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Fact, Fun & Fillips: September 24, 2015

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Hi. . . . . . . .

It is a beautiful day, Wednesday, Sept. 23, the first day of Autumn!

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Going to take advantage of it.

Leaving Pana, “The City of Roses” and going for a ride north, for medical reasons to Decatur, the “Soybean Capital of the World”!

FFF asks that in the meantime you take care of not “Waters world”, but “FFF’s world”, dear old Pana, and possibly to be in the not too distant future, “Trump’s World”; heh, heh!

And if that doesn’t get some people agitated or riled, well up, we’ll try again! Ha!

Don’t give up on us! Ha!

We should be back later today.

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Today ‘s Thursday – “N-P Day”, Pardon FFF – but, the “old man” thought yesterday was Thursday – and he had to get the column out early before leaving.

FFF did, but we misplaced a day.  Therefore, this part is being written today, Thursday, Sept. 24.

We did make our trip to Decatur. Visited a “skin man”, a real doctor, Dr. Lee of The Lee Institute of Skin and Laser, who removed 2 growths, one a mole on the left side of our cranium (didn’t really think anything was alive and growing up there! And it’s doesn’t anymore!! Not even hair!) And a patch of questionable origin on our chin. Reports on tissue back in a couple of weeks.

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To Pana Panther gridders all, and especially young Mr. Rhett Zahradka, both your Dad, Mom and “Grandma Z” up “there” and especially the “Admiral” and Jerrie are proud of you and the rest of the Pana Panthers footballers FFF knows. Keep it up! – From one of your biggest Pana fans of all, FFF.  Four and Zip – Fantastic! Panthers play Piasa on Friday night – there!

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Also! Don’t forget that Friday, October 2nd the Pana Chamber of Commerce will have it’s 11th annual golf outing at the Pana Country Club. It’s a 4 person, 18 hole scramble with a shotgun tee at 1:00 p.m.

IIIII

So Long!

Fact, Fun & Fillips: September 21, 2015

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It has troubled FFF since the death, just recently, of Richard C. Cheney of New York City, that he be remembered, not only here, (Pana), but also at his collegiate alma mater – Knox College at Galesburg, in north-western Illinois, past Peoria.

And so we contacted the office of the president of Knox College, but she was not available and out of her office at the time. I told her secretary of our plight, and she replied she would pass the news on.

Dick Cheney died last week in New York City, most all here know if they have been in touch with the column or newspaper.

FFF has been in touch with the Cheney family in New York. The secretary did not think the university had been notified of Dick’s death.

Frankly, that was not our problem. It was if not, they should. So we will be forwarding copies of our news Palladium’s coverage of his demise – and our personal FFF columns coverage of same.

If we were and for that matter ever be president of such a prestigious institution like Knox College, we would be delighted if we could relate the colorful and successful career of one our most successful and prestigious  students, especially if he had culminated his career as chairman of the board of New York’s Hill and Knowlton, an internationally prestigious public relations firm.

In closing, this portion of our column, it is impossible to relate and the personal hurt, and feeling of loss, to myself, Tom Phillips, Publisher of Pana News-Palladium, Inc and our sister communities newspapers, Nokomis, Morrisonville, and Assumption, at Richard’s death.

Intend to also investigate ways the University has to memorialize such students. Also to see if they have a newspaper that could consider using his obituary, past pictured. We intend anyway, to forward copies of our own coverage and comment on his life and death.

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Would also like any folks remembering Richard and family, like his classmates, neighbors and friends, to send us memories, so we could inform the family, if and when they might plan to return to Pana in the future, they might be in touch!

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FFF comment: Not that we can remember, in our lifetime, such a crowd of qualified people vying for President of the United States.

There’s plenty of time until the actual election, but never, never has FFF had the thought or feeling to reconsider party lines of the past. It rests with the lack of action and concrete decisions of the current administration.

We, FFF, do not support, in any way, the policy coming out of the administration, the nuclear deal with Iran!

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Keep thumping away, Mr. Trump. FFF wants you to at least have a play at leading America. A first rate “power” to once more be respected around the world!

IIIII

So Long!

