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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 6, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta Saturday, Juno 6, 1790 THE LETHERIDGE HERAID 5 Margaret Luckhursl In The Days Of The Annual June Picnic WHEN I was growing up, June was o[ special in- terest to all children in our ru- ral district. First, it closely fol- lowed Mav 21 when we were allowed at'last, lo dispense with our long underwear. Second, it signalled Ihe end of another school year; third, and most important, it was tlie lime of the a.rmual June picnic. For youngsters growing up in isolated areas, life was mark- ed by two major evenls, the Christmas concert and the June picnic, and the months between were long indeed. The picnic which drew togeth- er families for miles around, was a community affair. In con- sideration of its social impor- tance in our otherwise rather uneventful lives, a stand i n g committee was formed at the close of each picnic lo begin plans on the one for the follow- ing year. The names of the new organizers were always read out before the day was over and everyone felt a little thrill of satisfaction when this chore was dene, for it was an insur- ance against the terrible pos- sibility that for some reason as yet unknown, the event would be shelved or bypassed. We always knew, without looking at liie calendar, that picnic time was approaching for Mother went into a kind of pre picnic count down, plan- ning her days and chores meth- odically so that she could leave her daily tasks for this special event without the burden of un- done work at home hanging ominously over her head the whole time. Her first assignment which she prided herself on, (but which really wasn't necessary) was that of making new outfits for herself, my older sister and me, in that order. Since they were naturally more important, due to their maturity, I was us- ually in tenter-hooks, wondering if I had to wear last year's pic- nic dress, or would mother real- ly be able to finish all three in time? Back in the late twen- ties and early thirties, peope didn't wear sports clothes much even to picnics and it simply wouldn't have been correct for me to appear at our picnic in shorts and a T-shirt. Come to think of it, I don't think there were such things then. Our dresses were, however, reasonably suitable and plain, so that foot races and similar unladylike activities could be enjoyed without loss of decor- um. My Mother's last words to ire as I left each year for the picnic were those of warning; "remember to act like a lady; keep your skirt over your knees, don't shout, and for heaven sake don't turn any cartwheels, especially if you in- sist on wealing black sateen bloomers with a pink pongee dress." Mother had never heard of child psychology, and I'm not too sure she could even spell the word, but she kept all of her children strictly in line be- fore the picnic by the simple old fashioned method of a bribe and a threat: eat up your crusts or you won't go to the picnic; stop fighting or you won't go to the picnic; dust un- der your bed or you won't go to the picnic, and so on. What would happen if she carried put her threats was too alarming to think of, so for as long as Mother cared to carry on this type of discipline (which would shock modern Dr. Spockcrs) we kids, of course, had lo go along with In ease. The day before the picnic was 'kitchen day' breads, ccckics, salads, chickens, pick- les, jellies, and all the goodies Mother traditionally prepared for any special day were lined up on cupboards with signs 'don't touch' all 'Over the place. The house was full of food, but there wasn't anything to eat. It never rained on picnic day, as 1 recall. It was always sunny and hoi. with clear skies and no mosquitoes. We congregated in old Mr. McLean's big pas- ture where tables from the churches had been lined up un- der the trees. Mrs. McLean, by virtue of her husband's gener- osity to the day, End also be- cause her kitchen was close at hand, was always in charge of the barrels of lemonade and the freezers cf ice cream. Father O'Brien along with other minis- ters, in an early ecumenical outreach that even had them dispensing with their collars and gowns, organized the games races. Since the picnic went on all day, or until the food dis- appeared, (whichever came first) a lot of activity had to be planned beforehand or the ir.en would become restive and drift ever to Johnson's bam where Kelly Johnson would put a lit- tle something into their glasses of lemonade. The men thought this was keen but the ladies didn't like it. much. Of course, ultimately there were prizes for everyone. There were prizes for the biggest family arid the second biggest family, and there were prizes for the oldest person in atten- dance and the tiniest baby in arms. The last two, sometimes in the eagerness of the com- petition, understandably lent a certain strain on the general atmosphere, particularly if the oldest gent decided to attempt the thread and needle race in his wheelchair; or if an inex- perienced