Document 224430

How to Deal With
a Broken Home
When Being Cruel
Is Kind
Nan Friedlander
When my parents died in an auto
crash last spring, I was 15, too young
to strike out on my own, too old to be
adopted by another family. There was
nothing to do but go sponge off my
older sister, who at 20 was already
married. She lived on a farm with
some chickens, a goat, two horses, and
Bob, her carpenter husband.
Returning from my parents' funeral
in Bob's pickup truck, I thought miserably of what a rotten deal life is. As
sisters, Patty and I had never been
close, not even in looks. She had always been gunked up with makeup
and fancy clothes, while I hung around
the baseball lot. I cast a sidelong
glance at Patty wedged between Bob
and me and noted how different she
looked, her hair windblown, her hands
Patty must have felt my glance, for
she turned to me and said, "Things
have changed, Jeanie."
I'll say things had changed. First my
parents were killed by some dopehead
crossing the center line. I hadn't even
recovered from that before I was
whisked away from all my friends in
the city and dragged out to some agricultural endsville.
I closed my eyes and pictured what
the gang would be doing now, not my
old baseball friends from grammar
school, but my new with-it friends
from high school. Terry would be collecting money for the beer, Lorraine
would be picking up 'ludes from her
older brother, and Walter, whose parents were always traveling, would be
setting up the strobe light in the
basement. Another Saturday night was
about to begin. Not for me, though.
It was dark by the time we turned
onto the dirt road that led to Bob and
Patty's house. I couldn't see much—
just fields—but when we stopped at
the porch I was struck by the silence
of the place. No stereo, no loud laughter, no crack of opening beer cans.
"Here we are, kiddo." Patty reached
over and opened my door. "I'll show
you where you'll sleep."
Left alone in my room under the
eaves, I was too stiff and tired to protest. They couldn't know that I never
turned in before 2 a.m. I was a night
person, as they would find out.
To my surprise, the next morning I
realized I had fallen asleep without
pills, without a drink. I guess the funeral took more out of me than I
thought. I didn't feel really close to my
parents. They had both worked, and I
LISTEN • November 1981 • 3
had had plenty of time to myself, but
after all they were the only home I had
ever known. Now here I was at my sister's mercy. She'd always been bossy.
Now she could be a real tyrant without
anyone stopping her.
These thoughts tumbled through my
mind as I turned over to escape a ray
of sun on my face. Ugh! Morning! Only
nightpeople know how terrible it is to
have to get up and face the day. Below
me, I heard my sister rattling breakfast
dishes. I shuddered and reached for
my supply of uppers. Nothing. Of
course, no more uppers, no downers,
no grass, and, worst of all, no lovely,
floating spaced-out hours. This was
prison, and I might as well get used to
Patty and Bob were eating oatmeal
when I staggered in. Oatmeal! I hadn't
seen that since my last baby-sitting
"Where's the coffee?" I groaned.
Patty glanced at Bob. "We don't
make coffee, Jean, but the water's hot
for herb tea, if you like."
"You don't drink coffee?" That
statement alone was enough to wake
me up. Patty's standard breakfast used
to be coffee and fudge cake.
"Not any more. We didn't like the
headaches it gave us."
"We don't even buy it anymore," Bob
added, as I looked through the cupboard.
Patty got up and ladled out some
oatmeal. She shoved it and the milk
pitcher in my direction. "Eat up," she
said. "As soon as Bob leaves for work,
I want to show you around."
How I got through that first meal I'll
never guess. No one I know eats breakfast. At school we always met at the
vending machines in midmorning, but
on weekends no one got up before
After Bob drove off in a cloud of
dust, Patty dragged me outside and
showed me the barn, the horses, and
Sheba, the goat.
"I milked her before breakfast," Patty
said, "but that's something you could
do from now on. It isn't difficult."
"Milked her! You mean, the stuff I
put on my cereal this morning came
from her?" I glared at Sheba, who
stared back with unwinking yellow
Patty laughed. "Of course. Didn't you
notice the difference?"
"No." How could I, I thought to myself. I'd been drinking beer for the last
two years.
Later, as we were sitting at the
kitchen table eating a big salad for
lunch—"all from our garden," Patty
said proudly—I decided to get down to
cases, namely mine.
"Listen, Patty, this healthy, outdoor
life is obviously great for you, but it's
not my style."
"Oh? What's your style?" Patty eyed
me over her glass of apple juice.
"Total freedom, for one thing," I
said. "I want to eat what I want, drink
what I want, and sleep when I want."
"Then you must want to live in a
vacuum," Patty said. "If you live with
other people, you have to adjust a little."
"I'm not the one who's married," I
said haughtily.
"I'm not talking about marriage,"
Patty said. "I'm talking about human
beings—us, in particular. If you live
here—and we hope you will—you'll
have to follow our ways."
"Which are?"
"We try to live a sensible life," Patty
said. "Decent food, enough sleep and
exercise, good feelings between us.
That's all."
"That's all," I snorted. "It's a blooming camp around here. What happened
to all the potato chips, cola drinks,
and junk food you used to have?"
"I got tired of feeling lousy," Patty
said. "Then a couple of months ago—
you'll find out sooner or later—I discovered that I'm pregnant. I read that caffeine
makes smaller babies, and I want
to give ours the best chance possible."
"Hooray for you," I said, feeling
somehow left out. "But pregnancy is
not my problem."
4 • LISTEN • November 1981
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"What is your problem, Jeanie?"
I immediately clammed up. Why go
into the loneliness at home, the fast
crowd I joined in high school? It was
"Let's go see your garden," I said instead, pushing back my chair.
Patty didn't hassle me, I'll say that
for her. She showed me the rows of
tomatoes, beans, corn, and lettuce as
though they were her personal friends.
At the end of the garden there was an
empty bed.
"What's in there?" I asked.
"Nothing yet. First the ground has to
be worked, but I don't want to do
heavy shoveling now."
"I could do it," I said, surprising
myself. "How do I start?"
Patty explained about digging, weeding, composting, and fertilizing. It
didn't sound too bad.
That was the beginning of my
downfall so to speak—my downfall
from my old life. No sooner had I dug
and composted than it was time to
plant peas. A week later weeds came
up and had to be pulled. Then the
peas grew and had to be trained on the
fence. Soon it was time to feed, water,
and mulch. I vowed I would never
again take a pea for granted.
As the summer wore on, my
memories of the old gang dimmed,
until late one afternoon a familiar car
drove into the farm. It was Walter's.
"Hey, Babe," Walter called.
"Hi, Walter. How's the gang?" I
dropped the hoe and rushed over to
the car.
"Not too good, kid," Walter said.
"Lorraine o.d.'d on bennies the other
"How did it happen?"
"Her brother mixed the pills. Her
parents are all broken-up about it."
"I should think so," I said. "Come on
in and tell me about it."
At the kitchen table, Walter pulled
out a joint and offered it to me. I hesitated, then shrugged and took it. Why
not? One wouldn't hurt me. I used to
smoke a lot more than that.
I was wrong. The joint knocked me
for a loop. My system had cleared out
over the past weeks, and by the time
Walter lit a second one, I was totally
spaced out on the first.
"Let's go for a drive," Walter said.
"There must be a town around here
where we can get some beer."
"Sure," I said slowly, concentrating.
"Down the road."
We climbed into Walter's low-slung
Chevy and wove down the lane toward
the highway.
"Hold it straight, Walter," I said,
bracing myself against the dashboard.
"I'm getting seasick."
"No sea around here." Walter
laughed and pressed the accelerator.
As we careened away, I fought to
remember something. What was it?
The road. The car. My parents! They'd
been driving home when a guy high on
grass had ended their lives. Was I to
be next?
"Stop," I cried. Slowly, as though
underwater, I clutched the steering
wheel and pulled it toward me. The
car swerved to the right and slid into
the irrigation ditch along the road, its
hood embedded deep in the mud.
