Will The Supreme Court Save The DACA Dreamers?

Prologue:  On August 15, 2012 during The Obama administration,  U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ( USCIS) began accepting applications for DACA  (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). As of June, 2016, USICIS had received 844,931 initial applications for DACA  status.

Since 2012, over 800,000 thousand young men and women have completed their educations and worked in their communities, paying taxes.  They have hoped   that a path to citizenship would be initiated in the United States Congress and they would become American citizens – thus their name The Dreamers.

November, 2016: Donald Trump was elected President and the future of The Dreamers changed.   His first campaign statement coming down the escalator in Trump Tower was that immigrants crossing the Southern border were “murderers and rapists”.  During his rallies , he promised  “ We will build “a Great Wall to stop these people  from coming to the U.S.  And Mexico will pay for it! “ He described gangs of men arriving in “caravans” by the thousands.  But the majority were women and their children walking thousands of miles to escape persecution and death from gangs.

On September 5 of 2017, the Trump administration announced that it was phasing out the DACA program.  It permitted only those recipients whose benefits expired between Sept. 5 of 2017 and March 5 of 2018 to renew for a final two years.  Young immigrants rushed to file for renewal.  Democrats in Congress and members of the public were dismayed by the new policy.  The Dreamers had captured support across the country.

On January 17 of 2018, it was reported that the Justice Department was appealing a District federal Court Judge’s ruling to save DACA at The Supreme Court.  Judge William Alsop in San Francisco had imposed a nationwide stop to the program until litigation could be heard.  The case to save DACA had been brought by the University of California and Janet Napolitano, its president.  It was then decided at the Appeals Court Level against Donald Trump’s attempt to end the DACA program.    They could continue to get work permits and go on with their lives.  Finally , the Trump administration filed a petition to The Supreme court to hear the Appeals Court decision which was turned down.

On January 23, 2019  an article in the  New York Times by Adam Liptak described how Trump had taken inconsistent positions on DACA  at the same time he was trying to end it.  He had called a meeting of interested members of Congress and department heads to discuss possible solutions.   He called upon Congress to give legal status and a path to citizenship to The Dreamers.  His offer to extend the program in exchange for concessions on building his Wall at the border never materialized.

Throughout 2019, the Trump administration continued their separation of families at the Southern border with increased media coverage of children in cages without proper care.  One official described the situation as “summer camp”.  Others were appalled … “No soap or tooth brush…. Sleeping on the floor…babies unattended by  an adult!’

On Friday, June 29, The Supreme Court announced it would consider how President Trump has tried to end the DACA program since he took office. Once again, The Dreamers will live in fear until a decision is reached.

Federal courts in California, New York and Washington D.C. have blocked the president’s efforts to end DACA.  In August,  Judge John Bates on the D.C. Circuit who had been appointed by a Republican president,  wrote a harsh critique of the administration’s  reasons.  He ruled that the rationale that they put forward was “arbitrary and capricious under federal law.”

The American people are strongly in favor of DACA as reflected in opinion polls over the years.

However, The Supreme Court has changed since 2017 when Trump became president.   He chose two new members highly recommended by The Federalist Society : Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh.   There are now four conservative members and four liberal members.   Chief Justice John Roberts usually votes with the conservatives.  He broke from them in June and joined the liberals on the crucial vote that delayed adding a  Citizenship Question to the 20/20 Census.

Will he do the same to save DACA and The Dreamers?

………………………………………………………………………………………….Joyce S. Anderson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confessions of a Grand Juror

A summons for jury duty runs neck and neck with the reminder for your annual dental examination as the most unwanted item in the daily mail. As I read the crisp language and scanned the dates I would be required to appear, the calendar of planned events in my life crumbled. All else would have to be rearranged.

On the following Thursday at 8:30 a.m., I appeared along with about one hundred other chosen citizens to learn my fate. The session did not start on time. Not an auspicious beginning in contrast to the formal aura of the summons. We waited until several people arrived at the front of the room, bustled about arranging papers and microphones, and finally said “Good morning” to us.