Fact, Fun & Fillips: September 17, 2015

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Coming! After we wrote about all Wednesday, afternoon a tribute to our New York City president of Hill and Knowlton, from the 200 block of East Vine street where he made his home with an aunt and uncle, we believe it was, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin M. and Lillie M. Morgan at 209 Vine street, while a young person growing up, here in the City of Roses, Pana.

Shown in the photos are Dick, a president in the New York City public relations firm, Hill and Knowlton, which FFF also thinks is internationally ranked.

And after toiling, pen in hand, trying to re-read what appeared to be doings of a village loon, we gave up! And this short announcement is of a postponed forthcoming effort of recognition a gentleman who has ben one of FFF’s friend over the past 30 years during our from a “not too shabby” young man, our opinion only, you understand to something of at the age of 83, “whatchamacallit”!!

Am sure you get our drift! Ha!

Dick is shown during his tenure leading Hill and Knowlton in New York City as chairman of the board.

Second photo is the much younger version of Mr. Cheney as president of his senior class at Pana High School in 1939.

Some of you may recall in recent years, the PHS Yearbook, the Panorama detailed how Dick’s class then was given permission to “have Skeezix” to graduate with them “and a letter of permission was written by then cartoonist  and creator, Edward King for “Skeezix” to become a “full fledge” graduating member of the class of ’39 with his likeness appearing in the Senior  Class alphabetical listing – we had much fun with the Skeezix touch!

In our memory recounting meeting Dick, and two of his wife Virginia’s four and their children. It is indelibly etched in our memory of this first meeting. FFF met with them on a  summer Saturday afternoon. It took place here in downtown at the P-NP.

Everything else was closed, they came in following a class reunion, and Dick was showing his son and daughter some of what the “old” hometown looked like. FFF gave them a tour of the N-P.

FFF has never forgotten. Nor will he ever, over that much our 30 pleasant and remarkable years of, friendship!

IIIII

So Long!

Fact, Fun & Fillips: September 14, 2015

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Got to hurry this bit today! Just got up, but feeling already we’re “running out of steam.”. Think they call this, “Age” not OK, but a fact of life in FFF’s case. Ha!

We have two missions today; First is to say that the reunion for our prestigious former resident, Hector Honore, Pana race car owner of the “Black Deuce,” the most “winningest” vehicle in the nation’s sprint racing car circuit reunion, a success in the fact that numerous former Honore fans and racing enthusiasts were present at Oak Terrace Resort, Sunday afternoon, south of Pana for all there!

FFF got to meet a few of them while we were there in the company of N-P editor, Tom Latonis, who was covering the festivities on a picture taking mission.

It pleases us very much, in addition to meeting Hector’s fans, to also be greeted by two young women, attractive ancestors of the Honore family. Who we shall introduce to you later also!

Right now, our mission is to report a situation that has always bothered us, with regards to Hector and his race car history. It is that FFF has always felt remiss in the fact that we never had the talent to better proclaim this man’s abilities in his chosen occupation – top flight mechanic. Because in our youth, we didn’t go back over small bits of racing history of which we either didn’t know or had observed on our infrequent visits to the mechanical home of the Honore racing machine, housed, in an inconspicuous garage on Congress Alley in  downtown Pana. During the years it rested there. No conspicuous show of the fame it really deserved! The same goes for the man who loved it, put it together, kept it intact, moving and nurtured it’s successful rounds  of the racing circuit to create a championship machine recognized and revered everywhere, but really never, not enough in Pana, because it always performed at a distance! Hardly ever seen by the local crowd, but one who has always loved both Hector and his machine!

With this thought in mind, I want to keep in mine, the style of covering this part of Hector’s history. FFF will work to and has talk already to Stan King, the young man who has put so many hours into assuring that an idol of his is remembered, and that along this line, what should begin to be given to the work of a committee possibly and anyone wishing to be part, should contact Mr. Stan King or Tom Phillips at the Pana News-Palladium.

The memory of Hector and his family and what he has projected but has become a victim of time and memory, and if nothing else, for the education of our young people who do not realize that Pana, by the virtue of efforts by his always supportive family something honored and is a thing to be remembered.

