Tag Archives: news

A Scout is…

Nothing like a little controversy to get me writing again…

As I have discussed occasionally in this blog, I have been involved as a dedicated Cub/Boy Scout leader for about six years. My son and I started at the earliest levels of Cub Scouts and have progressed through the program, joining the Boy Scout Troop this past November. I chose to continue on as a leader as I believe in the program and the benefits, the personal development, and the leadership skills it provides to young men as well as the volunteer adult leadership. Plus, it’s just plain FUN! It has been an amazing experience that has had a profound and lasting effect on both of us.

Today I read a disquieting article about a female Cub Scout Leader in Ohio, who was recently removed from her position for being Lesbian. This woman did nothing other than volunteer as a Den Leader for a Cub Scout Pack that her son wanted to be involved in. She did nothing other than choose to sacrifice her own personal time, something the majority of parents would have been too lazy or disinterested to commit to.  Of course, as most people are probably aware, the B.S.A. has held a longstanding policy excluding gays from participating in their program. This storyline has been replayed over and over again through the years as this topic continues to resurface and plague an otherwise wonderful and valuable program.

I won’t rehash all the details, you can read it here.

Although I disagree with this stance, I won’t give up on the Boy Scout program. I believe the benefits it provides far outweighs the downsides of this one ignorant policy. I believe myself and my fellow leaders have, and will continue to, provide a positive and influential program for the youth in our local Pack and Troop. Perhaps naively, I believe that in many cases this policy would not be… and is not… supported on a local level, it is only forced down from the National organization.  But I did feel the need to speak up, if only in the limited capacity that I am able to through this blog and through social media. I believe this is a policy that should be reevaluated and ultimately changed, especially during a period in the B.S.A.’s proud history when membership is declining and gaining financial support for the programs is challenging.

In 2000, the Supreme Court upheld the B.S.A.’s right to exclude gays from their ranks, as it is a private organization and has the right to establish its own rules.  I’m not denying the B.S.A. the right to carry on a ridiculous, archaic policy like this, but I am questioning the judgment of an organization that declares to teach young men to be Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent.

Perhaps they need to add Discriminatory to that list.


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What’s in the News?

Old houses are mysterious places, filled with stories and history and artifacts and memories of all the residents who have ever called that house a home.  Sometimes those mysteries are in plain sight, easy to see, easy to decipher.  Other times houses hide their history under layers of paint and wallpaper, or inside walls, or under floors, only to be discovered when renovations are in full swing.

We’ve all surely read stories of homeowners finding jewels or money hidden under floors or in spider-web covered attics. People find household items and tools that were accidentally dropped inside unreachable crevices during building or renovation.  Occasionally lucky homeowners discover old photographs and letters that were intentionally left inside a wall by previous residents who knew that someday someone would be tearing into that wall as their family grew.

We have done our share of renovations at Brown Road, but so far have not found a hefty bundle of cash inside any walls. Our contractor did pull a small, seemingly handmade hammer out of the inside of a wall during one stage of our construction and we found a picture of two young girls that appeared to be from the late 60’s or early 70’s. More recently we began updating my son’s bedroom. Under layers of carpet and linoleum type flooring, we discovered a section of the floor that had been insulated with layers of newspaper. We had known it was there from pulling up corners of the carpeting years ago to see what the wood floors looked like, but it was only now that we finally began to update this particular room.

These newspapers were Chicago Tribunes, from various dates in 1949.  They were in amazingly good condition, preserved under layers of flooring and there were probably at least one hundred pages to look through.  There were so many fascinating things to share, but in the interest of brevity, I picked just a few interesting items and photographed them to share below.

Some Headlines:

From the sports page… YES, that would be the BROOKLYN Dodgers.

In entertainment… Danny Thomas at the Chez-Paree.

and Al Jolson singing in “black-face” would be frowned upon today.

Before the bailouts, when Detroit was KING!

Back from the war? You can own one of these town houses for only $190 down!

For you ladies, here’s some fancy Gabardine suits for only $39.95!

and for Mom and Dad, keep your baby Dry and Comfy.

I could have gone on and on, there were so many interesting and unique articles and photographs and advertisements.

So, I won’t encourage you to go tear up some old flooring or punch some holes in your walls.   But, you never know what might be hiding inside your house!



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