New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 17, 1993, New Braunfels, Texas
“We can’t continue settling for the lowest common denominator in our government, in our media, and in our lives and in our country.”
- Louise Slaughter U.S. Congressman, 1992A Happy EndingResponse to story on family down on luck has been nothing short of phenomenal
In the Wednesday Herald-Zeitung, a story was published on Page 2A telling of one family’s hardships at Christmas time after the father had recently lost his job.
It was a sad story, not only because the father, Robert Hensley, had lost his job, but also because there were seven children involved who were having to consider the prospect of a very disappointing Christmas.
Normally, stories get some response in various forms from our readers. However, this one drew remarkable feedback and now, after having checked back with the Hensley family yesterday, things are looking much better.
Robert said the phone has been ringing off the wall. Donations of groceries, money and gifts have been brought to the family. Here at the Herald-Zeitung, telephone inquiries into the family’s well-being have been just as frequent. One concerned citizen went as far as calling one Herald-Zeitung staff member at home to find out how to help. It has been enough to make the heart swell with pride.
This is a perfect example of what kind of people live here in Comal County. Though one could label this reaction as being with the ’’Christmas spirit,” in all probability our community would respond in this manner no matter what time of year it is.
However, we know that there are other families here who are just like the Hensleys and need help just as bad. However, there are no newspaper stories to draw attention to each and every one of them.
Anyone interested in contributing to these families should contact the Community Service Center at 625-3439.(Today's editorial was written by Mark Lyon, Managing Editor for the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung.)Write us ...Page 4A Herald-Zeitung Friday, Dec. 17,1993
A lesson in bathroom diplomacy
If you don’t have enough drama in your life, you need to chaperone a party for a group of seventh-graders. (‘‘Chaperone” comes from the French words “chape,” meaning “person,” and “rone,” meaning “who is aging very rapidly”) We recently had a party for our son's 13th birthday. We _ rented a Holiday Inn function
DdVO room, on tire theory that it was B roomier and less flammable
Barry than our house. We hired two nice young Dis to play ugly music really loud so that the youngsters would enjoy it We ordered a large quantity of cold cuts for the youngsters to ignore, as well as a nice fresh vegetable platter for them to actively avoid.
We stood near the door and greeted the guests and their parents as they arrived. There seemed like a LOT of guests, more than we recalled actually inviting, apparently this party was giving off some kind of powerful airborne adolescent hormonal chemical attractant that was causing 13-year-olds as far away as Homer, Alaska, to demand that their parents drive them to it People were streaming into the function room.
The kids would melt instantly into the throbbing blob of youth that had formed in the middle of the dance floor. Their parents would look us over, trying to discern whether we were decent people or Branch Davidians or what. There was no way we could talk to them, because the sound system was cranked up to KILL ZONE, playing songs that consisted of angry men shouting things like:
“This song is PAIN!
Makes you inSANE!
This song grow big warts
On your BRAIN!”
So we'd smile at the parents like Ward and June Cleaver and gesture to the vegetable platter as evidence that we were responsible. They’d nod and scurry out of the function room before their ears started to bleed.
Meanwhile, in the center of the room, things were getting very dramatic. Of course we had no clue what was going on, because we are grown-ups, and therefore way too stupid to grasp the complexities involved in being a seventh-grader.
Later on, our son gave us a much-simplified version, which was that this girl had liked him and wanted to still be his friend, but the boy’s best friend got angry at the girl and called her a bad name, which caused her to become extremely upset and burst into tears, and she thought that the ex-boyfriend had put the best friend up to this, which he hadn’t, in fact he didn’t even KNOW the best friend had done this, and now he (the ex-boyfriend) was VERY upset because she thought HE was responsible, and he was also angry at the best friend, who was ALSO very upset becau* he was just trying to help out his friend and now EVERYBODY was mad at him, so EVERYBODY was upset, and everybody’ FRIENDS were upset, and things were just dramatic and awful that it did not seem possible that life as we now know it could continue on the planet Earth.
As I say, it was actually far more complex than this, with dramatic new developments occurring every few seconds and important News Bulletins circulating throughout the party at well beyond the speed of light
The central throbbing youth blob was constantly pulsating and mutating and splitting into smaller groups and subgroups to whisper, hug, discuss, commiserate or — if it was a group of boys — punch. Every few minutes, a group of maybe 14 gills — at least two of them crying, and at least one of
them saying something like, “I can’t stand it!” — would tush past us out the door and into the ladies’ restroom. Moments later, a clot of boys would rush out and go into the men’s restroom.
Then there would be tense diplomatic negotiations between restrooms, with small party emerging from the men’s restroom to talk with a party from the ladies’ restroom. (“He just wants to talk to her!” “She’s VERY UPSET!”) Then everybody would surge back into the function room, and the throbbing block would change form a few times, and then, suddenly, the Priority Code Red Alert Signal would go out again: Back to the Restrooms!
At times virtually all the party guests were engaged in high-level restroom conferences, leaving us grownups virtually alone with the vegetable tray and the sound system, our eardrums tom to shreds, wondering if next year would should skip the function room and just rent two large restrooms.
At one point, as small groups of seventh-graders were streaming urgently past me in both directions, a young lady, having clearly been briefed by her parents on proper etiquette, stopped momentarily and said to me: "Hi! I'm having a very nice time. So far.”