Something visibly suitable to the memory of the man and his car and family to monument his memory and that of his family should be considered in the future.  Anyone with any suggestions, is welcome to call FFF either at the Pana News or at his abode at Hickory Estates, at 741-2018  and leave a message during the 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

These two projects remain prominent for consideration in the days and hours between now and the “next assignment”. Whatever that shall be, from the “big boss” up there. Ha!

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Keep going Pana Pride! You folks are doing a wonderful job. And it’s showing!

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So Long!

Fact, Fun & Fillips: September 10, 2015

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Hit hard the past few days by word of the deaths of 2 close friends – World War II Pana hero, Walter “Wally” Downs, who died in Florida and Richard C. “Dick” Cheney, former president of the international public relations firm of Hill and Knowlton of New York City. Dick served his senior class at Pana High School, as president in 1939. His firm specialized in thwarting giant business take-overs and Mr. Cheney, its president.

Mr. Cheney died on Wednesday, Sept. 2, in New York City.

On the other hand, Walter “Wally” Downs, was an outstanding student and athlete at Pana High School, attended the University of Illinois and returned to Pana to enter the U.S. Navy and on the way to becoming a Naval pilot, a hero of the South Pacific dive bombing the skies of WWII to win the medal pictured here awarded by the President of the United States at the time, Harry Truman. He returned to Pana after, to join the family business of Down’s Motors.

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Walter Middlesworth Downs

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Navy Cross

Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Ensign Walter Middlesworth Downs, United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Dive Bomber of Bombing Squadron ONE (VB-1), attached to the U.S.S. BENNINGTON (CV-20), in action against major units of the enemy Japanese Fleet at Kure Naval Base in Japan, on 28 July 1945. Flying through intense anti-aircraft fire from numerous warships and from strategically-placed shore batteries, Ensign Downs courageously carried out a low-altitude bombing attack against an ISE Class battleship, scoring one direct hit and inflicting extensive damage on the hostile vessel. Recovering from the run well under 1,000 feet, he flew close aboard two large enemy carriers to permit his gunner-photographer to obtain damage assessment photographs. By his skill as an airman and aggressive fighting spirit, Ensign Downs contributed to the success of an epic strike in which all capital ships of the Japanese Fleet at Kure were either damaged or sunk. His devotion to duty was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander 2d Carrier Task Force Pacific: Serial 02024 (October 8, 1945)

Action Date: July 28, 1945

Service: Navy Rank: Ensign Company: Bombing Squadron 1 (VB-1)

Division: U.S.S. Bennington (CV-20)

Then comes Walter Middlesworth Downs, who during the beginning of WWII sat at noon on a bank of dirt, then a U of I student, working with the reconstruction firm owned by the father of the U of I student and watch at what was finally Glenview Naval Air Station, watching the rushed construction of that base in the hurried expediency of a nation forced by the recent attack of the Japanese to wake from a national industrial slumber,  because of the national war effort.

So FFF was told, the two young men then working on these two airstrips of Glenview Naval Air Station, watching planes coming and going, these possibly training flights, and from what we were told Wally observing the same scene had commented to his friend “I think I can do that!’

And timess and history took over – and in the Pacific skies, he did!

FFF was a small boy in those days, Wally, a very young man. He and FFF we were not closely associated with one another until later years. Did go to school with the Downs twins “Ginny” and “Charlie” at Pana High School. They a little older.

As an onlooker, we know the same fortitude and bravery, and other good things we have noted as traits of the extended family of the senior Mr and Mrs Walter Downs, growing up in the beautiful former location of banker Henry Schuyler, at the SE corner of Spruce and Fifth streets.

A fine, proud family. And to all we have know. FFF is proud to know them.

For all who knew Wally, no further is necessary, they know.

FFF had occasion to see Wally in action closely during our and his lifetime! No better The same Walter Middlesworth Down’s life, as it was, never faltered. He was a brave young man. Just as when he was “captain” of his own aircraft, and after a successful bombing run over the warm waters of the no doubt, Kure, on the seas of Japan between two giant carriers, carrying the fight to Imperial Japan. As he photographed damaged by his attack. He was accompanied in the “back seat”  by a loyal crew member who he never, never forgot during the years, FFF thinks she has passed, but has been told of the affection that existed between them.

