- nity in work. Did our grandfathers, who worked from seven in the morning to seven in the evening, six days a week, have meaning and dignity in work? Remember Hood's "Song of the Shirt" was ttTittcn be- fore the Industrial Revolution. There is a lot of sentimental nonsense talked about pre Industrial Revolution days. Just how an intelligent man can say that "the root of delinquency and rebelliousness in all their forms is unemployment" passes un- derstanding. Liesure has given more op- portunity for original creation, but it does throw an individual on his own resources. If he lacks the drive to play an instru- ment, carve wood, paint, learn a skill, study a language, or acquire increased com- petence in business or professional skills, no authorities will club him into activity. Part of the crisis is, of course, this loss of authority. It is a real possibility that the nations of North as well as South Am- erica may settle for a Fascist state and that the leaders .will be the same kind of. youth who boosted Hitler and Mussolini into puwer. Also the speed of change in technology and society frightens people into seeking refuge in a "manager." Western civilization is accused of being obsessed with an abnormal hypochrondria, feeling its pulse and worrying about its health. This may be true. It is simply not true that "the United States is the worst nation in the as some critics in its own society contend. Is starvation, from which most of the world suffers, prefer- able to three meals a day, putting things on the lowest level? Is technological pro- gress preferable to industrial backward- ness? Is the way Russia deals with dissent better than that of the democratic way? How long would the colored critics last in China? The American war in Vietnam is diabolical, the class cleavages in the U.S. are deplorable, and the air and water pol- lution is disgraceful, but men and women can protest effectively. Let us not be bullied by young people who have made no Investment in society, by psychotic anarchists amd pyromaniacs, by Communist fifth columnists, and evil de- stroyers of the very language of human society. There is an enormous potential of goodness and beauty in this civilization. All it needs is tbte courage of its convic- tions. The Marvel Of All History By Richard J. Needham In The Globe And Mail, Toronto TpEW things surprise me any more, but I must say I did a double take when I read the following Ottawa dispatch, "Aud- itor-General Maxwell Henderson called on Parliament to set up an independent man- agement study to root out the causes of government waste and extravagance. He said more should be done to find out why year after year, wasteful government spending continues." Come, come now, Mr. Henderson, the reason why governments waste money is simply that they are governments. It mat- ters not whether the government concern- ed is a parliamentary democracy, an.ab- monarchy, a one party dictator- ship, or whatever. Being a government, it will waste all sorts of money on all sorts of foolishness. Why? Because it is a gov- ernment, because (unlike a private indivi- dual, unlike a private company) it does not have to earn the money it spends. It ex- tracts that money by force; and if ever it goes broke, it can simply use more force to get more money. Put yourself in the situation. A man of almost unlimited riches has said to you, "My fortune is yours; you may take as much as you please and spend it as you please; there is always more where that came from." Would you be careful and ef- ficient with the money you got from him, or would you blow it extravagantly? I think you would blow it extravagantly. The people of Canada are the rich man. They have said in effect to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and the rest, "Our fortune is yours; you may take as much of it as you please, and spend it as you please; there is always more where that came from." So quite naturally Mr. Trudeau and his colleagues blow it extravagantly. They spent it (as you'll have noticed from reading the papers) on a hydrofoil ship which is estimated to cost million and ends up costing million, without anyone being too clear as to why we need- ed the hydrofoil ship in the first place. They pay out (original esti- mate, to paint an obsolete air- craft carrier. They spend billions on wel- fare so that economists, clergymen, social workers, etc. can advise us, no doubt with accuracy, of the terrible poverty and need in Canada. They spend and spend; and no matter how much we give them, it is never enough; they spend beyond their means, then demand more. You might say that people are angry about this, that some day they will risa up against paying such enormous taxes for such profligate waste, but I don't see any sign of it. Canadians' are not French, not Italian. They don't rebel against exees- sive or unnecessary taxtion, but meekly pay up. 'You might say that the Conserva- tives or New Democrats will lead a revolt against high taxes and1 waste at the next election, and thus pull down the Trudeau regime. But I've seen enough of the PCs and NDP to know that if they get in, taxes will continue to rise, millions will continue to be squandered. And I've seen enough of Canadians to know they'll put up with it It's not just the Liberals, not just Can- ada. Throughout human history, govern- ments have squandered money made by the sweat of their subjects. The taxpayers shelled out so that Nero could build his golden bouse and1 Poppaea bathe in ass's milk; so that Nebuchadnezzar could amuse his wife with the Hanging Gardens of Baby- lon; so that the Paraohs could put up pyramids; so that Louis XIV could glorify himself with Versailles; so that kings and emperors cculd wage fruitless wars. The taxpayers shell out today for follies like Brasilia, like the war in Vietnam, like jaunts to the moon. They shell out for cost- ly entertainments, costly gifts, costly liv- ing by those to whom they have given vir- tually unlimited power over their purses. That's what taxpayers are for, always have been for.and always will be for. That rugged American, Senator William Borah of Idaho said it, "The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessar- ily laid upon them by their governments." True indeed; so keep sending in your in- come tax. I can assure you that much, most or all of the money will be used to purchase a second hand battering ram from the United States; or perhaps finance a political junket to Sawdust Arabia; or perhaps construct a deep-sea harbor at Piapot, Sasfc. Enjoy, enjoy! No Reason Required By Dong Walker AfONICA Gullett is a little girl who lives in the duplex behind our place. She has a million questions to ask and can hardly wait to get one out before going on to the next. Some of her questions are very difficult to answer. I would like to say to her, "Well, Monica, one must come to accept some things as 'givens' without probing forever" but I doubt if she would compre- hend or be satisfied for long. On one of Monica's visits I decided that I would take the offensive and confront her with some questions. In answer to my very first 'why' question she smiled engag- ingly and replied, "Because "Because I said. "Just she replied. I should have known what to expect. That's an instinctual female response! At least that's whit experience with the fe- males of our household has led me to believe.