The judge who entered was tall, imposing, clothed in black robes and serious. As he explained the process we would follow, I was impressed by his manner and the substance of his presentation. I started a learning experience that would continue through the eight weeks of grand jury service. I would learn about the law. I would learn about the other jurors, 23 to each panel. I would learn about the assistant prosecutors who presented each case. I would learn about crimes that range from forgery to aggravated assault, and the differences between theft and robbery, and robbery and burglary. In short, I would learn that serving on a grand jury might be an irritating disruption of one’s normal schedule, but it could also stretch one’s mind, experience and point of view about the courts and the law.

The names for each panel were drawn and I found myself a member of panel B, to meet on eight successive Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  There was a chance to talk with the judge if a prospective juror had a reason or conflict to prevent serving. I shared with him that I was the chief prosecutor’s 8th grade teacher, but I had no problem with this as an influence pro or con. He agreed. I did not share with him the lingering memory I held of a 13-year-old boy who could not concentrate on his work and spent most of the time looking out the window. I had followed the prosecutor’s work and he had matured into a hard-driving aggressive official. In the weeks ahead, we did not meet the chief prosecutor. A steady line of assistant prosecutors, most of whom were women in their early 30’s, presented the facts of each case we heard.

The state of New Jersey requires that a criminal case must be heard by a grand jury first. Then the jury decides whether to bring an indictment (true bill), not to bring an indictment (no bill) , or remand for municipal court action. The vote is a majority vote. Twelve or more must agree. As the cases unfold, we learn that real life is not “Perry Mason”. And the grand jury is not a petit or regular jury. Our job is not to decide guilt or innocence beyond a reasonable doubt. Our job, based on the facts presented by the assistant prosecutor and witnesses, is to decide if there is prima facie evidence  –sufficient evidence to bring an indictment. Only the state’s case is presented. The grand jury does not hear from the defendants.

One of the most salient events is the transformation of 23 strangers on that first morning into a cohesive group by the second or third meeting. Leaders have emerged beyond the foreperson and assistant foreperson assigned by the judge. Certain jurors ask questions. Others appear to be bored. Several develop buddies with whom they banter during breaks. Seating patterns emerge. Many chew gum, unfortunately, cracking and popping at moments of serious deliberation. The smokers band together outside the building in self-imposed purgatory during breaks.  All jurors wear name tags, first names only, as well as an official number of the 23. When the votes are taken, the motion is made and recorded by number. We get to know and think of each other by number as much as by name.

About four weeks into our service, some of us are beginning to enjoy the sessions. We have learned the basics of the different criminal statutes. We know the difference between simple and aggravated assault. And the sub-categories that include “serious bodily injury, with a deadly weapon, and status of the victim.” We are becoming knowledgeable and I am reminded that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

But the assistant prosecutors are very good at their jobs. Fairly young, intense, well-organized and female, they are a new generation of lawyers reaping the rewards of the women who pioneered in the profession before them. They define the charges precisely and read us the relevant law when questions arise. They give us what we need to make decisions.

The witnesses, in most cases, are police officers and detectives. We are impressed with the variety of men and women who hold these jobs. They are a cross-section of age, ethnic groups and appearance. Some are undercover narcotic agents, dressed for the role and reminiscent of TV cop shows. Others in suits and ties could pass for bankers or insurance brokers. Any stereotype of what a police officer or detective should look like is permanently erased from our minds. These are real people and their jobs can be dangerous and unpleasant.

Certain of the cases we hear are shocking. Stalking. Conspiracy to terrorize. Child abuse. Sexual assault. In graphic detail. There is no joking during the breaks on those days. Several jury members leave the room and abstain from cases they find too hard to handle. Those of us who stay will have a hard time forgetting what we have heard.

The number of drug related cases is legion. We learn not only about heroin, marijuana and cocaine, but also about the use of pagers by the sellers for instant business. And enhanced penalties for distribution within 1,000 feet of a school. The work of the undercover agents appears endless and our consciousness of the drug epidemic in our society is heightened.

