When I was but a young buck, cub-reporter, freshly scrubbed and right out of J school (Journalism, for those not in the know), I soon learned a number of useful community news lessons from Big Jim Sherman, Sr. Surprisingly, I have actually remembered them thar lessons, though it has been a number of decades since Mr. S first presented them to me. (And, that I remember may be due to the fact he is like a half foot taller than me, and he was pretty intimidating.)
Said he, for Lesson One, “Donald, write about what the people are talking about.”
Lesson Two, “Forget what you learned in college about writing. Make sure your lead paragraph is interesting. When you finish writing it, in your head you should hear tada! Have fun. Set the scene. Show emotion, even when writing about a school board meeting.”
Lesson Three was actually an offshoot of Lesson One: “The weather is the news.”
And, whenever it snowed like, on Oct 7, I would go out and try to get the story. Sometimes I would write the date it snowed on a car hood and take a picture of that. I figured, somebody 100 years in the future, might find it interesting. Sometimes I would take a picture of somebody cleaning off the walk or their car’s windshield.
Which is a long-winded way of getting to this point: It just goes to show you, there is always a first time for everything. This past weekend was the first time in my long, and illustrious career of lawn cutting (I started in the third grade with a reel mower — kids, those are the ones without a motor) that I have mowed whilst it snowed.
For Prosperity’s sake: May 15, 2016, it snowed in Southeastern Michigan, USA, and folks mowed.
I mentioned this on my Facebook Page and received this comment from one of the Usual Suspects: “All my neighbors were out cutting their lawns today. I’m not. It’s snowing. Take a message from the weather gods. You do not mow the lawn when it is snowing or has snowed in the last 24 hours. Never. There are laws of nature for crying out loud.”
To which I replied, with the utmost of sincerity, “Clarkston folk know ‘laws’ and ‘rules’ are meant for others, Cory Johnston!”
* * *
Since we are on the topic of laws and rules, this past weekend was one of great amounts of opining, blathering, complaining and supporting US President Barack Obama’s directive on school bathrooms. I hopped on the magic bus and drifted around the internet and found what The New York Times reported on May 12.
“A school may not require transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity or to use individual-user facilities when other students are not required to do so,” according to the letter, a copy of which was provided to The New York Times.
Also reported was this, “It does not have the force of law, but it contains an implicit threat: Schools that do not abide by the Obama administration’s interpretation of the law could face lawsuits or a loss of federal aid.”
At a family gathering of my sons (one still in high school, one a recent high school grad), sisters (moms and grandmoms themselves) and our mom (a great-grandma now), I broached the issue.
Concerns brought up . . . what about boys going into the girl’s bathrooms; what about the girls; the girls, the girls, (it’s always about the girls), the girls could be accosted. I had to interject, that bad things happen to boys, too. I also suggested, most kids are molested by trusted family members and family friends in places other than public restrooms. Silence, begrudging nods.
Interestingly, the oldest and one of the youngest in our cadre of family members agreed on the issue: Son Sean, 16, and Mother Rush, 79+, both said boys and girls using the same restroom really isn’t that big of a deal.
I think we all agreed the issue on restrooms is easier tackled than locker rooms and showers. Restrooms can more easily be made usable by all by just having stalls with doors, or just having one-person restrooms, just like at home. But, that will cost money most districts do not have.
Now, for locker rooms and showers . . . that is a different issue! Shower dividers? Adult supervision? Curriculum changes? Allowing kids not to shower after gym? This is more of a sticky wicket, one I am sure folks smarter than me are gonna’ have to find solutions for.
* * *
Of course, later in the night I saw a news feed about a man who claimed to be a transgender and was arrested for trying to take pictures in a woman’s restroom!
Where are we going? What have we created? I do not know, but I do know this: If a solution or resolution is to be found, it won’t be by folks on both sides of the issue yelling and calling the other names.