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Wed Apr 1, 2020, 12:02 PM

Pseudacris crucifer [View all]

I'm lucky that I'm enjoying the “spring peepers” in the late evening -to- early nighttime in recent days. I also like to listen to the birds during the day-time. Twice I day, I get to see both deer and wild turkey on my lawn, making their rounds. The pond has come back to life, and there has been enough rain so that plants are turning green on the ground.

It was tempting, as I wrote that last line, to think of a joke about the president refer to the floor in the woods when he visited the site of a western fire after it had been put out. Now there is a human being who is one with nature, surely more so than Chief Joseph, who said, “The Earth and I are of one mind.” I recognize that for me, watching Trump is as bad as drinking a glass of water polluted with industrial waste.

There have been other crises that have threatened large portions of this country before. From among these, I've been thinking about “The Blizzard of 1949.” Probably some here are unfamiliar with that episode, so let me give a brief description. Four states in particular were hit the hardest: Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The first wave hit between January 2nd and lasted, at full blast, until the 5th. The ability to forecast the weather accurately had left this region unprepared for the high winds, bitter cold, and 30-foot snow drifts that followed. Towns and cities were virtually shut down, and in an isolation made worse by the inability to clear roads or railroads. Then a series of blizzards would continue for the next two months.

Stores ran out of groceries. Bars ran out of liquor. People on passenger trains were stuck. Plows were frequently not able to plow roads, and even when they could, the snow quickly drifted back in place. It was difficult-to-impossible for ranchers to feed their herds of cattle and sheep. Wild animals, with the lone exception of elk, suffered and died in large numbers.

This is obviously distinct from the current crisis in many ways. It wasn't a threat invisible to the eye, for example. But there were other differences that stand out, at least in my opinion. Every community, from the smallest town to the largest city, had active crises-response plans, that coordinated with state and federal agencies remarkably well. For people did not have a “it can't happen here” attitude. On the local level, the passengers on the trapped trains were welcome to stay in local homes, since hotels were full of the stranded.

President Truman called upon the military to assist in everything from delivering food and fuel, to clearing roads and railroad tracks when possible, to assisting in the feeding of domestic and wild animals. This included delivering supplies to Native American families, many of whom lived in canvas tents, rather than buffalo skin teepees. As horrible as those months were, there was a community spirit that included coordination with all levels of government.

It's getting later, as it always is, and the peepers have become quiet. Sam and I head inside. I begin taking phone calls from family and friends, all of whom need to vent anxieties and frustrations. All of those who have watched Trump's daily press conference express outrage at Trump's most recent tedious babbling. I listen to their stories about themselves and others at different degrees of separation who are struggling, including examples of people losing their temper over otherwise trivial things, and even one example of an assault that landed an area man in county jail. As harsh as it may sound, it is exactly where he needs to be right now.

John Donne was correct in that no man is an island, although we all wish we could deliver Trump to a solitary one far from civilization. Yet we are becoming a cluster of homes that are islands throughout the nation. We are all taking conscious steps to avoid contact with the corona virus. We need to take conscious steps to avoid contamination from other social toxins, including all of the negatives that are accurately associated with Trump and his ilk. Do not drink from that cup.

I'll end with a quote from the last interview I did with Onondaga Chief Paul Waterman:

“Live. Don't be afraid to live. We can live through this time.

“I did reburials at the Penn Site.Germ warfare killed them. At the Bloody Hill Site, it was small pox. Some of the burials were of parents and their children. They were holding hands. This seems to happen when germ warfare kills families.

“But we are here today. It's our turn to live now. And if you're reading this, it's your turn as well. Make the most of it. Enjoy your family.”

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Reply Pseudacris crucifer [View all]
H2O Man Apr 2020 OP
7wo7rees Apr 2020 #1
H2O Man Apr 2020 #2
Celerity Apr 2020 #3
H2O Man Apr 2020 #4
Celerity Apr 2020 #5
malaise Apr 2020 #6
H2O Man Apr 2020 #7
PETRUS Apr 2020 #8
H2O Man Apr 2020 #9
bluescribbler Apr 2020 #10