BLAST FOR THOUGHTFUL THINKING
The Lehigh Valley Common Sense Herald is published in the English language in association with the Lehigh Valley
Council For Regional Livability, Inc., P.O. Box 1136, Allentown, Pa. 18105... The Publisher is Dennis L. Pearson, 942
E. Tilghman Street, Allentown, Penna. 18109, Telephone # --- (610) 434-1229... E-MAIL ADDRESS --
Copyright (c) 2009 by Dennis L. Pearson ... All Rights Reserved...
FIGHTING WOLVES (a great story -- a great truth)
An old Cherokee is telling his grandson about a fight that is going on inside
He said it is between two wolves. One wolf is evil: Anger, envy, sorrow,
regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false
pride, superiority and ego
The other wolf is good: Joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness,
benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith...
The grandson thought about it for a minute, and then asked his grandfather,
"Which wolf wins?" The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one I feed."
The Lehigh Valley
common sense herald
STANDING TALL for
the public good.
Lehigh Valley Council of
Regional Livability, iNC.
P.O Box 1136, Allentown
BLAST FROM THE PAST
November 20, 2009
BLAST FROM THE PAST
An Update on How Many Days to America
by Dennis L. Pearson
As we reported, Elian Gonzales once had asked his mother " How many days to America? ,”
But The mother said: “ Hush little child, to go to America we need to avoid detection by
Castro’s Policia.” Of Course, upon reflection it would have been better for her to say:
"Hush little Child, to go to America we need to avoid detection by Castro's Policia and
to stay there avoid Clinton's Justice Department" ... But in reality she wouldn't have
known about the role of Clinton's Justice Department in the eventual deportation of 5
year old Elian Gonzalez back to Cuba. Nine years ago Bill Clinton's Attorney General,
Janet Reno, had ordered the deceptive raid that forcefully removed Elian from his
house in Miami, because "the child had to be returned to his father ... And for Elian, that
had to be a scary and traumatic moment, seeing armed men with a rifle invade what he
thought was to be his new home... Thus for Elian "How Days in America " became "The
Quick Express back to Cuba.
Surely Elian's time in America was a mixture of sorrow and happiness -- a bitter-sweet
moment ... Hadn't he just lost his natural-born mother, but at the same time he did meet
extended family members who loved him and wanted Elian to be part of their lives. But
that was not to be as Elian was sent back to Cuba to be reunited with his father John
Miquel who worked as a waiter in an Italian Restaurant some ten miles or more
northwest of Cardenas Cuba. The fate of Elian was to become a poster child, photo-op
or tool for Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro..... A cute propaganda reminder of a political
victory or gift unexpectedly provided by U.S. President Bill Clinton. The Cuban
Dictator, in fact, kept the boy on a short-leash by setting up a monitoring station of the
Cuban State Security right next door to Elian's home. You decide, if Castro was acting like
a benevolent father in keeping his prodigy under control.
Continued interest in the fate of Elian Gonzalez in Cuba was a story line the U.S. Press
still wanted to pursue. Therefore the Castro government ever cooperative set up
meetings between Elian and the press whether it be from the United States or
elsewhere. And in addition, the benevolent father made sure that Elian's house and
other houses in the same block that he lived in were painted and repaired before
reporters came .The benevolent father wanted good publicity .... And Elian the one who
may have been indoctrinated or briefed on what to say, did his job .... For the press
"How Many Days to America?" became "America, No Way."
Thus after 5 years of the Cuban experience Elian Gonzalez told the CBS 60 Minutes
interviewer that 'he never had a good moment in Miami.' Can we believe that? I leave
that decision to you. Janet Reno said that she ordered the raid to forcefully remove
Elian from his house in Miami, because "the child had to be returned to his father. Five
years later, Elian told 60 Minutes that he considered Castro his 'father.' We are not the
first to wonder whether Castro was the 'father' that Reno had in mind for Elian? But
again, we leave the reader to decide. Fidel Castro promised that he would never use
Elian Gonzalez for political purposes if the child was returned to Cuba. But we wonder
whether the aging Castro spoke with fork-tongue on that issue.