The party lasted three hours, which is 46 years in chaperone time. Finally, the parents came back and the music (thank God) stopped and the lights came back on and all these urgent, dramatic figures turned back into seventh-graders, politely saying good night and leaving with their parents, going back to the boring old world.
Our son told us it was a good party. I kind of wished I had been there.
(Dave Barry is a syndicated columnist with Tribune Media Services.)
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung welcome* letters on any public issue. The editor reserves the right to correct spelling, style, punctuation and known factual errors. Letters should be kept to 260 words. We publish only original mail addressed to The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung bearing the writer's signature. Also, an address and a t*uphone number, which are not for publication, must be included.
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Editor and Publisher..........................................David Sullen!
General Manager.................................................Cheryl Duvall
Managing Editor......................................................Mark Lyon
Advertising Director................................................Paul Davis
Classified Manager.........................................Karen Reininger
Circulation Director.......................................Carol Ann Avery
Pressroom Foreman........................................Douglas Brandt
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U.S. officials sign agreement to boost Yeltsin
By JOHN KINO Associated Press Writer
MOSCOW (AP) — The United States tried to help Boris Yeltsin today with fresh assistance for Russia’s battered economy and scornful criticism of an emerging opposition leader.
In attacking the views of Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the Clinton administration said Russia's deep recession was behind the ultranationalist’s political appeal and all but demanded that the West bolster Yeltsin’s reforms with more economic aid.
In Moscow today, Vice President Al Gore and Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin signed agreements designed lo show that Yeltsin’s cooperation with the West can help lift Russia’s economy out of a deep recession.
The highlight of today’s agreements
was a 300-page contract bringing Russia into the international space station project The deal includes U.S. payments to Russia of $400 million over the next four years in exchange for up to IO NASA space shuttle missions to the Russian space station Mir to help U.S. astronauts prepare for the new station's construction.
The first cosmonaut to fly on the U.S. space shuttle will pin a mission scheduled to take off in six weeks, negotiators announced.
The two countries also signed several modest investment agreements, including joint U.S.-Russian ventures in gold mining and manufacturing of heavy truck engines. Also signed wa a package energy deals, including a $125 mil
lion grant to Russia for purchase of U.S.-made energy efficiency products, and an agreement for U.S. experts to help inspect older Russian nuclear reactors.
Gore, the delegation leader, led the administration’s charge on both the economic and political fronts, mixing a demand that the West put money behind its rhetorical support of Yeltsin’s reforms with a spirited attack designed to keep Zhirinovsky from building a parliamentary majority.
"I think President Qinton’s message about rallying to the support of reform is going lo be heard more clearly now,” Gore said after meeting with Yeltsin in the Kremlin Wednesday. “We will again be talking with our allies around the world in an effort to gear up the world’s response to this situation here.”
In a warning advisers said was aimed primarily at Germany and Japan, Gore
said the impatience for evident Yeltsin’s reforms would work had chi ven support for Zhirinovksy and raise* the prospect of resurgent Russiai nationalism if the West did not “pul Russia toward the light and away fron the darkness.”
As the in'tial parliament votin, results showed nationalists and com mum sis with strong performances, th administration criticized some of Zhiri novsky’s views but tried to keep th tone civil so as not to appear as med dling in internal Russian politics.
But after two days of reviewin Zhirinovsky’s opinions — and scram bling to find a way to help Yeltsin -the administration decided to vigoi ously attack the man who has suggest ed Russia return to its empire days an said he would not hesitate to us nuclear weapons if elected Russia president.
Today In history
By Tbs Associated Prsss
Today is Friday, Dec. 17, the 351st day of 1993. There are 14 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
Os Dec. 17,1903, the Wright Brothers — Orville and Wilt** — staged the first successful powered-air-plane flights near Kitty Hawk, N.C.
On this date:
la 1777, France recognized American independence.
la 1830, South American patriot Simon Bolivar died in Colombia.
la 1892, the dress rehearsal for “The Nutcracker Suite” by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky was staged in St Petersburg, Russia. (However, the ballet was poorly received when it officially premiered the following night.)
la 1925, Colonel William Mitchell was convicted
at his court-martial of insubordination.
In 1933, in the first world championship football game, the Chicago Bears defeated the New Yolk Giants, 23-21.
la 1939, the German pocket battleship Graf Spee was scuttled by its crew, ending the World War II Battle of the River Plate off Uruguay.
In 1944, the U.S. Army announced it was ending its policy of excluding Japanese-Amene ans from the West Coast.
In 1969, the U.S. Air Force closed its Project Blue Book by concluding there was no evidence of extraterrestrial spaceships behind thousands of UFO sightings.
l a 1979, in a case that aggravated racial tensions, Arthur McDuffie, a black insurance executive, was fatally beaten after t police chase in Miami. (Four white police officers were later acquitted of charges stemming from McDuffie’s death.)_
In 1986, Eugene Hasenfus, the American con victcd by Nicaragua for his part in nxmiig guns lo th Contras, was pardoned, then released.
Tea years ago: Six people were killed, 94 injure when a bomb planted by Irish Republican Arm volunteers exploded outside Harrods departmer store in London.
Five years ago: In his first public statement sine the United States, decided to open direct talks wit the PLO, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Sham! expressed shock, calling the U.S. decision a painfi blow.
One year ago: Responding to attacks on securit forces, Israel ordered the deportation of 418 sus peeled Muslim fundamentalists from the occupier territories. President-elect Clinton tapped forme San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros to be housin secretary.