"What's the big idea?" Walter said,
pushing me roughly away. He
squeezed out of his window and
examined the car. "She's stuck for
I closed my eyes, still floating in my
marijuana haze. Bob would be along
soon in his pickup, I thought. He'd
pull Walter out and send him on his
way. Probably I'd not be allowed to see
him again. I waited for the rush of
anger. Nothing. Instead I thought of
Patty, how disappointed she'd be. It
was Patty I cared about, not Walter.
With the baby coming, Patty was the
one who needed me.
Walter was sitting by the car smoking more grass when I climbed out his
window. He didn't offer me a smoke.
That was OK with me. I was going
home anyway. I started down the lane
toward the house. Home. . . . I guess I
had one after all.
LISTEN • November 1981 • 5
Jane Marie Allen
When you stop to think about it, there are
really only two ways to handle problems in
life. You can let them tear you down, or you
can rise above them. Sometimes they'll bury
you before you realize you have the ability to
climb out of them. That's the way it was
with Rick Leavenworth.
From the time he was four years old, Rick
hasn't walked. Both legs were left paralyzed
in a tragic accident 20 years ago, and for a
long time doctors said he'd be bedridden for
But Rick proved them wrong. Eventually he
was able to get out of bed and into a wheelchair and no longer had to depend on other
people to move him around and wait on
Sitting in a wheelchair was preferable to
lying in bed, but it still meant that Rick saw
life from no higher than tabletop level. As a
youngster, he liked riding on his father's
shoulders because from up there he saw an
entirely different world, and he loved it.
"I could even see on top of the refrigerator," he says.
Little did he realize back then that one day
he would climb a 13,000-foot mountain in
the high Sierras. In fact, it was several years
before Rick fully realized that the world was
created for all people to enjoy—including
If Ricks legs weren't paralyzed, he might
6 • LISTEN • November 1981
have become an outstanding athlete. Fact is,
even though he has no use of his legs, he's
still a good athlete. He plays tennis in his
wheelchair, rides along beside his friends
when they go bicycling, drives his all-terrain
cycle on the sandy beaches of California,
and goes horseback riding. He's developed
his own personali7Pd body-building program
of chin-ups, jumping jacks, and jogging. Indeed, he jogs on his hands faster than a lot
of people run on their feet.
"I'm not handicapped," he says with a
smile. "I just can't walk."
In spite of what Rick learned to do physically, there were some areas of his life that
gave him problems. A lot of it had to do
with people who often didn't know how to
deal with physically disabled persons.
They're uncomfortable around people in
wheelchairs or people who can't see or hear
or talk the way they do. The handicapped
person, of course, senses this. Often, as was
the case with Rick, the handicapped become
socially withdrawn and untouchable. As far
as girls were concerned, well, Rick never
dreamed there'd be one interested in him.
That was before he met Esther.
Rick was at a Christian camp for the
handicapped one summer when a pretty,
dark-haired counselor introduced herself to
him. And over the next few weeks and
months, she helped him see Rick Leaven-
worth as a person who could love and be
loved for just being himself. Esther reached
out and brought him out of the shell into
which he'd withdrawn. Eventually he began
to see even more possibilities for his life
than he'd ever dreamed—possibilities like
climbing mountains.
For a guy in a wheelchair who'd always
looked at a tabletop-level world, he had an
uncontrollable desire to climb a high mountain peak and literally look at the world from
on top. The more he thought about it, the
more he longed to scale a mountain, until all
his faith and energy were focused on reaching that goal.
Lee and Linda Stanley, professional
filmmakers and friends of Rick, encouraged
him to attempt the climb. They wanted to go
with him and record the trek in a documentary film. That's all it took. If Lee and Linda
were ready to go with him, Rick would try it.
Although they'd
all done a
lot of backpacking before, they
knew that climbing a mountain would be a
different game. To prepare for the expedition,
they hired a professional mountaineer, Tony
Prey, who taught them the techniques of
climbing over rocky hillsides, belaying walls
of bare granite, and maneuvering through
After studying maps and charts and talking with other climbers, they selected Red
Slate Mountain in the Mono Recess region of
the High Sierra—height 13,163 feet. Lee
made a preliminary trek up the mountain to
check it out before Rick attempted it in a
wheelchair. When he reached the top, he
was convinced that the selection had been a
good one. This was the mountain Rick
should climb.
Once the selection of the peak was
finalized, plans for the climb and film production went into high gear. Faith for Today
TV Productions agreed to coproduce the film
in association with Lee and Linda's company, Morning Star Films. Arrangements
were made for a helicopter with
a second cameraman to
meet the climbers at the top of the mountain
on the final day of the expedition.
They applied for hiking and wilderness
photography permits and started packing
their gear. They'd have to carry food for three
days plus camera equipment, sleeping bags,
LISTEN • November 1981 • 7
camp supplies, and two wheelchairs. Rick
needed a lightweight chair because, for one
thing, on some stretches he'd have to pull it
up the mountain behind him. His custombuilt chair made of aircraft aluminum
weighed only 25 pounds. Lee would use the
second chair as a camera dolly while photographing Rick.
Mountain climbing naturally presents
some unique problems for a paraplegic. Rick
had to adapt traditional mountaineering
equipment and techniques to his physical
limitations. Although his upper body is well
developed and muscular, his legs are not.
This makes him top-heavy. To keep from
flipping upside down, he'd have to wear a
specially-made harness while belaying the
steep mountainsides.
Also, because of extremely poor circulation
in his legs, which don't generate heat, he'd
wear heavy leather pants to avoid the
dangerous risk of hypothermia should he get
cold. The pants would also protect the lower
part of his body from cuts and bruises.
Finally, with weeks of training and preparation behind them and wilderness permits
in hand, they were ready for the climb up
Red Slate Mountain. It was scheduled for
close to the end of the climbing season, but
they could still expect good weather.
Pack animals led by a wrangler took them
on horseback into the wilderness and
dropped them off in an upper meadow where
the climb began. Rick's only partners
aside from the camera crew
were his mountaineering
equipment and his custom-built wheelchair.
Unfortunately, farther up the mountain
they met bad weather. High winds and cold
temperatures threatened the fulfillment of
Rick's dream. At one point the helicopter
pilot radioed to Lee, asking if he wanted him
to airlift Rick to the top of the mountain.
That way he could finish shooting the film.
"No," Lee radioed back. "Let's keep going."
He didn't want his film to be a dishonest
record of the climb. But more important, he
knew Rick needed the inner satisfaction of
knowing he'd made it all the way to the
top—every single inch of it.
There was a lot at stake. A great deal of
money had been invested in the project,
much time and effort had gone into plans
and training, special equipment had been
purchased specifically for the climb. Besides,
they had one of the last wilderness permits
to be issued for commercial photography in
that region. They just couldn't give up now,
so they kept pushing ahead.
But it was useless. The winds steadily increased, with gusts up to 75 miles per hour.
The wind-chill factor dropped to 20 degrees
below zero. At 12,000 feet Rick was cold.
"I knew I was in trouble," he says. "My
strength ran out, and I was very
Only 1000 feet
the top of the mountain, Lee ordered the
helicopter pilot to come down for Rick. In
minutes the climb was scrubbed.
Rick was disappointed beyond words. He
wouldn't even talk about it. At the same time
he couldn't get it out of his mind. The mountain haunted him. It was still there waiting
for him to climb.
"Maybe I could have made it to the top,"
he reasoned, "if I'd been better prepared." So
he hit the body-building regimen again, determined to repeat the climb. Next time he'd
make it all the way.
There wasn't much time for the second
trek because it was already late in the year
for mountain climbing, and he could likely
encounter even worse weather than he had
earlier. There was also the big question of
whether Lee could get another wilderness
permit at such a late date.