Indeed, all these years, after he was forced to return to Cuba to become another slave,
serf or citizen of the Cuban plantation , Elian Gonzalez had to celebrate his birthday
with his alleged real father, Fidel Castro. But now, the Cuban dictator is half dead and
unable to attend his young slave's birthday party that doesn't mean that Elian would be
able to celebrate his birthday as a normal child. Not in Castro's Cuba!
Elian, now a teenager, still has to "celebrate" his birthday party in the presence of two
"viejos cagalitrosos," the new dictator-in-chief and Ricardo "Watermellon Head"
Alarcon. And what a party it is ...Will Elian again have to endure the traditional reading
of a book with the dictator's face on the cover by someone else or do it himself? And
will he have to show real happiness or faked happiness knowing what the system is ...
"What a great birthday present! "Gracias pap!"
Can it be that Elian Gonzalez is actually thinking ..." How many Days to America will it
be after I become to a professional baseball player and decide to pitch in the big
leagues, maybe the Yankees/" ... A possibility that can happen because many of the
current Current ballplayers had their own experience on a boat before being allowed to
work and live in the United States
ANOTHER TYPE OF CHRISTMAS
by Kenneth W. Haas of The Common Sense Herald
Editor's Note --- Dennis L. Pearson read this Yule Tide message at
the Official Lighting of the 4th Annual East Allentown / Rittersville
Neighborhood Association Light Display. The Ceremony was not
attended by any member of the Lehigh Valley's Electronic or Print
Journalistic Media. Kenneth W. Haas died in 1993. This message
was run in the Common Sense previously and is worth repeating.
Let me begin this story by explaining to you that the main character
of our story, Jacob Holliday, was an important man - a self made
man, if you please - as he was quick to relate to anyone if the
chance came up in conversation. It was not out of pride that he said
this, but rather to set the record straight so that no one could ever
question that his position came from anything other than hard work.
He now owned and operated a large business that employed many
people. He was, if anything, a more than fair man with his
employees. He was vitally interested in their welfare, and was proud
of the fact that he was able to call most employees by their first
names, and also could, in most cases, inquire about their families
with the complete assurance that he could name their wives and
most of their children
I bring all these things to your attention so that you will realize that,
indeed, the subject of our story was a compassionate man, far
above average in his dealings with people. The only luxury that our
friend allowed himself other than work was the time he allotted to his
service club. Not that he really gave it that much time, because he
really did not have that much time to give. His efforts were more
inclined to be of a financial nature. After all, he reasoned with
himself, that counted, too. Perhaps he was correct. (Who is to say?)
As we join Mr. Holliday in this story, he is being reminded by his
secretary that tonight is the meeting of his service club. Mr. Jones
was not too pleased by this news because he was very busy and
meetings. Their slow plodding ways of doing things both irritated
and angered him.
At first, he decided not to go. Then he changed his mind, mainly
because he knew that tonight's meeting would probably be short
because this was the pre-Christmas meeting when each person
would pick a name of a needy child from a box and then see that this
child would be furnished with some Christmas gifts.
It would probably have been a lot better for Mr. Holliday if he would
have stayed away from the meeting that night, because there was
going to be a surprise in store for him that he would not like at all.
But he went to the meeting, never realizing that, for him, it was going
to be another kind of Christmas, one that he had never experienced
"Good evening", said the President of the club. "As you know, it is
our custom to choose names from a list of needy people. The
officers have decided that we would like it to be handled in another
way this year, and we are going to ask you to vote on it. We are
asking that when you draw your name, instead of just furnishing a
gift, we ask that you deliver the gift yourself, to sort of give it a
Mr. Holliday was on his feet at once, and as patiently as he could,
he explained to everyone that he, for one, did not have the time for
A vote was taken on the question. As it turned out, Mr. Holliday was
the only one that did not favor the new idea. It was with a lot of
resentment that he picked his name.
