01-04-2018 Tri-City Area History Page

The Paw Paw River Journal

Fire and Ice, tale for a New Year

 Here we are with a brand new year starting… what shall we do with it? What kind of an impression will we leave for future generations? We stand at a cross road, and I thought of a little poem by Robert Frost called “Fire and Ice.”

Some say the world will end in fire,

Some say in ice.

From what I’ve tasted of desire

I hold with those who favor fire.

But if it had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate

To say that for destruction ice

Is also great

And would suffice.

Fire and ice, desire and disgust, love and indifference. Are you surprised that I didn’t put hate as the opposite of love? Well, I don’t think the opposite of love is necessarily hate! I think it is the cold of indifference… not caring at all! We have those opposites in our country right now. And it has been getting worse!

Here we are in the greatest, most powerful country on earth. We’re not perfect, but we are working on it! We’re trying to see that everyone is fed, housed, educated, and insured against calamity. We’ve had our ups and downs… and disagreements. But thousands clamor to get in. Must be something people like about what we are doing!

And among all those trying to get into America, there are a few who have a burning desire to destroy us! We usually find them after they have murdered some citizens, people just going about their lives.

Look at the world… what is happening in other countries, especially the Middle East! Are people trying to get in or out? That is a measure of our success on the world stage! Must be we have something really special in our Constitution that has kept us going this long. And made so many people want to come here.

But what are we doing about it? We are pulling in opposite directions. People in the business of keeping us informed are so corrupted now! It has gotten so we cannot trust what some newscasters tell us on TV. People, whom we used to trust, lie and make up news. Some large, once respected newspapers are part of it. Do they think the end justifies the means? Do they hate our government and our president so much they will do anything… and I mean ANYTHING to make his job more difficult… perhaps get him out of office?

What they are really doing is debasing, diluting the honesty that is so sorely needed now! Truth of the matter is that we are all on the same ship. I’d like to think it is not The Titanic. Instead, it is The United States of America! If we sink, all those nay sayers will go down too!

Some years back we had a vice president named Spiro Agnew. He had a way with words, but he got into trouble and had to resign. I didn’t like his politics, but he said some things that I have remembered ever after. He called his political enemies Nattering Nabobs of Negativity. My Webster’s says that to natter is to chatter idly and talk on at great length. A nabob is an East Indian official, or someone rich and important. Negativity is having doubts and being opposed to ideas.

I believe that we have a lot of nattering nabobs of negativity right now! And I feel almost helpless to do anything about it! In the heartland there are millions and millions of good-hearted people who want to keep our country strong. Are so many consumed with exercising their thumbs on those little ipads that a paralysis has set in?

Many of us served our country in war and peace… my part in the Big One, as Archie Bunker called it, was admittedly small. But it taught me something. If we are going to keep what we value, we have to fight for it! So many of our citizens have fought and bled, or have died.