"It seemed like too much to hope for in the
little time we had," says Lee. "But if
Rick wanted to go back, Linda
and I were ready
While Rick built up his endurance, Lee and
Linda worked out the details of securing a
helicopter and the dubious wilderness permit. Miraculously, everything worked to their
advantage in record time.
This time they had prepared for the worst,
but fortunately didn't meet it. Instead, on the
second climb they had clear October skies
and extraordinarily warm weather for that
time of year. Compared to the first attempt,
the second was a breeze, according to Rick.
However, the completed half-hour film,
called Mountain Tops, reveals his long
struggle to reach the top of Red Slate.
He pushed and pulled and crawled for
hours, his tired body sometimes begging him
to stop.
"Don't get discouraged," he told
himself repeatedly.
"Don't think
it's impossible. You're going
to make it this time."
And he did. "About 100 yards from
the summit his pace really picked up,"
Lee recalls."I could hardly keep up with him."
"That last push was one of the most beautiful moments of my
life," Rick says. "When I got to the top, I just couldn't believe it."
Finally Rick reached the peak and gazed out over the magnificent panorama
around him. Now he knew that life could put no mountain in his path he couldn't
:onquer. Not even the High Sierra.
Everyone hates drunk drivers
but what do you do when
they're your friends?
Let me tell you of a time, as the song goes, that
I had to be cruel to be kind.
There were four of us, and the other three were
drunk. The music and noise of the tri-county fair
skirled around me as I tried to convince Vem not
to drive. I failed to convince my friends not to get
drunk, and I wasn't doing any better with the
10 • LISTEN • November 1981
driving. They didn't appreciate my concern.
"It's my own car!" Vern declared.
I was heartbroken already, and his words
pierced me to the quick. These guys were so different from the friends I knew when they were
sober. I didn't know quite what to do.
Vein was pushing me around, demanding the
key. Mike and Tom were also belligerent. They
were all making fools out of themselves. None of
them had ever really drunk before, much less gotten drunk I was sorely tempted to fling the keys
at Vern and abandon them to their fates.
And their fates would undoubtedly not have
been very pleasant. Statistics show that half of all
motor-vehicle accidents are due to alcohol.
I don't know why I didn't abandon them.
Maybe it was because of one of the gory films I'd
seen in driver ed a few years before; or maybe
because one of my classmates had just been
killed in an alcohol-related auto accident; or
maybe because they were my friends, and despite
their faults, I loved them.
At any rate, suddenly I whirled around to Vern
and said very firmly, "I'm driving."
All three of them gaped at me. Vern opened
his mouth to say something, but he knew that
when I made up my mind, it was useless to try
to change me.
The two-mile ride into town was somber. I
could see they were all thinking. For the next
week there were icicles between those guys and
When Vern finally thawed enough to talk
about it, he admitted I'd done the right thing. Yet
he was still angry with me because I had
"humiliated" him in front of his friends by not allowing him to drive his own car.
That's how it is with many people. They understand the possibilities of danger if they drive
while drunk, yet they viciously complain about
being "betrayed," "humiliated," "hurt," if one who
is sober drives for them. People think the accident always happens to the "other guy."
The reason this incident comes to my mind is
that we had a car accident in our community last
night. Two of the three young men involved are
good friends of mine. One of them—let's call him
Spike—was in the back seat and was the least
injured—physically, that is!
I visited him in the hospital. He now regrets
that he didn't wrestle the keys from the driver.
"He'd had quite a bit to drink. But we didn't have
far to go, and I thought it would be all right. I
could have driven. I should have driven. . . ."
Both of the other guys are still in intensive care.
What would you have done?
It seems we all have friends who drink. Sometimes our circle of friends is limited by the size of
our town, or our status, or whatever. Sometimes
our circle of friends is limited by ourselves. We
like people because of their good points, and we
overlook, as best we can, their bad ones.
So what would you do if your drinking friends
want to drive? Would you stop them, risking
their wrath? How would you stop them?
Every incident is different, and different tactics
would need to be used in various circumstances,
but the following suggestions may be of value.
1. You must prevent the drinker from driving.
Generally you can see the problem coming. You
have to think ahead and use your wits. Somehow
you have to get the car keys, or convince the
driver that you (or someone else who is sober)
should drive. "I feel like driving tonight" can be
effective. You don't want to make the driver angry, but if necessary, you might have to take the
keys and keep them for hours until the driver
sobers up. Somehow keep him from driving.
2. Don't argue. The drinker will claim he's
sober, can drive, and can walk a straight line.
Don't dispute him. Drinkers are not rational;
otherwise they wouldn't drink so much. Arguing
generally makes them worse.
3. Understand the truth about drinking. Any
amount of liquor can make some people unfit for
driving. No amount of walking or drinking coffee
will sober anyone. Alcohol is removed from the
body at a steady rate; neither exercise nor anything else changes that. Only time will sober a
More than half of all auto accidents and deaths
are alcohol-related. Thousands of teens are living
haunted lives today because they didn't prevent
drinking friends from driving.
4. Use common sense. Don't ride with someone
who has been drinking. Take a taxi, catch a ride
with nondrinking friends, or walk home. It's your
life. If you can't prevent a drinker from driving,
don't ride with him. Don't give in and become a
statistic yourself
5. Understand how much nerve this decision
will take, and the possible results. Your friend
may hate you for a while; some people may
make fun of you. But in the long run they will respect you, and, even more important, you will respect yourself Remember that if your friend,
when he's sober, doesn't understand that you
acted out of concern for his welfare, then he isn't
a friend at all.
Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat
it. The lesson is especially clear when it comes to
drinking and driving. The simplest way to prevent alcohol-related accidents would be to stop
everyone from drinking, but that isn't possible.
We have to face the fact that drinkers will
drive though we must try to minimize the problem. Sometimes firmness is necessary to prevent
an accident or a death.
We must be firm at times in order to be kind.
History does repeat itself, because 400 years ago
William Shakespeare said, through the mouth of
Hamlet, "I must be cruel, only to be kind."
LISTEN • November 1981 • 11
Trust Walk
Judi Bailey
y dad doesn't trust
me," said 17-year-old Carrie. "I'm embarrassed
when I visit my friends because I have to come
home so early. And then Dad's got 20 questions
to ask me about where I've been and what I've
done. He must think I'm some kind of delinquent."
Carne went on to complain about other problems at home: how her dad yells about her
clothes and hairstyles; how her mom bickers
with her over the cleanliness of her room.
What she failed to mention was that she hadn't
been honest with her parents in the past. She
lied about where she was going ("To Mary's," she
would say while planning to meet Jeff at the
roller rink) and failed to do her chores. She expected her parents to inherently trust her, yet she
12 • LISTEN • November 1981
failed to recognize how this trust process connected to her behavior.
Sure, some parents are somewhat overcautious
or even distrustful by nature. But even moms and
dads who are overly strict usually change when
they feel they have good reason.
There are ways to work toward a positive
change. Perhaps you've looked at your parents as
obsolete and behind the times or sometimes felt
hurt that they don't have more respect for you.
You wonder, "What kind of person do they think
I am?" Hopefully you haven't given up and simply assumed it all means that you are an untrustworthy individual. Trust is something earned
and learned, not inborn.
And even if your relationship with your parents
is a good one, remember this: "The biggest room
in the world is the room for improvement."
Maybe you and your parents can talk sports
and school, but dating is an issue loaded with
sore spots. Or they believe everything you tell
them about your date, but intermittently question
you about your interest in drugs.
Working toward positive change in your relationship with your parents can mean the end of
frustration and resentment. Family ties grow
wanner, and rather than dreading walking
through the kitchen door, you'll eagerly anticipate
a friendly word.
Here are some ways to work for a stronger
Examine your past behavior. Have there been
times in the past when you've been inconsiderate
of others' needs? It's easy to bulldoze our way
through life, knocking over everyone else's feelings and ignoring their problems without seeing
the slightest evidence of our destruction until we
hear a strong, parental "No!" Then we wonder
what happened.