FFF’s personal note! “From a black shoe to a brown shoe” – Will miss your steady friendship much, fairs winds, and bright skies, and of course, as all sailors need on the sea, under the sun, and up in the bright blue, over the sea.

The clock ticks much too rapidly for FFF.

Intended to move on into the subject of the second dear friend. Richard C. “Dick” Cheney of the city of New York, who also left us last week.

Publication, time and space dictates we hold that for our next visit. . . .

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So Long!

Fact, Fun & Fillips: September 3, 2015

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‘Tis the “Week of Memories”, referring to the career in journalism of Thomas J. Phillips, and going back to his days of covering the then, fairly new, Pana Tri-County Fair, our starting year being 1956!

Bit of writing is the step-child of even fonder memories of days of our “loved and missed”, Dad and Mom, T.J. and Della, and we made three, piling into the old 1927 Phillips Chevy Coupe on Clark street, no doubt it originating from former Down’s Chevrolet and Oldsmobile dealership, located in the venerable same location on Poplar street behind, to the north and adjacent to Pana City Hall, the structure now owned and occupied by Pana’s Eric Denton, field tiling expert of Pana.

Actually, it was on one hand for young and green reporter Tom Phillips – four or five fun days and nights, but with long hours, squeezing in covering the exposition during regular work-day hours, and the remainder on our own “overtime”!

No problem, we made it through and enjoyed every minute of it. The big perk in working in the news business is the sideline accompanying, of varied experiences! One talent we do have from all that, for sure. . . We can sit down with the “best of  ‘em” in the story telling and wasting time departments. Ha!

Along this line, reminiscing, we understand that D. G. Schumacher, son of Ted and Miriam, brother of Diane and Charles, of the old PN-P “family”, his Dad, Ted was a partner with C.E. Schumacher, L. F. Klein and T. J. Phillips, triumvirate owners of N-P the partnership by virtue of purchasing same from Don and Dorothy Pauschert, Pana and Glen “Scrubby” Michelman and wife Genevieve of Tower Hill and later Shelbyville, called in and would be visiting us today, for which we’re very happy he did! And FFF is most happy!  It was a nice talk, that ensued with Dedrich or “D. G.”  – semi-retired newspaper executive, was and is always a favorite of FFF!

‘Tis the “season of memories” around here, and we’re glad to participate!

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To all – wishes for fun, and frolic at the Pana Tri-County Fairgrounds, of which FFF  supposes is still “part owner”, but doesn’t know how much!  Comes from stock purchased by the N-P by Doris and myself and “Scrubby” Michelman in far years past!

Been thinking seriously about finding out how much, and we’ll be stuck for, if any, at our demise, being the honest person we try to be, and must, proclaim, with a figure or value in our estate for the government. This in our final or last contact with people, other than celestial! Ha!

Will let you know at some future date, if successful, In finding Pana Tri-County Fair stock of Pana News, Inc.,  Fair stock of Pana News, Inc. Don and Dorothy Pauschart and the late Glenn “Scrubby” Michelman, is worth more than memories!

You all have a good time out at the big racing oval. And while there and watching the ponies, give thought also to the “King of the Sprint Car Racing” the late Hector Honore, and family, during these days of activities at the Fair and more coming up!

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So Long!

Fact, Fun & Fillips: August 31, 2015

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Condolences of the sincerest kind to dear friend and popular Pana businessman, Raymond “Cotton” Spinner at the loss to their  family. Wife, mother and grandmother, Mrs. Donna Spinner.

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Donna died in Springfield Memorial Medical Center Wednesday. Mr. Spinner is well known as a member of Pana’s professional barbering family of which he has been a member for many years.

First off to say that he and wife Donna were “close” would be a gigantic understatement.“Cotton” loved Donna and Donna loved her husband ”Cotton”

This was apparent in their activities – traveling together, active in ballroom dancing, homemaker duties, which included she regularly bringing lunch to “Cotton” at their barber shop!