The name of the child he drew was Jason Lang, 1226 Wood Street.
Mr. Holliday well knew that this was one of the most depressing
parts of the city, and he resolved to himself that under no
circumstances would he visit this Jason Lang. He would get him a
gift as he done in the years past, and have it delivered. No one
would ever know. If they did find out, so what! After all, he was one
of the largest donors to the club, and no one would dare question
He went home, prepared himself for bed, but he could not sleep. He
tossed and turned, and tossed and turned some more. In the
morning, he resolved that he might go to visit the boy after all
because he knew he had given his word that he would go along with
the majority of the club. This is what he must do.}
Early morning's light found him in front of 1226 Wood Street. The
rundown house was neither any better nor any worse than its
neighbors. It was some misgivings that he rang a bell.
After some moments, a woman answered the door. It was plain to
see from her appearance that, at one time, she must have been a
beautiful woman, but the lines of care and sorrow had etched deep
lines into her face and dulled her beauty.
Mr. Holliday explained why he was there, and the thought that her
son would be receiving a present pleased her.
Mr. Holliday asked if he could see the boy and the mother said of
course he could, but first of all, she must explain something about
"You see, Sir", she said, "my son is suffering from a malignant brain
tumor. He really does not have too long to live. His Dad deserted us
several years ago. You can see why there is no real Christmas spirit
in this house."
"May I see the boy?" asked Mr. Holliday.
Mrs. Lang ushered him into a bright, cheerful room. In the corner of
this room in order to catch all the rays of the sun lay Jason. It was
evident to look at him that he was indeed sick.
His eyes were a feverish bright color. His complexion had a shallow,
waxy character to it, and the boy himself was pathetically thin.
"Here is someone to see you", said Mrs. Lang. Jason's eyes lit up
with joy and he greeted his visitor with a beautiful smile.
"Jason", said Mr. Holliday, "I'm here to ask you what you want or
need for Christmas. You can have anything you want."
"Can I really have anything I want? asked Jason again.
"Name it and you can have it, my boy. I'm a man of my word", said
Mr. Holliday. "All right, then", said Jason, " I want you to be my
father for Christmas."
"Wait just a second," said Mr. Holliday. "I can't be your father. I
wouldn't know how to be a father. Besides, that is something you
cannot demand from someone. I must go. When you decide what
you want, your Mother can call me."
It was easy for Mr. Holliday to stay busy for the next few days
because by nature, he was a busy person. But, busy as he was,
there was one thought that he could not erase from his mind. That
was Jason and the foolish idea he had.
"I won't go! I won't go, do you hear!" He shouted out loud as he
slammed his fist on the desk. His poor secretary was so startled that
she dropped the papers she had in her hand.
"Is there anything wrong, Mr. Holliday?"
"No, nothing at all," he said. "At least, nothing you can help me with."
Just then, the phone rang. "It's for you", said his secretary. It's a
Mrs. Lang for you and she says it is important.}
"Mr. Holliday, I know that you won't do what my son asks, and
perhaps I don't blame you, but could you come over if only for a
minute. He is very bad, and the doctor seems to think that he won't
last out the day. Please come! I'm begging you as a mother!"
Mr. Holliday forgot about his busy day ahead. He forgot that he
said he wouldn't go. The only thing he knew was that, for some
reason, he had to get there.
Mrs. Lang was crying when she opened the door for him. He hurried
into the boy's room. The boy saw him at once - just as though he
was expecting him - just as though he knew for sure that he would
They sat there for a long time just making small talk and getting to
know each other.
As the afternoon wore on, the boy seemed to become less aware of
things going on around him.
There was a sudden terrible spasm that seemed to shake the boy's
body. His eyes opened wide and they seemed filled with pain.
The boy smiled weakly, and his trembling hand motioned Mr.
Holliday to come closer. As he did, the boy raised himself, put his
arms around Mr. Holliday's' neck, and placed a kiss on Mr.