young mcthcr tried to shush a squalling infant with seme of Mr. Johnson's lemon- ade. Since the family dcg usually attended all outdoor gatherings, ingenious Father O'Brien in- troduced a 'dog contest' which, over the years, developed into a highly competitive event. There were prizes for the big- gest dog and the smallest dog and the dog with the' longest tail and the brownest eyes and the shortest teeth. dog has his day, and -Father O'Bri- en saw to it that no dcg no matter how undeserving went away from the picnic without having some little prize to add to his dignity about which some child would boast. Funny thing, in looking back I don't remember the women doing much but set tables, sort food, clear up and start ail over again. Of course there were a few races designed especially for them like the egg and spoon, the thread and needle and other somewhat dull events we kids thought were frightful- ly boring. However, the women thought they were a riot for they'd puff and giggle and shriek and cheer, then go back all winded to the tables again where, once more they'd set about their endless preparation of food. It was their opinion, I'm convinced now, that people went to picnics to eat their way through the day. In (he evening the grown up kids in their teens used to go on paper chases while the young aclulls. off in the opposite direction organized 'oyster sales.' At least that's what they said they were doing. The men would play baseball, the wom- en would clean up and pack away, the committee would meet, and the little kids (like myself) could, at long last, get as dirty as we liked. That would mean that Ihe boys could wres- tle or climb trees, and some cf the other little girls and myself could go across the pas! u r e where the light was dim and turn a few cart-wheels. Picnics of this nature are pretty well a thing o.f the past. Churches sometimes have brief picnics over the supper hour, schools go more and marc to field days, and ccminwiilics find they are too busy to lake time to gel together. I feel gen- uinely sorry that I'cnc of my children have shared in this tyjw of fellowship which can be overwhelmingly exciting for a child. But perhaps they will look back on family cookouts with lingering nostalgia how- ever, nice as these things arc, they simply are not in the same class as 'the gcod old fashioned community picnic. Time The Reaper by Elwood Ferguson Book Reviews The Universal Auschwitz God's Presence In History: Jewish Affirmations and Phil- osophical Beflections by Emit L. Fackenheim (New York University press. 104p, JEWISH Hunkers for some years have been wrestling with tlie theological implica- tions of the systematic attempt by the Nazis to exterminate the Jewish people. It seemed to Rabbi Richard Hubenstein (two of whose books were reviewed in The Herald, August 17, 1968) that the only conclusion to be drawn from the Holocaust is that God is dead. Rabbi Emfl Fackenheim rejects such think- ing as superficial. Admittedly, the question of how one can believe in the pres- ence of God in history or His providence over it is difficult for all modern men and it has been made agonizingly so by the death camps. Nothing has Consistency In Jewishness A Beggar In Jerusalem by Elie WiescI (Random House, 211p, respect for the author derived from the read- ing of some of his previous writings kept me from giving up on this bosk. Although I read it through to the end, I was not relieved of my perplexity about its theme and much of its con- tent. The book is described as a novel but it dees r.ot seem to have a plot and the cnly char- acter who appears with any de- gree cf consistency is so elusive it is hard to tell whether he is dead or alive or simply the author's alter ego. Jewishness alone seems to be the unifying feature of the book. Many kinds of writing are How Vauxhall Grew Where Waters Flow, the story of the district of Vaux- liall by its 'plffi title of this book is well chosen as it recounts in detail the struggles various areas of southern Alberta had with irrigation difficulties. Tlie west was sparsely popu- lated until the railway opened up affording easier transporta- tion. Then homesteaders flock- ed out, spreading themselves thinly through the three prairie provinces. Southern Alber- ta was vast and inviting, but thousands of acres were not ar- rb'c due to minimal precipita- tion and unpredictable irriga- tion plans. For'a number cf years, at the turn cf the century, bolh Ihe f :vorr.nicnt and privale irriga- tion companies fried without success to overcome (his prob- lem. Nonetheless, small towns, like VauxhaU managed some- how to develop and grow even though each season was looked upon with apprehension. The worst years cf course, were in the dry, depressing thirties, when it wasn't econo- mical sometimes even to thresh the grain. However, when the Bow River project began after the Second World War, irriga- tion no longer was a major problem. Where Walcr Flows is a folk- sy bonk of parlicular interest In Hie people who have cort.ri- bulcd selections to it, and lo residents of the