“Devotion” to one another, would be the onlyway, this observer can think of to describe the feelings they had for each, as observed through the years!

We only knew Donna through our visiting the barber shop for many years. Until she appeared at Heritage Health, this some-time-ago also home for our own Doris – going on 6 years now. Donna had had an injury and and so we would exchange greetings daily on passing her room, going and coming.

A fine lady in our estimation!

Between she and husband “Cotton”, they gave much pleasure to the Pana Community by their various outside lighting schemes for the holidays.

To “Cotton”, their daughters Carla Beck of Pana, Andrea Sullivan of Culpepper, VA, Antoinette Spinner of Taylorville, and son Mark of Pana. We also send our sincerest sympathy.

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So Long!

Fact, Fun & Fillips: August 24, 2015

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A suggestion for Pana goers of home grown activities, emphasizing local people and suggest how to start figuring how to allot their time for future Pana events to entertain and enlighten!

As September looms, so does our own Pana Tri-County Fairgrounds! Folks are working even now keeping alive the up-coming Labor Day festival weekend, historically one of the busiest and most exhilarating times of the year for Panaites, closing the door on summer, opening the door to the many other activities of fall, accompanying the changing season.

First of all, school opening activities, you mention it, this season’s got its cool breezes, the heart and blood pumps faster as the days pass and the leaves fall.

Make time for the Fair and following – Stan King’s planned exposition of activities for remembering more of old Pana, and the “quiet man’s” program in remember him, Hector Honore’s Day in Kitchell Park on September 5th and then again for a meeting of those wanting to recall, gathering to swap memories of Mr. Honore at Oak Terrace Resort on September 13 and it goes on and on.

So loosen up your legs,  for using, and be glad you can to take yourself and the little ones around Pana and it’s events. It’s not so easy for FFF anymore without his trusty cane, and driver, we’re just about totally dependent for rides on somebody else’s time and sometimes in their vehicles!  The days of jumping into our own auto – and moving off to any location, any time we want, now is not as possible as it used to be! No complaints, but fact!

And the advice, follows; use them (the legs) and and as briskly as needed, without complaint! “Use ’em while you have ‘em”.  A person never really realizes how many things are taken for granted.  Small things! Until they are gone!

And believe this “old codger” (how, the time does come…)

FOR EVERYONE!!!

And would we kid you?

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We really aren’t comfortable with the red hat that Mr. Trump wears, but how about a new white one – just don’t know what that red one he wears, signifies, if anything particular.

We’ve taken great pleasure at the “down to the earth “manner of a man who pulls along his own helicopter as needed, such as to give rides to little kiddies on his campaign trail, almost like it’s on a string! And attached to that, by another string, a huge 747 jet, the ‘copter to handle “small stuff” the “big job” to carry Mr. Trump and associates, personally in his business endeavors, including his campaign (neither of which is paid for by the U.S. Government or us).

As another gentleman in the entertainment world said many years ago – “How Sweet It Is!” to stand off to the side and watch it all.

And what is great it all comes, no chaerge to the taxpayer at all, under the banner of “Make America Great!” And no way at this point does this reflect on the wonderful numerous slots of presidential candidates!

IIIII

So Long!

Fact, Fun & Fillips: August 17, 2015

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

“Dear Tom,

“I have been following with great interest your commentary on the upcoming presidential election, in particular your, it seems, fascination with the commentary of Fox News. Your correspondent mentioned in the July 30, 2015 issue of the PNP suggested that you turn off Fox News.

“Some years ago, you taught me that when it was hard facts, with verification, it was news, but, when it was opinion, it was editorial, in other words only the opinion of the reporter. More than once you reined in this young reporter/editor when his passion overcame your edict on reporting just news.

“In my retirement I have followed this upcoming election with great interest and have come to the decision (my editorial note) that to date no one (the candidates) are talking about solving our many problems, rather they are pandering to the baser emotions of the electorate.

“Back to my main point, Fox News is not reporting news, but instead is catering to those baser needs, only to boost ratings.