Have you been irresponsible? Have you forgotten to feed the dog, keep curfew hours, sweep the
basement, or make sure the doors were all locked
even though you agreed to do these things?
There is no way to change your past behavior,
and you shouldn't use this personal inventory to
club yourself over the head. But ifs good to be
aware that sometimes you are in the wrong too.
Perhaps you'll uncover some of the evidence for
your parents' mistrust. A little understanding
goes a long way.
Cooperate with existing rules. You'll be surprised to discover how well this one works. It's
got great power. It sounds square and medieval,
especially in these days of protest and liberation
movements which post signs in our minds of
"Change the existing structure" and "Go for it."
But if you go along with the established rules
and prove that you want to cooperate, then you'll
have a firmer foundation for your soap-box demands.
Most of us tend to be less flexible with people
who fight us. Would you grant your partner in a
class project an "excused absence" for not showing up the night before the project is due—after
he's already failed to do his part?
Your parents will be much more open to hearing any requests you might have for change if
you cooperate than if you fight them. This means
beefing up on actions like being in on time or at
least calling to let them know you'll be late; taking out the trash when you're asked; and staying
home to supervise the younger ones when ifs
your turn.
Keep your word. If you've agreed to go on a
weekend outing with Mom and Dad, and then
someone special invites you to a picnic or skating party, kindly thank him for the invitation, explain that you have already made a commitment
for this weekend, and suggest doing something
the next weekend.
You may think you're cutting your throat for
the sake of your family, but the outcome will be
well worth the sacrifice. Not only will you be improving things at home, but you'll learn a little
about that special someone in the process.
If you said you'd clean your room today, get it
done before you meet your friend at the library,
otherwise ifs too easy to postpone your chore. If
you told your parents you were going to Diane's,
go to Diane's, don't stop at the bowling alley,
quick shop, or pinball center instead. If you
promised to help Dad with the car, make sure
you're there on time, not riding around town with
your friends.
Parents, like most of us, put a great deal of
stock in commitments. Think of it this way: if
every time you've asked Sheila to do a favor she's
failed you by not showing up, would it be her
number you'd dial with your last 20 cents when
you're stranded in a dark parking lot?
Be patient with your parents. When people
begin to take active steps to change their behavior, they often become discouraged because
others don't respond immediately.
Have you ever heard the story about Tony, the
little boy who stole objects in school? He would
take the other children's pencils, sandwiches,
money, hats—anything he could get his hands
on. Even though he was caught and reprimanded
many times he continued his behavior until he
realized he was losing the few friends he had because they couldn't trust him—he'd steal from
them too.
So Tony decided to change. He stopped his
dishonest behavior, but whenever anything was
missing or even misplaced in his classroom the
teacher and students would automatically blame
him. A few times he was punished for things he
didn't do. This made him angry; he couldn't understand why nobody believed him when he
knew he was in the right. He got so discouraged
and furious that he went back to his old ways.
Don't let this happen to you. What Tony failed
to recognize was that his intentions were not obvious to others. Change takes time. People typically judge us on the merits of our past behavior.
Perhaps ifs unfair, but it's the only information
we have about people. Once they've had enough
time to gather new data, then they can use more
recent experience to reevaluate their impressions
of us.
Ifs the same with parents. Just because you've
watered the plants regularly for two weeks
doesn't mean Mom won't still be giving frantic
reminders, and your parents are apt to still be
surprised that you're home on time even though
you've been dependable for quite a while.
It will take time for your parents to begin to
see you as a responsible, reliable and definitely
trustworthy person. But it will happen, and after
it does, you will feel more mature and confident
in other areas of your life.
Remember, anything worth having takes time.0
LISTEN • November 1981 • 13
My Parents Always
Tell Me"No!"
I'm 14 years old, popular at
school, and am often invited to
spend nights at my friends'
homes. My parents always say
No, explaining they don't know
my friends or their parents.
They're afraid my friends will
have a bad influence on me.
Don't you think I'm too old always to be told No?
First, it's important that you understand the role of your parents in this
situation. Your parents obviously love
you very much and are fearful that
something may happen to you at
these slumber parties. Their decision
not to let you go is based on the
three basic emotions most parents
are guided by: love, fear, and anger.
It's a human response to attack to
protect what we feel is right and
proper. Your parents love you and
want to protect you from harm. The
fear they express is of the unknown,
and the anger they experience is
your resistance to their decision.
Your parents are expressing normal parental emotions, but I feel
these emotions are more for the preadolescent and not for you a person
who is well into her adolescent years.
The best advice I can pass on to
you is that most parents are guided
by an old saying, "Show me your
friends and I'll tell you what you are."
First, choose your friends carefully,
then let them meet with your parents.
Did you even think of having the
slumber party at your home? This
could give your parents a firsthand
experience in viewing your friends as
they really are.
I've been on drugs for five or
six years. Sometimes I've had
to steal to supply my habit,
and I have a very short
temper. My friends don't understand why I'm the way I
14 • LISTEN • November 1981
am. How can I explain to them
that I'm hooked on drugs?
The problem you face is not
unique. Many people like you feel
they would like to give up drugs
once and for all and would like to
discuss their addiction with someone
they can trust. It's very difficult sometimes to find the right time and/or
person to discuss the problem with.
The first step is to evaluate where
you are in your drug experience. It's
obvious to me that you don't enjoy
using drugs. Let's establish now,
once and for all, that drugs are not a
true value of yours. If you will accept
this as the truth, you will be on the
road to recovery, but you must admit
to yourself that you do not want drugs
any longer before you decide to discuss it with anyone else.
Next, choose someone very close
to you to talk to—a person whom you
would consider an intimate person in
your life. Be honest, and don't be
afraid to explain how much you dislike using drugs and you need help
to conquer this crisis.
By admitting you have a problem
and by seeking a friend to give you
support, you are 90 percent on the
road to recovery. Next seek professional help now. Your friends will
support you all the way. True friends
do not want you to suffer physically
or mentally.
Be honest, strong, and determined
to lick this problem. These three
ingredients will guarantee you a
brighter future.
I'm a 15-year-old recovered
A friend of mine at school
wants me to date him, but I'm
afraid to since he has a drug
and drinking problem. How
can I help him without hurting
our friendship?
The first and most important step
your friend must take is to accept the
fact that alcohol and drugs are problems in his life.
If you really care for him, then accept a date with him, but let him
know that when he takes you out,
there will be no drinking or taking
drugs. He will have to make a choice
between you and his habits. This
may in some way open his eyes to
the fact that he has problems.
Emphasize that the reason you are
presenting him with this ultimatum is
because you care for him very much.
Don't be afraid of hurting his feelings;
you would do him more harm
by not telling him of his problem.
The one thing you do not want to
do is to give up on him. He needs
help, and it will take time for him to
accept the fact that he has a drinking
and drug problem. I'm sure it will all
be worthwhile for you and your friend
once he accepts his problem as
being real.
Do you have a question about
friendships, parents, drugs, health, or
other teenage concerns?
Ask a friend Bob Anastas, parent,
teacher, high school counselor.
Address your question to Ask a
Friend, Listen Magazine, 6830 Laurel
Street, NW, Washington, DC 20012. 0
Chicago Bears
rennin back
Walter Payton
tells how to
Find IIA;piness
Inside !ourself
n a football game, the jack of all trades seems
to be the running back. He can receive the ball,
run with it, or pass it—truly a utility man. He's
expected to gain much of the yardage needed to
set up the next touchdown.
Probably the most consistent running back in the professional world today
is Walter Payton, now in his seventh season with the Chicago Bears. His list
of games in which he's gained 100 yards or more is impressive indeed.
Running backs are usually not huge heavyweights such as the linemen are
expected to be. And Walter is no exception, though he's nearly six feet tall,
weighs 205 pounds, and is solid muscle.