area who know of the local trials and tribula- tions. It can also be of value to amateur historians like my- self, who (eel that not enough of our early history is record- ed. All hough the biographies here are not. lengthy, they re- flect Ihe culture of a hetero- geneous society lhat makes up the west. MARGARET LUCKHURST. combined in this non-story: symbolism, legend, philosophi- cal speculation, narrative. In the confusion that results there are occasional clearings such as the stories of the mass shoot- ings cf the members of a Jew- ish community in Europe; the rebellion of elders in a syna- gogue in Kiev; the attempt cf a woman to protect a Jewish refu- gee. These are the sort of inci- dents which Mr. WiescI dealt wilh in his previous book. Leg- ends Of Our Time. Perhaps he Fhsuld have called this one "More Legends" and weeded cut some of the abstract mater- ial scattered between the stor- ies. As in .his previous writings, the cataclysmic event, of the slaughter of six million Jews by the Nazis is probed for meaning. Mr. Wicsel is obsessed with the questions of man's in- humanity and the understanding of Ihe Divine in the light of the holocaust. A scene from the si.v 'jay war '-or is it some more recent military interpret lire anxiety of the Jews as derivative from the memory of (ho earlier attempt' rrt extermination cf Ihe Jews. It is obviously an authentic his- torical reflection. No doubt Mr. WiescI knew what he was doing in con- structing his book as he did, but I for one hope he returns lo a mere conventional style fjr the continued exploration of Ih? theme cf the holocaust. If is important that it not be for- gotten or obscured. DOUG WALKER shaken Jewish faith in God's presence in history so much since the rise of that faith at tlie Red Sea as the slaughter of the Jews during Hitler's regime. Tlie very statement of the root experience of the seeing of God by the whole people of Israel at the Red Sea in the time of Moses creates problems for many modern men. It is not only the sus- picion that psychological delu- sion may have been operative among the see-ers that has to be dealt with there are doubts about the historicity of the event itself. But the subject of historicity is largely ignored in this book becsuse in the modern secular world the question is whether the presence of God can be more than a mere memory if there is a question by the secularist at all. Dr. Facken- heim notes that while secular- ists simply ignore faith, be- lievers cannot ignore secular- ism. In the face of secularism's dissipation of every claim to a divine Presence into a mere feeling or appearance the be- liever may he a believer "only by virtue of an unprecedented stubbornness." Although God may be "ec- lipsed" from consciousness for many people there can be no escape from God for Jews. Jewishness is a witness to God. And because people were mark- ed for death merely because they were descended from Jew- ish ancestors, since Auschwitz even the most secular of Jews bears witness to the truth that God exists and has a purpose in history even if unperceived. This is reminiscent of how when Disraeli was asked what he thought was the most convinc- ing proof of the existence of God, he replied, "The Jews." Equating the presence of God with the persistence of the Jews provides a compelling reason for seeking the survival of the Jews. It has significant impli- cations for the understanding of the intense concem that Israel not suffer the fate threatened verbally by Arab leaders. Since the Jews represent all mankind, there are deep implications for Gentiles for, as Dr. Fackeriheim says, "never far below con- sciousness is the spectre of a nuclear holocaust tlie univer- sal Auschwitz." A readily available introduc- tion to this thinking is an article in The Christian Century (May fi. 1970) by Dr. Fackenheim which niay be consulted at the Lethbridge Public Library. Dr. Fackenheim teaches at the University of Toronto. He dedicates his book to Elie Wie- sel whose writings are a sus- tained probing of the meaning of the slaughter of the Jews. It is a fitting dedication because Elie Wiesel's inability to escape the question of God's presence in His seeming absence bears cut Dr. Fackenlieim's thesis that there is no escape from God for tlie Jew. While Dr. Fackenheim reaches an affirmative position regarding God in hisloiy he does little to redeem the tradi- tional for Christians, at least concept of God accessible through prayer and active in working for good by directing history and perhaps in disrupt- ing nature. DOUG WALKER First Jewish MP Biography of Sam Jacobs, by Bernard Figlcr, Q.C., Sfi.50. CAM JACOBS, K.C.. was the first Jewish Member of Parliament elected in this century. His life story, related here with great attention to de- tail and accuracy by a person- al friend, will be of interest lo bolh the Jewish and. non-Jewish community. Mr. Jacobs, an ardent Lib- eral, represented Cartier con- stituency in the House of Com- mons from 1918 lo 1938. He was a confidant of Sir Wilfred Laurier and McKenzie King who respected