Just 100 Years Ago

Post # 422  Sorry that I’ve been absent.  I’ve been busy.  What with the Christmas holiday and the families, and the parties, (both of them) and the preparations, I’ve just not been attentive to this blog.  And then there was the flu!!!  It was a typical story, one of the grandchildren contracted just before the “gatherings”, then someone else “got it”.  Finally my wife got it.  I became an isolationist and hunkered down in my Man-Cave for a couple days. To no avail, on December 30th I was found!!  It was a 48 hour event plus another 72 hours to resemble normalcy, it takes us old folks a little longer to recover. The news told me the flu was wide spread this season and my state, Indiana, was hit hard with 9 deaths so far.

It was in the final days of my agony that I ran across a PBS story of the Flu outbreak, of 1918, one hundred years ago. There were 30,000 deaths in Philadelphia in October alone!  Some towns tried to Quarantine themselves from the outbreak, but the mail and mail carriers, carried the “bug” to them. Over the year 500,000 people died from the flu, and over 30 Million worldwide.  Plain wooden coffins were stacked up on porches awaiting pick up. Certain communities dug mass graves to get rid of the all the coffins.

In my early years I was an history fanatic.  I loved all I could read about it, Greek, Roman, European, U.S, whatever. I knew of the Black Plague, but no one taught on this 1918 Flu.  So it’s been a couple of days and I keep thinking back to my history studies in High School and College.  The more I think about this history thing the more I realize that our history is primarily a study of the have and have-nots.  I’m going to say that as you study history you’ll see that what we really we study, is Politics.

I’m going to define Politics as nothing more than one group of people managing (overseeing) the events and lives of another group of people (or territory) whether voluntarily or by force.  It was politics that; defined the territory/leadership/economies of Babylon, Assyria, Egypt, Middle Ages, Arabs, the Church whether European or English, the Irish economy and the exodus from the potato famine.  The Virginia Colony, land grab from the Indians, our battles with the British, and the Spanish for more land was all political.

As I thought about it, Politics seemed to be at the root of all the history we are told about.  There is no discussion of the positive non-political character of our souls.  Only minor discussion about after our bombing Germany and most of Europe into dust in WWII that we funded the continents reconstruction, and that only one or two of the little Scandinavian countries ever paid off the debt. This list goes on even into modern times, of aide we send everywhere, of countries we “payoff” to maintain our friendship.

It was 100 years ago, 1918, we lost more people to the flu in that year that we lost in all wars in the 20th century. Maybe we should stop studying politics and spend a little more time in the Bible where caring is more important that taking.

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Post #421

We, my wife and I, don’t come from families that ever did much partying (at least together).  Oh, once in a while we’d get involved with a church “card” club.  Well, not once in a while, only twice, a Euchre Club and a 500 Club and there was that occasional stop for pie and coffee after the church bowling night.

Thinking about this  puts me in mind of New Year’s Eve Party’s.  I know there are lots people (or so it seems) that like go to “big bashes” at some dance hall or hotel conference place.  Some people even go to places like Times Square and stand for hours, eating the drinking waiting for the midnight minute.  After all these years, my wife and I usually break out the cheese and crackers, pop a little corn, pour a little wine (about and inch worth) in glass and toast in the new year.  Well, sort of toast it in.  We’ve learned, as we’ve “‘matured” that cheese, crackers, wine and ANYTHING else after 8 pm, means TUMS at 1 AM and sitting up in the recliner the rest of the night!

But, there was this one year.  We were much younger, and new in town.  In fact we had only lived in this state/town/house for three months.  The neighbors across the street were “adopting” us into the community.  They invited us to a New Year’s Eve gathering at a friends house and THEY would drive.  (HINT: if someone else drives, YOUR STUCK, there is NO escape).  A day or so before the party I came down with a cold and as usual it settled in my chest.  I tried getting us out of attending, but the neighbors wouldn’t take NO!  Well, it turned out they had also arranged to drive their GOOD friends along.  So, 6 of us piled into a car made or 5 and off we went with me doing the deep raspy cough all the way there.  I did my best to stay away from people, and I was fevery and not really aware of the events around me.

It turns out the party was filled with more alcohol than my wife and I were used to and most of it was in the neighbors wife, (I think).  She became a flirtatious thing, purposefully driving her jealous husband up the wall.  Arguing ensued and voice raising followed.  However, those of us in a feverous stupor were truly in a stupor about our surroundings.  The neighbors wife asked me to dance (I’ve previously mentioned that dancing with the stars will NEVER call on me for television), Karen tells me everything that’s going on and that Ed doesn’t mind if she dances with me…..??????……  Later, more arguing and Karen gets slapped.  The mood is dampened, Will We Ever Go Home??? Cough, cough!!!   It was truly a VERY QUITE ride home.  After that night, somehow we were still friends with our neighbors BUT we never went to another party with them!!!!

So, back to the modern era. Like I said we, my wife and I, toast each other, munch some crackers and cheese, sip some wine and watch the New Years Eve Specials.  We look and each other and ask “Who Are These People?”.  Convinced now that we are no longer part of a society that we know or even understand, we just go to bed.  After all it’s 10 pm, our bed time anyway. The new year will be here when we get up.

Happy New Year to All,, hope you enjoy the evening………………………….

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