When he gets the ball, what goes through his mind as he faces that massive
array of huge linemen blocking his forward movement? Walter says, "The first
thing that pops into my mind is, 'What am I doing out here?' And I guess the
second thing that comes to mind is, 'How long is it going to hurt?' "
Incidentally, he says he doesn't try to go through that wall in front of him.
"No, I go around it."
As to the ball, now you see it, now you don't! One of the best preparations
for becoming a running back, Walter says—with tongue in cheek—is playing
hide-and-seek in your childhood. "Important in the game is not letting them
see you have the ball."
Interview by
Francis A. Soper
LISTEN • November 1981 • 15
That isn't the only early preparation
Walter had for his football career,
however. In junior high school, he recalls, "I was pretty good at track"—so
good, in fact, he won the state championship in the long jump. Later he
competed in the national indoor
championships. His track coach was
the brother of Ralph Boston, Olympic
gold medalist.
Walter was born in Columbia, Mississippi, "a small town," is how he refers to the settlement of some 8000
people. He early played parking-lot
football, "because that gave us some16 • LISTEN • November 1981
thing else to do besides hanging
around with idle minds."
In high school Walter became more
serious about football, and later at
Jackson State University, his skill attracted the attention of the Bears, who
drafted him in 1975.
With Walter, football is serious
business. As with most athletes, his
training season is "a year-round
thing." And much of this training
consists of exercises to make the body
flexible and agile so he can better
avoid injury during games. The
paradox is that his muscles must be
loose yet firm, so they can give
without tearing or straining any of the
Another dimension of the training
process is "the right amount of rest"
which Walter says is necessary both
in season and off season. "To be able
to go 18 or 20 weeks during the season without the needed rest requires
total conditioning throughout the
Contrary to the problem some
athletes face, Walter has no problem
with fluctuating weight. "I've been
able to maintain the same weight that
I had when I came into the league.
It's funny, because I really don't eat
that much during the season. I don't
shy away from any food, but there are
certain foods I don't eat period. I
never gorge myself on anything."
However, time scheduling is a
bugaboo that seems to haunt many
athletes, especially in their earlier
playing years. Walter was no exception when he started. "Now everything
seems to fall into place. It's not a
daily program that's written down, but
mentally I take note of things that
must be done and I take good care of
This includes, of course, hobbies
and relaxation activities. "When I'm
not sleeping, I like to work with my
hands, especially with cars, and
sometimes I play the drum. The bulk
of the time, though, I'm just working
around our place—nothing that's
strenuous, but whatever needs to be
Football stars usually are heroes to
thousands of fans, especially very
young fans. When he was growing up,
Walter had no real idols, because "we
never watched that much television."
He did, however, read about players
like Jim Brown and Johnny Unitas. "I
was never able to see a real footballer
until I was in the eighth or ninth
At the present time Walter Payton
finds himself at the head of a large
parade of fans, including hordes of
young ones. Thinking of them, he
waxes a bit philosophical. "As you
grow up, there are a lot of things
happening all around you—some
good and some of them not. It may be
really hard to see the difference.
"Most of the time kids get involved
in doing what the crowd is doing,
going along with the swing of things,
the trend. I think the best you can do
is simply be yourselves and find happiness in this way. Then you can seek
happiness among other people.
"If you're not happy, and you know
you're not happy, you can't relate to
other people and find the good qualities in them. When you get that selfconfidence—and I'm not saying you
should be cocky or a snob—you will
do what is best for you, not merely
what somebody else thinks or feels."
LISTEN • November 1981 • 17
Walter looks at life as the developing of a person's inner resources, both
of the body and of the mind. "You
can't have one without the other."
But he doesn't stop there. He says
that there's a spiritual side of life, too,
which comes as one searches. "These
are the three things you have to work
on if you want to succeed in anything."
Walter Payton is an observer of the
youth scene today. He doesn't see
much difference, he says, in the kids
now from those when he was growing
up. "But, I see a big difference in
availability. The variety of things to
get involved in is so much greater."
"Synthetic" is one word he uses to
describe the youthful generation today. "I don't think there are too many
kids out there who have a realistic
outlook on life or who appreciate the
18 • LISTEN • November 1981
things they have. It's more or less a
turmoil of illusion, or dreams."
Walter sees young people as striving for maturity, and in describing it,
he says, "I don't think you can take it
in a pill or a capsule or a drink. I
don't think you can find it in speed or
in a high. I don't think it comes on
the basis of how tall you are or how
heavy. Maturity comes with age and
the experience of living. That's the
only way you can get it." Walter
doesn't feel that those who are involved in sports are the only ones
who achieve. "If you aren't in sports,
don't feel down. If you're in sports,
don't go around with your chest out.
Football, or whatever other sport
you're in, soon reaches a plateau.
"But be proud of the building of
your mental capacities. Once you've
reached your peak in sports, you can
still build mentally and enrich your
life. Everyone can't play football, basketball, or run track, but everyone
mentally can do most anything he really wants to do."
Most important, Walter says, is the
way one sees himself. "The way I see
myself is just to be me, Walter Payton,
not to be Walter Payton the successful
football player, or Walter Payton the
200-pounder, or Walter Payton close
to six feet (I wish I were six feet)—but
just to be me and to live my own life.
Some people try to change their identity for each group they meet, one personality here and another over there.
But what happens when all these
groups get together? Then such
people can't find themselves.
"Find happiness within yourself,
find out who you are. Being yourself
is the best you can do."
"Social Action Toward Prevention" is the
motto of this congress, to be held in Kenya,
one of the world's most exciting countries.
New solutions to alcoholism will be discussed by international authorities.
The International Commission for the Prevention of Alcoholism is a nonsectarian
organization sponsoring institutes and
seminars of scientific studies for the prevention of alcoholism and drug dependency. It is an organization of the United
Nations and cooperates with national
bodies concerned with prevention.
You are cordially invited to attend this
significant conference. It is of special interest to educators, medical professionals,
law-enforcement officials, civic health or
alcoholism specialists, clergy, youth leaders, members of the judiciary,
businessmen, and social workers.
For more information and registration
forms, write to The International Commission for the Prevention of Alcoholism, 6830
Laurel Street NW, Washington, DC 20012.
Kenyafta Convention Centre
Nairobi, Kenya
August 21—September 2, 1982
Jim Conrad
Each of us needs to get away sometimes.
Merely seeing the same places and people
every day can make us uptight.
When I'm like this, I visit the park. I sit at
the base of a certain big tree I consider my
own, and, quietly as a shadow, I watch squirrels.
In half an hour I can imagine I'm a flying
squirrel, sailing through the sky from one tree
to another; with legs spread wide and tail
streaming after me. I'm nervous and alert,
chattering among the dry leaves, my nose
sniffing beneath fallen leaves. Every earthodor is like a song to me. I'm a squirrel-atpeace, clinging upside down to a tree trunk,
the sun shining softly on my fur, the wind
blowing like a playful friend through my
whiskers. I am squirrel-head.
Last month I gave you hints on getting
close to animals. I explained that being
sneaky and staying still are the main tools we
have to let us get into their heads.
Likewise, if we know some of the special
traits of animal personalities before we begin
watching them, getting into their heads later
is easier. Here are some special kinds of behavior to look for when watching squirrels.
Squirrels usually behave as if certain areas
belong to them. They have territories they'll
defend if an unfamiliar squirrel comes gathering acorns.
An interesting project is mapping a section
of a park, putting in every tree and fountain,
and then drawing the boundaries of each
squirrel's territory. If Squirrel X chases away
Squirrel Y, then consider that area Squirrel
X's. But if X and Y stand glaring at one
another, the boundary between their territories probably lies somewhere between
However, mapping isn't always that simple.