his wit and good judgment as well as his politi- cal acumen. A great champion of his peo- ple. Jacobs tried not to let the disheartening Blights of his non-Jewish colleagues defeat lu'm. but wasn't always suc- cessful. A humiliating experi- ence occurred when he was passed over as a representa- tive of the government lo the Coronation of King George VI. Logically he was the candidate to attend, but for reasons which smacked of prejudice, be was ignored. This matter, aflcr years of fine service, hurt Jacobs physically as well as menially. It was an unneces- sary affront, a rejection of his own humanism. He went info a decline from which be did not recover. Although the book is long. if. is well written, and the anec- dotes related in a catchy way that keeps the reader interest- ed. 11 that life 111 I'.ir. h'amcnl is not always long (lull sessions of unending speeches. MARGARET LUCKHURST, Focus on the University By J. W. FISHBOURNE imber And, T A week or two ago 1 did a little fig- uring that indicated to me, at least thai by or thereabouts the cosl of universities alone would come pretty close to what we are spending now for the entire education system of this province. Using the same sort of airthme- tic, it isn't hard to sec that the cost of education in the 19'BO's is likely lo be greater than Ihe entire provincial budget of today. (Incidentally, there is more sub- stantiation for this than my poor arithme- tic; a couple of years ago, the Ihea Min- ister of Education had some projections made, and these pointed to a billion dollar budget for Education in the early 1980's.) This year, for tlie first time, Ihe entire budget for the province reached the billion dollar figure, about 40 per cent of it al- located to Ihe Department of Education. So, even if every other government depart- ment or service is denied any increase wbatsuevtr which is patently absurd Ihe demands of education alone would re- quire a 'JO per cent increase in provincial revenues. And this would simply extend what we have now to the anticipated ad- ditional students, and cover predictable cost increases, without any improvements in tha system itself. It would be as un- healthy to plan for a completely static ed- ucation system as it would be to freeze expenditures in all other government de- partments, but, as mentioned above, even that would require a 60 per cent increase in government revenues. To do a good job, in education as in other government services, will require a great deal more. Governments do not get their money by magic; it comes from the citizens. And there is a limit beyond which the citizenry cannot or will not go. Prudent politicians, who wish to remain in office, tend to shy away from that limit. How close we are to it at the moment is anyone's guess, but I have a feeling we are very close, and getting closer all the time. There are some interesting long-range implications for education, and it is high time they were looked at seriously by ed- ucators. The politicians are away ahead of them (as usual) in realizing that the cozy little game we have been playing is just about over. Educators, Loo. must realize this, stop crying about past or even present woes, and start thinking seri- ously about the future. Some profound changes are going to be made in the way this particular game is played, and someone is going lo have to figure out the new rules. If the educators don't do it, it will be done, tor them, whether they like it or not. It isn't going to be enough to continue to present the status quo plus 20 or so per cent and tlwn weep because the money isn't forth- coming. That seems lo have been the strategy up lo now, and it won't work, no matter how stridently the virtues of the existing system are proclaimed. And it wcn'l accomplish anything to blame the government, cither. It has seen this coming for several years, and has is- sued UK clearest ot warnings; if the edu- cators have not hseded them, it is Incur own fault. The government has recognized as they should have recognized that tire cost of'education has been rising too rapidly. It has said over and over again, r.nd with unmistakable clarity, that it cannot find unlimited funds for any pur- pose, even education. Educators generally have chosen to disregard or disbelieve these very clear warnings, and have clung tenaciously to the old, reliable system they know and understand. It is difficult to see a rationale for this attitude, unless it is in a belief that by determinedly defending the existing ar- rangement. I Ivy somehow preserving their control of it. If this is the attitude, it is as ironic as it is blind. There is in- controvertible evidence that major changes are going to be made in the whole educational system; if not made from wittf- in, they will be imposed from without. So, Mr. Educator, the choice is really quite simple either you devise a system the taxpayer can afford, or someone will do it for you. And even that option won't be open for long. The Voice Of One -By DR. FRANK S. MORIEY The Family And The Nation nPHE crisis of today's youth is the