Pre-Thanksgiving Memories and Miscellany

Topeka Capital Journal
Nov. 23, 1988

Random thoughts while waiting for Thanksgiving and wondering if I’ll have what it takes to go easy on the gravy….

*** News stories this week say everyone old enough remembers what he or she was doing when President Kennedy was killed 25 years ago yesterday. I remember. I had just walked into Garfinckel’s, a department store in downtown Washington, DC, to buy an anniversary gift.

(And that reminds me.)

There wasn’t anybody to be seen on the third floor of the store. I could hear a radio or television, but couldn’t make out what was being said. Then a lady came out of a door, crying, and when I asked what was the matter, she said the president had been shot.

So it began. Since then, the man has not been permitted to rest in peace, and it seems his family is doomed to a lifetime of TV specials about his life and death, mostly his death.

*** WhenI think of President Kennedy, I think first of two speeches. I was there for one, A black tie football dinner at the Waldorf in New York City. It came shortly after Notre Dame had won a big game on a very questionable call by the officials. Kennedy noted this, and said:

“Some Republicans have been unkind enough to compare our election to that game. Well, we’re just like Notre Dame – we’re not going to give it back.”

At that point, Bob Hope, who was on the dais next to Kennedy, looked up and said, loud enough for almost everybody to hear. “your writers are better than mine.”

The other speech was at a Yale University commencement where Kennedy was given an honorary degree. He responded by saying, “I now have the best of both worlds – a Harvard education and a Yale degree.”

The bitterness felt by the people in his brief administration over what happened in Dallas probably was best summed up by Kennedy aide Ted Reardon, who said, “we ought to get a bleeping bomber and loaded with bleeping atom bombs and go down there and blow the bleeping state of Texas off the bleeping map.”

*** Shame on you if you don’t make your Thanksgiving dinner entirely from scratch. Food connoisseurs say there should be a fresh-killed turkey, your own stale bread as the basis for the stuffing, fresh vegetables, real mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce and jelly from scratch, real pumpkin in the pie and home-made ice cream.

To give the meal real authenticity, cook it over a wood stove and then wash and dry the dishes and the rest of the mess by hand.

Or, If you’re a slob, you can use frozen turkey, canned pumpkin and cranberry and gravy, canned vegetables, ice cream, the old timers call “bought on,” and finally throw everything in the dishwasher and have a brandy.

*** There was a time when the poor were given special attention at this time of year, but thanks to bureaucracy, the poor no longer are with us. They went from poor to needy, to culturally and economically deprived, to underprivileged to disadvantaged.

Forget the government. Remember the poor.

*** Are there any underprivileged or disadvantaged lawyers? Probably not, and one reason is the savings and loan mess. Close to 1,000 savings and loan institutions are in trouble, and it’s going to cost something like $100 billion to bail them out.

*** Presiding over the cleanup is the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, parent agency of the. Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corp. It has 200 staff attorneys, and this year also will pay out $110 million to outside attorneys.

*** The National Law Journal says the mess is has spurred a. Quote legal frenzy period. End Quote. I call it something else that I can’t print here.

*** A Yuppie, As you know, is a young urban professional. Here are some questions and answers about them:

Why did God create Yuppies?? He had an overrun on button-down shirts.

How many Yuppies does it take to fill a phone booth? Yuppies don’t use phone booths, because they have phones in their cars.

What do Yuppies feed their dogs?? Herringbones.

How do you save a drowning Yuppie?? Call his answering service.

How do you drive a Yuppie to drink? In a BMW.

Why am I writing about Yuppies? Because I ran out of material on lawyers, but some of them are Yuppies.

*** If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem, unless the problem is that you think you have a solution and don’t.

*** At Thanksgiving time, it is appropriate to note that Topekan Barney Bayard, the once famous football coach who now is an even more famous insurance man, has lost 23 pounds by following a simple Russian diet. No vodka.

*** Great news! It is reported that a major airline is considering serving Topeka on a regular basis. The only problem is that this is part of a plan whereby Greyhound would buy Eastern Airlines, take the wings off the planes and use them as buses.

Greyhound figures it would be safer and would move passengers about its fast, and that Topeka fits into the plan.

*** When you’re applying for a job, If there is a question on the application form asking for your hobby, write down quote “Fishing.” Most employers figure people who fish are the solid types.

If you write “Golf,” the employer will figure you’re a liar and cheat who will sneak off to play. If you write “Reading” then the employer will figure you’re smarter than he is, and may be dangerous. Fishing’s safe.

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