Often the territory of one squirrel somewhat
overlaps that of another. Thus, we could see
one squirrel allow a second squirrel to come
onto his land, then watch the same squirrel
chase away a trespassing third squirrel whose
20 • LISTEN • November 1981
territory does not overlap his own.
Of course, to map territories you must be
able to distinguish one squirrel from another.
However, this isn't a big problem. Once you
begin watching squirrels closely, you'll notice
that they're as different from one another as
are people. One squirrel may be nervous and
have a thinly-furred tail; another may be aggressive and have a thick tail; another may
have a scarred lip, and so on.
A squirrel's tail is a marvelous thing. When
rain falls, the tail is curled overhead, umbrellalike. When a squirrel is angry, it shakes its
tail as if it were a fist. A squirrel also uses
his tail in a way that helps him keep his balance as he walks along the wire or slender
Sometimes a fluffy tail can even serve as a
parachute. If a squirrel misses his limb after
a long jump, the drag of the wind on the
squirrel's tail as he falls earthward assures
the squirrel that he will fall more slowly. I've
seen squirrels fall 30 feet or more onto hard
ground, then get up and scurry away unharmed.
The squirrels in the photos on the opposite
page are eastern gray squirrels, the common
park-squirrel of eastern North America. In the
West, as well as in many parks in the East,
there are other species of squirrels and
squirrel-like animals. These include flying
squirrels, ground squirrels, fox squirrels, red
squirrels, and chipmunks, all in the squirrel
If you want to know which species you have
in your local park, check out a mammalidentification book from the library. A good
one is A Field Guide to the Mammals, by W.
H. Burt and R. P. Grossenheider.
We earth-trip because we want to see the
world in new ways. Certainly trading heads
with squirrels and chipmunks is one way to
do this.
And I'm absolutely sure that this somehow
sensitizes us to other living things, helping us
more to enjoy being humans.
SinDDSh01-6 from
JIrr Conr5a
NIatfe- AibuT
I'm a Good Friend Because...
Sharfine Jackson 12th Grade,
McLane High School
Fresno, California
I'm a good friend because I listen.
When my friends feel bad or have
done something good, they like to
talk about it, and I listen to them instead of talking about myself or other
people all the time.
Missy Earley 7th Grade,
Renee Raybum 8th Grade,
Parker Junior High School
Parker, Colorado
I'm a good friend because I never
judge a person by what another person says about him (or at least try not
to). I try not to put up a "false front"
so my friends will know the true me.
Goshen Middle School
Goshen, Ohio
I'm a good friend because I never
pressure my friends to do things I do,
like things I like, or act as I act. I like
my friends the way they are. I would
never ask them or want them to
Want to put in your two cents'
worth? We'll pay $5 for each student
opinion (50-75 words) published. To
qualify you must send a recent photo
with your written opinion, specifying
your grade, the name of your school,
and your hometown. Each submission will be evaluated on logic,
clarity of expression, and legibility.
Sorry, we cannot return submissions
or photos.
Question for March, 1982, Listen:
Cynthia Robertson 5th Grade,
Debi Pickle Ilth Grade,
How do you control your
Virgil Hauselt Memorial Junior
Santa Cruz, California
I'm a good friend because I stand
by my friends and am not a fairweather friend. I try to be dependable
because I like my friends to be dependable. I'm a person that my
friends can really trust.
Bass Memorial Academy
Lumberton, Mississippi
I'm a good friend because I am
honest with all my friends. I feel that
honesty and trustworthiness are the
foundation of any relationship. I also
walk day by day with Christ, and I
know His love for me can't help but
spill over into my other relationships.
Submissions for March Listen must
be received by November 25, 1981.
Send opinion, photo, and return
address to:
Listen Magazine
6830 Laurel St., NW
Washington, DC 20012
22 • LISTEN • November 1981
Elaine O'Gara
Grab Those Dreams!
Direct sellira can show wu how
Do you have big dreams for your life but feel
you'll never have the time or means to reali7P
your dreams? Every day in homes everywhere
young people are being encouraged to expand
their income to meet their dreams rather than to
shrink their dreams to fit their income. These
people are part of the direct selling movement.
What is direct selling? On the surface it's simply a system whereby goods such as cleaning
products, vitamins, and cosmetics are sold
person-to-person rather than in stores. Items can
be sold at home parties or by one-to-one personal
Most of these businesses work by encouraging
salesmen to recruit other people to be salesmen
also and thus build their own sales staff. In this
way they become distributors for their staffs. The
distributors then get a percentage of the sales
profits of each person they've brought into the
business. A person in direct sales has unlimited
earning potential.
Equally as beneficial as the money you can
earn is the attitude you can acquire about yourself as a result of working with others in the direct sales area. You'll meet them at potluck
dinners, rallies, and awards banquets. They'll encourage and help you as much as they can. They're
your own personal cheerleaders, telling you that you
can do anything you set your mind to.
For instance, Shaklee Corporation, manufacturers of vitamins and cleaning products, was
founded on the principle of Thoughtmanship—
"What you think, you look; what you think, you
do; what you think, you are."
Amway is a long-established direct sales business which sells more than 300 products ranging
from jewelry to housewares to plant food. Two
young people who've been involved in Amway
are Mitch Young, 15 years old, and Shelley
Young, 13 years old. Mitch and Shelley's mother
started her Amway business about 15 years ago,
so they've grown up with her business. She has
done well financially and has earned enough to
put them both through college when the time
comes. Mitch and Shelley have benefited in other
less tangible ways from their mother's business.
The problems Mitch faces at high school are typical,
such as fights and drugs, but his association with
the optimistic people he's met in the world of
Amway helps him to overcome any "down" days at
school. "I've found I'm not worried about about what
other kids call me. I try many things, and I've been
able to help other kids."
Shelley also feels good about the attitude she's
developed through being around positive people.
"I'm more positive and I can better deal with
Both Mitch and Shelley plan to become distributors in their own right when they reach the
age of 16. In the meantime they're learning how
to run a business. They know how to take orders
over the phone, put away products in the
warehouse, and check invoices to see that orders
are shipped correctly.
What kind of person can succeed in direct
sales? Some people with only a grade-school
education have gone on to become millionaires.
Most needed is self-motivation and a belief in
Direct selling has several advantages for young
people. You can start the business part-time
while you're still in school and carry on with it
into the work world, or make it your lifelong
career. You don't have to have much money to
get started. The Shaklee starter fee, for instance,
is only $12.50.
Another advantage is that you don't need to do
super-hype sales pitches. The products sold directly are usually luxuries that people want, such
as jewelry or cosmetics, or necessities, such as
cleaning products and vitamins. The products
almost sell themselves.
If you'd like to become involved in direct selling, look in the white pages of your phone book
for names of companies. Some of the most common are Avon, Amway, Shaklee, Neo-Life, Mary
Kay Cosmetics, Tupperware, Sarah Coventry
Jewelry, and Dynique Cosmetics.
Many of these companies require a minimum
age of 18 to sign up. If you're younger than that,
your parents can sign the application for you.
If you sometimes feel hopeless and think your
life is at a dead end, direct selling might be able
to turn that around. "You can if you think you
So get out there and grab those dreams!
LISTEN • November 1981 • 23
Shannon Brimhall
ive years ago when I was in the
seventh grade, my parents started having marital
problems. It was hard for me to understand how
it could happen to my family; we were always so
close and happy. I remember crying in my room
for hours, praying that my parents would work
things out. I couldn't comprehend my parents living apart.
The months and then years went painfully by.
One moment it seemed they were happy, and the
next they were arguing. Mom cried continuously,
and it hurt me to see their unhappiness. I loved
them both, but after three years of this, I agreed
when my parents decided a divorce would be
best for all of us.