Holliday's cheek - just a delicate brush, much like a butterfly brushing
a precious petal of a flower.
"I love you, Dad", said the boy, and then, suddenly, the words
gushed out of him - the words mixed with tears that he had not shed
for years - " I love you too, Son", he said.
In the twinkling of an eye, the boy was gone into a land where there
was no more pain, but only peace and love.
Mr. Holliday cried for a long while that day, and for many days
afterward. He was a sadder man, for he learned a Christmas secret
- it is easy to give of your finances and even of your time, but the
real secret is when you give of yourself out of love - for then the
magic doors are opened for you.
Editor's Note --- Lehigh Valley's Electronic and Printed Journalistic
Media do not get the message that the East Allentown Light Display,
although small compared to Lights in the Park, Hamilton Mall and or
the former Sparkle Island is a labor of love. The East Allentown
Light Display is in its 16tth year. Dennis L. Pearson is the project
manager. Kenneth W. Haas promoted the idea.
by Tom Nakos --- Special Reporter for The Common Sense Herald
Editor's Note --- The following article was printed March 16, 1993 in VOLUME 12
NUMBER 1 of the Lehigh Valley Common Sense Herald...This article first appeared in
the Decatur Herald & Review under the authorship of Tom Nakos...The article has
been modified by the author for publication in the Common Sense Herald... Dennis
Pearson met the author while traveling... The events described here refer to
economic conditions at the end of the 1st Bush Administration and the early days of
the Clinton Administration.
There was a breed of characters in the dimming past known as "hobos."
They were men who, not encumbered by family ties or past failures, freely
traveled the back roads of Middle America. Walking, riding the freights,
working their way south in the winter and north in the summer, they would
earn their food and keep on the way by working for a friendly farmer. The
romantic life was ideal for them.
We met our first hobo trudging down a back road tired and thirsty and hungry,
looking for a sign on a gate or mailbox post to indicate to hobos if the farmer
was friendly or not.
He came upon a lonely farm house and looked for the hobo sign. Finding
none, he took his chances and walked to the back door. He knocked and
knocked and yelled, "Is anybody home?" He waited, then realizing that no one
was home, he turned to go back to the road.
His keen sense of smell told him that there was a freshly baked pie cooking
nearby. Yep, there it was on the kitchen windowsill. He yelled again, "Is
anybody home?" Nothing. Well being so hungry, so tired, his mind told him to
grab it and run. His heart told him it was against all the rules of the road. His
hunger got the best of it.
He took the pie (apple) and shuffled back to the road across the railroad tracks
and down the embankment. His hands shook as he opened the blade knife
and sliced into the pie.
He was down to the last slice when he saw another hobo coming down the
tracks. The hobo asked for a sliver of the last slice, but our greedy hobo
And then the devil in him told the second hobo, "Take this empty pie tie back
to the farmhouse across the road and they will give you another pie or
something," knowing full well something else would befall his fellow traveler.
As our pie-eating hobo sat picking at his teeth with his blade knife, he waited
to hear if anything would happen.
It did. Screams and cussing and the sound of buckshot blasts filled the air. He
brushed his tattered coat and scurried away like a rat.
The analogy is there. The above story is a remarkable resemblance to the
greed and total lack of scruples, and the betrayal of trust of one man to
I'm referring to the mess our government in Washington has gotten us into.
The S & L scandal still unfolding, the HUD rip-off, the budget deficit, its
enormity defies description, and now recession.
What a mess. Where are the screams, the unprintable cursing, the sounds of
--- their persistence has already engulfed many of the "new faces" in
Congress. "New faces" have taken advantage (with no delay) accepting free
trips, free vacations, free perks --- I repeat who the hell is minding the store?
Who is looking out for the "little people"? Well, maybe and I repeat "maybe," H,
Ross Perot and his millions of vigilantes will become a real force in waking up
Washington. We will wait, and watch, and hope. As the politicians say "God
Bless America and God Bless You" - Someday maybe, someday I wish,