Bob-n-Along, Feb. 14, 1999
What the world needs now is love: Any questions?
What a better day than St. Valentine's Day to discuss
a four-letter word - love! Over the years, and especially recent years,
a lot of definitions have been given for love.
In the Holy Bible, Jesus Christ says we are to love
our God with all our heart and all our soul and all our mind and
all our strength; and we are to love others as we do ourselves.
Also in the Bible, in Corinthians we're told that
if we do not have love, all the other things we do for God mean nothing.
(I hope I've paraphrased that correctly.)
We also hear love mentioned concerning our feelings
toward our spouses ... or other members of our family ... or our good friends
and neighbors. Back in the '60s - a decade, incidentally, that I really
liked We heard more than once the expression, "Make love, not war!" Then
along came "free love."
We hear a tune we like really well and say, "I love
that song," or we'll see a movie that has a special effect on us and we'll
say, "I just loved that movie." Each year when St. Valentine's Day rolls
around, we think of a little pixie-like figure with wings and a bow and
arrow. He's called Cupid. We associate Cupid with love.
I cannot help but think right now, though, that
there's never been a time in the history of mankind when exercising love
is so important. That is, the love one has for his or her neighbor whether
in the same block or on another continent.
Yep, that probably sounds like a cliché - and worn fairly thin
at that. You may say, "Well, we're not at war!" True, there's no terrible
world war to live through as people in the earlier part of this century
had to endure. Other conflicts, such as Korea, Vietnam and the Persian
Gulf, may also be behind us. So some will say, "What's to worry?"
Heaven knows I'm no expert, but at this juncture
in the history of man, there seems to be more uncertainty regarding our
future than we've ever known. Even now, many are troubled with the
problems Y2K will put at our doorsteps Ñ those of us who are
fortunate enough to have doorsteps.
Don't get me wrong, now. I'm as guilty as the next
guy, or gal, about spouting how we need to treat each other with more dignity
and respect and love, and then go about acting like Attila the Hun or some
Barbarian or heathen, e.g., chewing out the driver who just cut us off
on the freeway. So I suppose now's a good time for me to say, "Do as I
say, not as I do."
St. Valentine's Day isn't the only time of year we're to think of love.
Just this past week, I heard on a preview for a network TV sitcom somebody
saying something to the effect of "Al Capone is the only one who made Valentine's
There are also Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter and special religious holidays
of other faiths when love for neighbor is of utmost significance.
So the next time you hear the word "love" and reflect
on its many definitions, stop to think of the crucial need for better
treatment of your neighbor next door or 10,000 miles away.
Before closing, I'd like to ask if anyone can provide
me with information about the old West Virginia Glass plant in Weston.
Who owned it, when did it open, when did it close, what kind of glass was
made there anything you can think of.
Please send your information to me by direct mail: in care of Bob-n-Along,
Exponent and Telegram, P.O. Box 2000, Clarksburg, WV 26302-2000. You can
e-mail me at http://cpubco.com. And if you have any old photos, I can use
one or more in "A Look Back in Time," the Telegram's new photo review of
Have a great week!
Weston residents should have say on fee increase
The people of Weston have said they want to vote
on an ordinance that increased municipal fees by $90. Unfortunately, the
city is trying to block that vote. The dispute over the municipal fee increase
goes back a year.
In February 1998, Weston City Council passed an
ordinance that bumped up municipal fees from $30 to $120 for most residents.
In April 1998, residents opposed to the increases presented council with
a 1,026-signature petition. But council, on a 3-1 vote, refused to accept
the petition, saying some of the signatures did not appear to be on the
"up and up."
Residents appealed to Secretary of State Ken Hechler.
Last week, Hechler informed city council by letter that 822 of the 1,026
signatures belonged to registered Weston voters, more than the 30 percent
of registered voters required to let residents vote on the ordinance. City
Attorney Christy Smith, told by council to respond to Hechler's letter,
said last week the state still has to verify the signatures.
Weston officials should stop quibbling about the
signatures. By doing so, they're only slowing the democratic process and
delaying the inevitable. There can be no doubt that 30 percent of Weston
residents would like to have a say on the $90 fee increase.
Yes, if residents were to vote down the fee ordinance,
it would be a serious blow to Weston's already wobbly finances. Municipal
fee collections netted $110,000 for the city budget last year. That's money
desperately needed by a city that has a $50,000 debt and has had to adopt
a policy of paying bills only as revenue becomes available. Still, fiscal
urgency does not justify standing in the way of democracy.
Also, if residents were to vote down the ordinance,
it would not mean any municipal fee increase would be out of the question.
Some opponents, well aware of the city's troubles, argue only that a fee
increase should come in more manageable increments instead of a $90 jump.
Weston's leaders should stop trying to block the
vote the people want. They should settle the signature quibble quickly,
let the people speak, listen to what they have to say, and go from there.
Telegram editorial board member
My TV's remote has been lost in the black hole
Terry Horne is on vacation this week. Today we're repeating one of
his favorite columns.
I remember learning about black holes in an astronomy
class I took in college. The professor said no one had ever seen one, but
scientific evidence told us they existed. I can't remember his name or
I would call him to let him know that I have a black hole at my house.
Black holes are masses of dense matter that suck
everything around into its center because of its powerful gravity. Whatever
goes in is never seen again. To parents, black holes are usually associated
My youngest daughter officially turns two on Saturday
but started the so-called Terrible Twos at least three months ago. She
is into everything and at this point it is questionable whether our home
will survive this stage.
I don't know exactly where in our house this black
hole is located. Our daughter knows, however. She sees that something new
is sucked in every day. Most of it is trivial stuff like a single sock
or a toy. Once we thought the telephone was sucked in but we found it a
couple of days later.
The biggest loss is the television controller. This
has been traumatic because I'm a master at sitting on the couch flipping
through all 50-some cable channels in 30 seconds or less. But I'm not just
a sprinter. I'm also famous for marathon channel switching. My personal
record is 30 minutes of channel switching with no more than six consecutive
seconds stopped on any particular channel.
Now, I actually have to get off the couch, walk
to the television and bend over while pushing the button. I've heard this
is how it was when television first appeared in American homes. It is hard
to believe that television viewing prospered under those conditions.
The missing controller has drastically cut back
on channel switching at our home. As a result I've thought about giving
up television. I now realize it was the switching that gave me pleasure,
not the programming.
My wife seems unduly happy about this development.
She makes comments about how nice it is to sit down and watch a program
through its entirety without rapid flashes across the screen every five
minutes or so. I'm suspicious that maybe in this particular case my 2-year-old
I'm concerned about this because it has occurred
to me that maybe my wife now knows where the black hole is in our house.
And that other things that I own that she doesn't approve of could be destined
for the black hole.
My 1982 Kawasaki 750 cc motorcycle is parked in the garage and I keep
it locked. It weighs some 600 pounds so I think it is safe. But one of
my favorite sweat shirts is missing and I'm pretty sure it is in the black
hole. It had a message across the front: "Rules for a Good Marriage. Rule
No. 1: The man is always right. Rule No. 2: When the man is wrong, refer
back to Rule No. 1."
All this is making me paranoid. I'm now sleeping
with my two Big Bertha's and my wife's not happy about it. I told her I
have to keep an eye on them because other men covet them. But the truth
is I'm worried she'll deposit them in the black hole. (Just to clarify,
Big Bertha's are a brand of very expensive golf clubs.)
My wife denies she knows the whereabouts of the
black hole. Maybe I should believe her. But she and my daughter always
look at each other and wink when I start lamenting the loss of my precious
Terry Horne is the publisher of the Exponent and Telegram. His
column appears every Sunday.