The divorce was legalized at the end of my
sophmore year in high school. What a difficult
day that was for me! I remember wondering what
my life would be like now that my parents were
divorced. I knew that some of the most important
years of my life would be spent without the
24 • LISTEN • November 1981
presence of a father—he wouldn't be waiting up
for me when I got home from dates, and he
wouldn't be there to share special moments with
me. I was sure my high school years would be
different from those of my friends. I was
The next two years were difficult, especially for
my mom. I can't begin to count the times when
she'd literally sob for hours on her bed in the
middle of the night while I tried to comfort her. I
thought my heart would break each time I saw
the anguish she was going through. But as the
crying became less frequent and Mom began to
date, our home brightened.
Now my father has remarried, and my mother
is seriously dating a man. My family did not let
their divorce destroy us. Of my five brothers and
sisters, four are married, two have families of
their own, and my sister and I are active, happy,
healthy teenagers. The divorce could have ruined
our outlook on life, but the adversity made better
people of us instead.
These last five years have been trying and difficult, but I've found some ways to make divorce
easier to bear and deal with.
1. Don't let the divorce depress you.
Divorce is an unhappy experience for parents
and children, but many teenagers use divorce as
the excuse for all their unhappiness. Instead, try
thinking of all the good things that have happened to you. Make good things happen to you.
2. Don't use your parents' divorce as an excuse
for getting into drugs, alcohol, sex, and crime.
Many teenagers with broken homes use divorce
as an excuse for doing things they know are not
right. However, a divorce shouldn't have anything
to do with your actions. Divorce isn't a legitimate
Sometimes kids feel like their life has been
ruined by a divorce and get into drugs or alcohol
to escape their problems. Don't do it! Your problems will only increase and you'll become even
more miserable. Also, is it going to make your
family situation any easier to bear if you go
wild? No. This will just add to your own and
your family's problems. If you want to make
things better after a divorce, don't get into these
things. All they create are problems.
3. Don't hate your parents because they get a
A divorce is extremely painful and difficult for
parents. Many times children believe that their
parents don't care how much they have hurt
them, but the parents do care. They care that
you're unhappy and they feel your sadness, but
think of your parents. Think of all they have gone
through. Their marriage has failed, their lives
have changed drastically, and they've been
through a lot of sorrow. But instead of condemning them for what has happened, help them.
They'll need comforting and encouragement to
start their lives anew. Give them your love and
your time. They need you!
4. Don't take divorce out on your friends.
A divorce will surely have its effects on you,
but let it affect you in a positive way. Don't be
unkind to your friends because you're unhappy.
They may not fully understand what you are
going through, but they can listen and help you.
Your friends can help keep you going by keeping
you busy, listening to your problems, and by just
loving you.
Be careful of what you say when you're depressed. It's too easy to say something you don't
really mean. Your friends will stick by you if you
will let them. They love you.
5. Plan time to be with each parent.
Your father and your mother love you and their
other children very much, and because of this,
it's hard for them to not see you for long periods
of time. Plan time to be with the parent not living
with you. This will make the divorce easier for
him or her. Make the parent not living with you
as big a part of your life as is the parent living
with you. Don't alienate yourself from one parent.
6. Don't let divorce ruin your chances for success in life.
Your own future should be your greatest concern. Make plans and keep going in that direction. Don't let divorce be the stumbling block that
makes you lose out on success. A broken home
doesn't have to be a negative experience. Let this
trial make you stronger, more compassionate and
giving, and more successful. A divorce doesn't
make or break you. You make or break yourself!
You can make it through a divorce. Be strong
and determined and keep your chin up. This experience should make you more careful in choosing a marriage partner and more determined in
making that marriage successful. Don't put your
children through the same thing you went
There are still some hard times in my family,
and I still become discouraged. But I try to follow these guidelines, and I'm a happy person. In
my mind, I'm successful. My parents' divorce
isn't going to destroy me because I have too
many plans and too much I want in life to be
LISTEN • November 1981 • 25
arip so FORTH...
When are a wedding ring, a frying pan, a set of sterling silver flatware, and a can of motor oil of
equal value?
When they are used to pay the
$1.25 toll charged motorists who
cross the Golden Gate Bridge from
Mahn County into San Francisco.
Drivers who find themselves short
of cash are allowed to leave some-
26 • LISTEN • November 1981
thing worth $1.25 with the toll officers as collateral.
Over the years motorists have left,
in lieu of the toll, such items as a
new book, a rock 'n' roll cassette, a
radio, a pair of false teeth (which
the owner reclaimed the next day),
and a $7000 diamond wristwatch
(which the owner did not claim, and
which was sold at auction for $5).
Three things the toll officers will
not accept as collateral are clothes,
uncanned food, and drugs, as one
youthful driver learned the hard way:
he tried to pay his toll with a few
ounces of marijuana and was
promptly arrested.
No doubt his fellow grasssmokers figured that anyone who
would hock several ounces of
marijuana for only $1.25 deserves to
be locked up anyway.
When was the last time you fell
asleep in wet jeans?
The last time an 18-year-old
Danish man fell asleep wearing wet,
skintight blue jeans, he was crippled for life!
According to a Danish doctor, the
man was tossed into a bathtub during the festivities at a party. Later he
fell asleep for 11 hours with his
clothes on. As the jeans dried, the
denim shrunk tighter and tighter,
cutting off circulation. Permanent
muscle damage to his right leg was
the end result.
So the next time you shrink your
form-fitting jeans, don't fall asleep
while you're doing it!
His ego crushed by the Japanese
invention of a square watermelon,
Walton C. Galinat vowed to retaliate.
And Galinat, an agricultural
geneticist, didn't waver in his determination until he'd invented the
world's first square ear of corn! The
unusual ears have four rows of kernels compared to normal ears
which have eight.
Why corn? you may ask. "Well
shucks," Galinat says, "square ears
hold the butter better and won't roll
around your plate."
His list of accomplishments
began in the mid 70's when he
vowed to honor America's Bicentennial by breeding red-white-andblue corn. He succeeded too, even
if the first ear didn't come off of the
stalk until 1977.
Then in 1978 Galinat won a national award for the "longest ear of
the year." This prize was for his
famous 181/2-incher.
What will be his next accomplishment? To find out, just
keep your ears tuned.
Do you have stars in your eyes?
At least 1200 people have found
personalized towels and license
plates only something to yawn
about and are now having their
names put in heavenly lights!
For a mere $30, you can have
a star in the sky named after
you or a loved one. Yes, that's
right. Whether your name is
Bertha or Penelope, Mortimer
or Egbert, you'll leave a lit-
A pickup truck proved no match
for 85-year-old Nellie Mitchell's tennis shoes.
Every day for nearly 40 years Nellie has let neither rain, nor sleet, nor
dark mornings resulting from daylight savings time deter her from delivering the morning paper to the
porches of Mountain Home, Arkansas, residents.
An appearance in New York on
ABC's "Good Morning America"
show was the only reason Nellie
decided to turn her paper route over
to someone else for the first time
since 1943. Her daughter and sonin-law substituted a pickup truck for
their feet, and even then confessed
to being worn out.
If they think they were worn out,
just think how Nellie's tennis shoes
must look!
tle bit of yourself for the generations
to come.
And not only do you receive a
chart showing the location of your
heavenly body, but the International
Star Registry, Ltd., in Toronto promises the star will be identified by
number and registered in a book
which will be stored for safekeeping
in a vault in Switzerland.
But, you ask, what if your star
burns out? The Registry promises
that you'll get a new one free.
LISTEN • November 1981 • 27
Lucille J. Goodyear
Here's a quickie quiz. What first comes to your mind when
you hear the words gorge, cranberries, and Plymouth
Rock? Thanksgiving—right? How many words relating to
Thanksgiving can you find in the maze below? The words
may run up, down, horizontally, or diagonally.
Answers to "Thanksgiving Word Maze"
Sharon Ferris
Many expressions that we use contain the names of
body parts. Fill in the blanks with the right body part to
finish each phrase.
"So what if smoking ruined our wind for football?
