Monday, 15 March 2021

Originally broadcast on CHED radio - Thursday, September 21, 1961

I read an interesting article the other day about a forest fire that had destroyed a Rangers lookout tower while the Ranger stood watch. You might ask, how could this happen, but really the Rangers explanation was simple. From his lofty perch high in the air, the base of the tower on which he stood was the only thing he COULDN’T see. When I read this I thought how like most of us this ranger was. Isn't it true that we are always looking for trouble far afield, but at the same time we can't see the trouble brewing right on our own doorstep. If you listen to our new show "Nightline" at 10 PM each evening, you'll hear a great many people say regarding a bad situation… "I know it isn't right, but what can I do about it?"

I say this, that anyone can start right from where he is to raise the standards of such vital sphere of influence as local and Provincial Government, and education. An alert, and informed public is democracy’s greatest strength. A vigilant citizenry CAN, SHOULD and MUST be aware of, and make every effort to correct such injustices as may be found right under our noses. We often hear our friends south of the border, soundly and roundly condemned for their attitudes on racial inequality, yet how few of us do anything about similar problems which exist right here in our own city. Perhaps it's because we lack confidence in our own deepest convictions, and therefore adopt the often spoken attitude… "What can I do about it?” If you feel this way, just remember that our democratic system is like a chain, it is only as strong as its weakest link. You are a link… just as important as any other link. Our country needs your strength, and needs it badly. When your time comes to be heard, be it on a platform, through a letter to the editor, a call to your radio station, or in the voting booth, say what you have to say and say it with conviction. Remember, regardless of the issue, you CAN do something about it.

Originally broadcast on CHED radio - Monday, September 18, 1961

John Barton and I were talking the other day about the kind of world in which our children are growing up. We were lamenting the fact that there were so many things about which these kids would not know. To mention just a few. Did you ever spend a cold winter night on a farm, and off in the distance, when the night was dark and cold, you'd hear the whistle of a train, a long and lonely whistle that would trigger all kinds of wonderful dreams. You hear that lonesome wail as you snuggled deeper into the feather tick and you’d wonder where the train was going and what famous people might be aboard. Well, that great sound is gone forever. It has been replaced by something that could be a bus horn or a truck, a big ugly puff of sound that just hasn't the appeal of the old train whistle. John mentioned too that our kids have never seen a street car. That means they've never had the great fun of flipping trolleys. Boy that used to be our favorite outdoor sport up on 124th St. at 8th Avenue. All you had to do was pull the guy wire that was attached to the post supporting the trolley wires, and off would pop the trolley. Sounds silly now but it was great fun then. Oh – there are a lot of things our kids will miss, things like running boards where you could hang on while your dad drove the car at 10 miles an hour… rumble seats, where are you stay even if you froze to death… the friendly warm flicker of a coal oil lamp on your grandpa's farm… wind up Victrola's and open Tiger Moth airplanes where you could actually SEE the pilot and you'd always wave but he’d NEVER wave back. Yes… these things our kids will never know. Somehow today I get the feeling that everything is moving too fast… or am I just slowing up.

Originally broadcast on CHED radio - Monday, February 3, 1964

You know doubt have seen these wig hats advertised. They come in a variety of colors ranging from exciting jet black to platinum blonde. You can comb and brush them into all kinds of chic styles and from 10 paces back they look like real hair. I thought they were pretty silly until one day recently. I was sitting waiting for my wife in a department store. Close by, on the table, where the wig hats. As I sat there a pretty young lady approached the table. She could not have been more than 19. Her youthful husband was with her. She was carrying a wee baby. She was shabbily dressed and her own lovely hair hung unkempt to her shoulders. She paused, looked at the wigs, then handed the baby to her husband. On her head she fit a platinum blonde wig and then began to style it. For 10 minutes she was completely oblivious to everyone who passed by as she deftly styled the wig into a most becoming style. In spite of her shabby clothing she looked delightfully excited as she shaped the wig into tight little curls about her face. Her husband, more than a little embarrassed, looked on with the baby in his arms. At last it was correct. She stood back, looked in the mirror, and for a few minutes escaped from the monotony of her drab life. She was a movie star, a debutante, a princess, a femme fatale. And then in the moment, it was over. She removed the wig, ran her hands through her hair, took her child into her arms and was gone. I thought to myself, for a few moments, that silly wig hat made her life an exciting thing. I decided that moment to never again disparage these strange items sold to brighten the lives of ordinary women.

Originally broadcast on CHED radio - Tuesday, February 11, 1964

A very close friend of mine is expecting a child. Her husband and I were discussing the matter and I made the comment that it almost seems wrong to bring a child into this war threatened world. My friend looked at me and then took a book from his bookcase; thumbed through it, and handed it to me. On the opened page there were some lines under which pencil lines had been drawn. The underlined portion read: "Women know instinctively even when echoing male glory stuff, that communities live, not by slaughter and death, but by creating life and nursing it to its highest possibilities." My friends, those words by George Bernard Shaw are so true. There never has been a time throughout our turbulent history when women gave up hope, and stop having little ones. Come wars, come floods, come storms, come famine, come pestilence, women know that life must go on. No man worth his salt can spare an hour or two in a maternity ward without gaining a deep and lasting respect for womanhood; for even though we seek new and terrible ways to destroy one another, women go on creating life and nursing it to its highest potential.

Originally broadcast on CHED radio - Date unknown

I suppose most of us have times in our lives when we give in to the burden of worry. Life can be difficult, and to be sure there are many things about which we should all be concerned. However if you are like me you fret over what has passed and you worry over what may happen in the future. Foolish, isn't it? All the worry in the world cannot bring back one dead yesterday. It's over and done with. As for tomorrow, where is our stake in it? The sun may come up clear and bright, or it may be haze over with cloud but one thing is for sure, it WILL come up. Until it does we have no claim upon the day it ushers in. That leaves us with only today. SURELY we can work things out for that small period of time. I know what you are saying, "It's easier said than done." This I know for I have lost the battle to useless worry more times than I care to remember. I have found a slogan of Dale Carnegie's very helpful however, and I'd like to pass it onto you. As you mouth this little phrase think about it. Consider the wisdom of it and see if tomorrow you can't beat the worry habit. When you feel you can no longer cope just say to yourself “THERE NEVER HAS BEEN A DAY I COULDN’T GET THROUGH.” Try it. Don't expect miracles, but do give it an opportunity to help you. Remember that today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. You'll get through this day because “THERE NEVER HAS BEEN A DAY I COULDN’T GET THROUGH.”