Monthly Archives: June 2004

Blast of air created excitement at carnival

    Years ago, as a boy about 10, I became mesmerized watching the “Tilt-a-Whirl” at a carnival camped near Independence Street.
     Most fascinating was the girls’ reactions as they emerged from the ride and the operator pulled a lever that released a blast of air, uplifting their skirts.
     That attracted a crowd almost 100 percent male, waiting to see which female would hop on the ride and what her attributes would be when unwittingly made public.

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What happens to “surrendered” stuff?

    It was a wee bit embarrassing as an airport security officer right next to me grabbed a cigarette lighter and proclaimed, in a voice intended to resound considerably, “And this is where this cigarette lighter is going,” as he dramatically tossed it into a black hole of a deep metal container. Several dozen people clearly got the message. I was embarrassed because the actions of the security officer at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas drew considerable deliberate attention, and to the casual observer, I had gotten “busted.” He seemed to draw the lighter out of nowhere, and my being the closest to him made me a likely enough target.

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Life was different during ‘Dark Ages’

    One of my passions is sitting down with my 8-year-old grandson and namesake and telling stories about “the way things were in the Dark Ages.”
     It’s revealing to discover that many of the younger generation see the world as strictly late-20th century. Whereas we products of the Dark Ages can recall having lived under some 13 presidents, Bush, Clinton and Reagan are the presidential names that come most readily to mind for teens.

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Primitive cultures survive despite Western influence

    A recent event has provided the impetus for considerable soul-searching over actions and beliefs of Americans.
     The event took place only last week, involving an eight-day experience in central Mexico.
     This trip has convinced me that Americans generally, the “haves,” are anthropocentric enough to believe everyone should be just like us–and as soon as possible.
     We toured with other Americans and were led by a Chihuahuan-born guide and took the famous train ride into Copper Canyon, an area inhabited by an indigenous group, the Tarahumara Indians.

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