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Don Amend

One summer afternoon back in 1988, I stepped out into the back yard of my Greybull home and looked up into a dark gray sky.

Once upon a time, it was a big event in California every spring when huge flocks of swallows returned from their winter home to the old mission at San Juan Capistrano.

Watching the political scene is always good for a few laughs.

Not that politics isn’t a serious business. Politicians can, and often do, cause a great deal of mischief, and not a few disasters.

Being in an extended state of forced physical inactivity, I have been left with considerable time to improve my mind, or at least keep it active. I’d hate to have my brain turn into the proverbial couch potato from lack of stimulation.

So, with the help of the old iPad, I have been reading a lot of non-fiction books and have watched several old movies that I missed when they were new, including an early Alfred Hitchcock film from the 1930s. More recently, I have discovered academic programs available online, and have listened to 24 lectures on the book of Genesis.

 

Ordinarily, our house is pretty quiet.

Aside from my tendency to turn the music up a few extra decibels, the better to hear the pianissimo passages of “Scheherazade” or enjoy the somewhat louder chords of “Born in the USA,” there isn’t a lot of noise.

As faithful readers of this column may remember — I think there are a couple dozen of you out there, not counting my relatives — I last filled this space with my thoughts on immigration.

A couple of weeks ago, my wife handed me the phone to speak with the lady on the other end of the line.

The lady was conducting a poll, apparently for the Republican Party, about the immigration bill currently being discussed in Congress, and asked me if I would support a bill that included a number of provisions. Then she began to read a list of those provisions which was so long I lost count by about item number eight.

This week, I would rather not be at home.

Were it not for certain medical issues, I would be in Pennsylvania this week, attending the activities observing the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg — which include a reenactment of the events of those three July days of horror and heroism by thousands of ordinary people who make a hobby of reliving the events of the Civil War. One of them is my nephew Jake.

I’m a bit too old to be a baby boomer. My birth just a few weeks before D-Day makes me a war baby.

One of the consequences of this situation was that I eventually became big brother to five baby boomers, which, while not a terrible thing, did mean some cultural differences within my immediate family and often these differences involved music.

For almost a dozen years now, this nation has been on a campaign to keep we the people safe.

The attacks back in 2001 triggered enormous efforts to increase security, especially in air travel, and incidents ranging from airline passengers with explosive BVDs to school invasions by deranged, gun-toting individuals have increased the concern.

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