“Tom, you once introduced me to The Honorable Paul Findley as your “token Republican” (more in honor of my dad than me) and I still consider myself a Republican (moderate), however with more and more reservations.

“Switch the channel, listen to . . . the many other sources of news and once again form your own opinion.

“Thanks for listening.

“And I can say this since you’re my big brother-in-law,

“Love, Fred Christner”

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Once my FFF’s, “Little brother-in-law, Fred sent me a letter, from some far-office over-seas! When he was still on active duty as a member of the U.S. Air Force. It concerned using my column, and the paper, it was printed on for wrapping fish!

And that column won me, FFF his only first place in the Illinois Press Associations “State-Wide Annual Newspaper Column Writing Contest. It’s a stretch, FFF knows, but who knows? Maybe this might do the same.

To Fred, thank you, sir!  And “love” back! Sat and spoke to Katie, Fred and Ellen’s daughter only a few days ago!

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Not that we intend to change our listening habits, Fred, but who knows?

Don’t know if my strange alliance with the appearance on the national presidential election scene (many people have either laughed, looked quizzically sympathetically mentally at FFF as he has told them of the strange down to earth feeling we’ve carried all along with Mr. Donald Trump who is pleading all along he only wants to make America “great again, in the eyes of the world. ”  And the country if all the applause – heard when he says this. Only this is our instinct, immediately:  “Have at it Mr. Trump!  Keep giving it your best try!  It’s still a matter of choice and a long way to convention time and Election Day!” . And we intend to use it as always!

At this early point, we admire his tactics and beliefs. We give him the opportunity to show more of himself as the months before we cast a ballot. But at this point most of our mind set is that something, with all the clutter within the Democratic party rests with those of us who have failed our own party in not recognizing the cluttered path that has been facing the voter.

We, as a people, if those at the top think the cluttered path to the presidency is simple, in the minds of simple voters as FFF – it has become not quite that “simple”!

IIIII

So Long!

Fact, Fun & Fillips: August 10, 2015

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It is our thinking that the American public, those who have taken advantage of the Fox Television Organization’s sponsoring the presidential introduction of GOP candidates by way of the televised debates, should owe the organization a debt of gratitude or appreciation.

That is primarily because we feel that it is the best televised edition of “Civics 101” or whatever, free, even, simply attained by the clicking on of the recipients front room, or wherever it’s located – “The Tube”!

And we mean it! Really quite an introduction to “Freedom of expression,” as it is, has been and will continue to be taught in America! The “difference between “US” and “Them”!

“Further more, the affiant says not!”

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A personal thought and which still bothers our conscience, causes to reflect constantly to reflect backward –– and to think solidly on qualities of candidates not by party affiliation, but by expressed from the heart, rather than the “beast of” “political correctness” that sometimes, many times, in fact, causes us to deviate from the good old plain truth, to move from it, to the “easier way out!”

We happen to think this close-up “look” at candidates is the best then thing ever, since the dropping of “geography” from elementary education. What a disappointment  – but then nobody asked us! Shades of Miss Mary Montel of north Pana, at Washington School, who made the Amazon River, and the “Cathedrals” and “Madonna’s”  of Europe, as well, so interesting in our 7th and 8th grade classes.

We should add, along with Misses Charlene Paul and Margaret Travis, the latter, later Mrs. Charles Bain, he the AG instructor at Pana High School about 1948 – 1951. And not to forget two wonderful people then also, Principal Forrest Moore and his wife.

Wonderful memories – especially amidst the fearful thoughts of our world these days,  which we’re trying still to decide – will it implode or explode?

But, wait, that is for the thoughtful decisions of a fine group of women and men, mentioned above in their to prevail in their quests for the presidency of these wonderful United States of America!

Now back to reality! Right?

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Last opinion –– until next time. We think talking about removing our country from the nuclear pact is a waste of time.

We should just do it  – if nothing else to give the Ayatollahs time to think!

It mystifies us, even though supposedly how little our familiarity of world religions we are undecided.

Any time we see secular folks such as Pastor, Reverend, or such “holy” ones come to mind.  It never connotes anything other than religion, peace, etc.

IIIII

So Long.