crisis of the family. Historians have always noted that the disintegration of the home was the origin of all disintegration in a civil- ization. Domestic anarchy breeds political anarchy. Ellen Glasgow sadly noted the disappearance of the family. The old order of a link between the generations grand- parents, parents, child has washed away in the tides of social habits and war-time prcssiu'es. Parental absenteeism and popu- lation mobility had most to do with it. Longfellow wrote about the "pause in the day's coming "between the dark and Ihe that is known as "the Children's Hour." Not any more it isn't! It >'s known as the Cocktail Hour." So the other gracious rituals of family life, like grace at meals, are no more. If we had time to read the Bible, we could have been sensitive to family dan- gers by looking at the families of the Bible. Take the first family, lhat of Adam and Eve. God said it was not good for man to be alone so He created Eve. Loneliness was the first thing God says is not good. Mar- riage was also instituted for the procrea- tion of children, which a curious misprint in an Episcopalian prayer book wrote "the protection of children." not a bad mistake by any means. But where did people get the idea that sex was sinful if this be lira purpose of marriage? Sex was not the sin of Adam and Eve. It was rebellion against God. Thai, rebellion was inherited by Cain who passed it along to the vicious, murder- ous Lantech. Which plays Ihe larger part in life, here- dity or environment? It is impossible com- pletely to scparale the two. Communist propaganda has conditioned us to tlunk of environment as entirely decisive, wlu'ch is quite wrong. Indeed studies in the field by men who have traced families with crimin- al records and families with illustrious rec- ords would lead lo an entirely opposite con- clusion, that heredity was decisive. The family of Abraham has this in leach at least, that two women cannot live to- gether happily under one roof. (Is that not the Chinese symbol for war, two women under one The family also teaches what a mother's smother love will do. Sarah nearly ruined Isaac; she certainly weakened lu's charao ter. Some psychologists argue that this kind of smother love is ruining American youth, that they are not growing up to take re- sponsibility, but are too subsidized and sup- ported. On the oilier hand the family of Samson spoiled him, as the boy grew up without sufficient controls. Children grow by regu- lation, imitation, and inspiration. They need all three. A father.used to have his son stand tall, clench his fists, and say "No" tliree times before going to bed. Thus ho learned to say a most important life lesson. The Ten Commandments may be all negative, but they contain negatives sential to tha good life. Youth needs to learn again what parents have forgotten. The family oi Eli was spoiled by paren- tal neglect. Parents must have time for children, they must be available and ac- cessible, if the intergenerational gap is to be closed and communication established. The family of Samuel gave him to an institution lo bring up and he became a hard and cruel man, whose handling of Saul left something lo be desired. An institution, how- ever good, csnnot replace a family. God meant child Lo have a fatlicr and mother and there are no substilules. Despite his great achievements David sowed quite a few wild oats and the crop was decidedly unpleasant. Amnon turned into an abominable character. Absalom kill- ed him for Ihe treatment of his sister and A.bsalont split the nation in rebellion against David. The father asked a question of the messenger be should have asked long be- fore, "Is the young man, Absalom, He was left lamenting, "Would God I had died for The family of Jesus reminds us that tlie word for "mother1' in Lithuanian means "martyr" and Ihe word for "father" in ten major language? mean? on" from whom I get my strength." What parents Mary and Joseph were! Bumper Improvement From NEA Service T'KAFFIC safety experts ami insurance Companies long have complained that auto bumpers are more decorative than practical. are Hid In be spend- irg billions of a year needlessly because their cars are too delicate to witlistand minor collisions. Now the Ford Motor company has moved to meet some of these objections with the announcement lhal it is undertaking "sig- nificant improvements ir. bumper func- l on." The company's research disclosed lhai ,1 lol of damage from minor collisions in fact, up to three-fourths of the dam- age resulting from parking-type accidents results (roil? what Ford calls bumper mismalch. In other words the bumpers on your car may not be at the same level to meet the bumpers your neighbor's car in the event they collide. So Ford has developed and filed with tlie deportment of transportation detailed guidelines for future bumper design. Tlie zuidelines deal with the shape and position of bumpers to provide bettor protection for liph'.inp fixtures, grilles, and .sheet metal. Motorists will welcome these improve- ments. Tlie sooner they appear on ears the ;