The coach gave us our letters, didn't he?"
Bill Vossler
You're climbing to the top of Mount Everest, the
world's highest mountain. For each of these "top" words
you get right, climb higher. Every time you can't answer
or get one wrong, you slide "back." Can you make it to
the top?
1. - top - - 2. top - 3. top
4. top - 5. top - - 6. top
7. top - - 8. - top - 9. - top
10. - top
11. top - - 12. - - top - 13 - - - top
14. - top - - -
A cork, sometimes
A Theme
Highest quality
Yellow quartz
To throw over
Head apparel made of beaver or silk
A silk hat
Halt, obstruction
Used to time the 100-yard dash
Over, above
Woody Woodpecker has one on top
of his head
What a coroner makes
Main tent of a circus
Makeshift, temporary
1. A conceited person has a swelled
2. A real funny joke is a
3. If we pay no attention to criticism we turn the other
4. Mistakenly giving information is a slip of the
5. Unintentionally telling a secret is putting our foot
in our
6. A person involved in an abundance of enterprises
in too many pies.
has a
his way in.
7. A pushy person
8. Powerful persuasion is twisting someone's
9. Beginning to make progress is getting our
in the door.
the mark.
10. If you behave yourself you
PUZZLE ANSWERS Answers to "Body Language"
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28 • LISTEN • November 1981
PUZZLE ANSWERS Answers to "Mountain
Climbing—to the Top!"
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Scientists Discover
"Suicide Chemical"
Researchers at the National Institute
of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and the Karolinska Institute in
Stockholm believe they have found a
"suicide factor" in human spinal fluid
that can be measured by a simple
laboratory test.
Such a test will enable doctors and
mental health professionals to separate
the truly suicidal person from the depressed or otherwise disturbed person,
and then to treat the suicidal person
with drugs that appear to alter levels of
this "suicide factor."
The test indirectly measures a brain
chemical called serotonin, one of many
"chemical messengers" that transmit
impulses from one nerve cell to the
next. Serotonin produces another
chemical called 5-HIM, which can be
detected in spinal fluid.
Higher Drinking Age
Yields Fewer Fatalities
Teenage drinking and driving don't
So conclude state lawmakers who
have seen liquor-related teenage traffic
fatalities skyrocket following the Vietnam war era. Many state legislators
succumbed to the "old enough to fight,
old enough to drink" argument and
lowered the legal drinking age to 18.
As a result, 14 of the 20 states which
lowered their legal drinking age
between 1970 and 1975 have since
raised it again, with not surprising results.
A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety concludes that
about 380 fewer young drivers were
involved in fatal nighttime road accidents each year in the 14 states that
raised their drinking age in the past five
In Illinois traffic fatalities involving 19and 20-year-olds who had been drinking dropped 41 percent in the one year
since the legal drinking age was returned to 21 in 1980. In Michigan,
liquor-related traffic accidents involving
drivers under 21 declined 31 percent
after the legal drinking age was returned to 21 in 1979.
Lawmakers in all 50 states are consistent in their efforts to lower teenage
traffic fatalities. Since the current trend
toward raising the drinking age began
within the past five years, no state has
lowered its drinking age despite several efforts in that direction.
Coffee Not a Pick-Me-Up,
Says One Researcher
That morning cup of coffee or tea,
for that matter—can have the opposite
effect than most dedicated caffeine
sippers think: it can make a person
sleepy all day and restless all night.
"Coffee does have the immediate effect of increasing blood sugar, which
gives a feeling of a lift," says Dr. Charles
Ehret, a senior scientist at Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois.
"But within 90 minutes, the body's insulin overrides that and you crash.
"The boost doesn't last," he continues. "The best time for coffee or tea is
during the traditional British teatime at
3:30 or 4 o'clock in the afternoon."
Ad Agency Calls Smokers
"Illogical, Stupid"
Illogical, irrational, and stupid—that's
what Madison Avenue thinks of smokers, says Jack Anderson, noted syndicated columnist.
And smokers apparently agree. Anderson quotes a report prepared by a
major New York ad agency for the
Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation, maker of Viceroy cigarettes, as
saying that many smokers perceive
their habit to be dirty and dangerous,
and think only "very stupid people" get
hooked by it.
"Thus," the Ted Bates ad agency told
its client, "the smokers have to face the
fact that they are illogical, irrational, and
stupid. People find it hard to go
throughout life with such negative . . .
evaluation of self. The saviors are
rationalization and the repression that
. . . result in a defense mechanism."
So the tobacco company's advertising staff prepared a campaign to overcome smokers' doubts about their
habit. A Brown & Williamson document,
entitled "How to Reduce Objections to
a Cigarette," concedes that there are
"not any real, absolute, positive qualities and attributes in a cigarette" and notes that its advertising
campaign must provide smokers with a
"means of repressing their health concerns about smoking a full-flavor Viceroy."
The campaign slogan proposed to
the company by its ad strategists could
be called irresponsible at best: "If it
feels good, do it; if it feels good, smoke
Needless to say, the cigarette industry does not like appearing irresponsible. The documents quoted by Jack
Anderson have been placed under lock
and key with a protective order by U.S.
District Court Judge Barrington Parker.
LISTEN • November 1981 • 29
Vol. 34, No. 11
November 1981
Francis A. Soper
Barbara Wetherell
Sherrie Thomas
Editorial Secretary Gloria Meyers
Office Editor Ken McFarland
Art Director Howard Larkin
Layout Artist Cliff Rusch
Circulation Manager Gary D. Grimes
Office Manager Henry Nelson
Sales and Promotion R. F. Mattison, Milo Sawvel
Assistant Editor
It was one of those in-between times. This city sidewalk, which either
in the morning or evening rush hour bustled with people, was now
relatively quiet.
The sidewalk led up a rather steep hill at the side of a large hotel,
which left some window wells along the ground floor of the building.
One of these on the upside was of considerable depth. As are all such
places, this one was protected by iron railings.
As I walked up the hill I noticed rather idly a number of other people
on the sidewalk. One was a young man ahead of me, rather tall and
angular, carrying a package of fairly good size under his arm.
There wasn't anything unusual about the brown-wrapped parcel. In
fact, I probably wouldn't have really seen it had he not suddenly
veered over a step or two toward the railing and tossed that package
over into the window well.
It landed with a squish at the bottom. Obviously he was not the first
person to have performed that little act. Other debris littered the area.
With a shrug he cast a backward glance and caught my eye as he
realized that I had taken in the whole incident. He seemed momentarily at a loss for words but felt it necessary to say something, since I was
now right behind him.
Explosively the words came out, "Will they catch me?" And with that
he turned and continued his stride up the hill. It was all over in an
instant, but the memory lingered in my mind.
To me that little happening on a side street epitomized the thinking,
and acting, of many people today. In itself, the tossing of a paper sack
into a window well was of no great importance. True, it constituted
littering and added to the unsightly junk which so often collects along
city streets.
Much more important, however, it showed an attitude of mind, a
philosophy of life, if you please. This wasn't the first time he'd done this.
He seemed so casual about it, even quite flippant. The only thing that
bothered him at all was the remote possibility that someone might
catch him.
Multiplied many times, in all phases of life, this attitude is more
prevalent than we like to admit. At times it comes close home.
Whether in the family, in the schoolroom, in the business world, on
the sportsfield, or even in our religious life and relationship with our
God, the question creeps in, "Will they catch me?"
We all need to be reminded that, whatever the circumstances, the
possibility of being caught is not a firm reason for making any decision
in life or performing any action.
Audio Services
Photo and Illustration Credits
Cover and pages 15, 16, 17, 18, Bill Smith; pages 2, 22, Robert Hunt;
pages 10, 26, 27, Tim Mitoma; page 21, Jim Conrad; page 27, Cliff
Rusch/Joan Walter; 32, Georgia Deaver.
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