During one of the breaks, a juror remarks, “With everything we’ve heard, we’re learning how to be criminals.” His comment probably was meant as a joke. However, for most of us who served on panel B of the grand jury, this has been a serious introduction to crime and the workings of our law enforcement and justice systems. The “cop shows” on television seem pale in comparison  with what we have witnessed and heard in the real world.

…………………………………………………………………………..Joyce S. Anderson

 

 

 

Start The Impeachment Inquiry Now and Win The Presidential Election in 20/20

Dear Nancy Pelosi: As Speaker of The House of Representatives, you have won every skirmish and battle with President Donald Trump.  You led the Democrats to the enormous Blue Wave victory in the Midterm Elections.  A tide of  40 women ousted male Representatives across the nation.  2019 became The “Second Year of The Woman” in our history.

Your experience before as Speaker gave you the added knowledge and wisdom to best the president on different important issues since the 2016 election.  He was coming from the New York business world, and his experience in real estate was vastly different from the many political lessons you learned in Maryland when you were the daughter of the Mayor of Baltimore.  You entered politics when you were elected to The House as the Representative from San Francisco and moved up in later years to be elected Speaker the first time.

Now, you are faced with a major decision. A growing number of members of the majority Democratic Caucus and those who are running for president are urging you to start an Impeachment Inquiry. This would collect the evidence that would lead to Impeachment Proceedings against President Donald Trump.

Much of the evidence was laid out in The Mueller Report that was presented on April 18, 2019 after almost two years of investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election that helped Trump win.   It ran to over 400 pages plus footnotes, and only a redacted version was available to the public. Some members of Congress did receive a more complete version.

U.S. Attorney William Barr who had been given The Report according to Department of Justice guidelines gave a televised four page summary  to the public on The Mueller Report.  He then testified under oath to the televised Senate Judiciary Committee, with Republican and Democratic senators asking questions and making statements.  During the questions, it is important to note that Senator Kamala Harris, Democrat, CA, asked if he had read the evidence under ten Obstruction of Justice incidents by the president documented in The Report. Barr, after some delay said he had not.

 

After Barr gave his summary, Trump claimed    “No Collusion” and “Complete Exoneration” although this was not in the report.  Senate Republican Majority leader Mitch Mc Connell  said, “Case Closed”.    However, the American people and the Democrats in Congress are not ready to do that.

Donald Trump will formally announce his run for reelection shortly. He is already holding rallies repeating his claims of “No Collusion and Case Closed” to the cheering throngs. He has also instructed Attorney General Barr to start an investigation of what he calls a plot by the F.B.I. and C.I. A. to attempt a “coup to overthrow his administration”.

There are now 24 Democrats running for President , a stunning number of men and women, the largest  group in modern history.  Former Vice President Joe Biden is leading in the current polls, with former Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont second.  Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is third.   Senator Kamala Harris of California is fourth.  Mayor Pete Buttigeg of Indiana is fifth.

The real political campaigns will begin when the Democratic primary results in a winner.  At present, William Weld , former governor of Massachusetts,  is challenging the president in the Republican primary.  His chances appear slim.

Speaker Pelosi could strike a master stroke if she starts the Impeachment Inquiry now and considers the millions of Obama voters in 2012 who switched to Trump in 2016.  These people  are significant potential voters for the Primary winning candidate.   They have seen Donald Trump’s actions and behavior these past two years and many are not happy with his performance.

Recent studies of this data reveal that these voters in four key states: Michigan, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Ohio,   gave Trump his electoral win. They made the change four years ago and could be open to change again when the daily testimonies of witnesses in The Impeachment Inquiry are on TV.

According to the national polls,  Trump’s current approval rating is only in the high 30’s to low 40’s.  His disapproval rating is in the sixties.  At present, hypothetical matchups of leading Democrats show Joe Biden at the top, beating Trump by ten points. Bernie Sanders , Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris  beat Trump in single digits.

Donald Trump always labels his rivals with insulting nicknames.  He has already called Joe Biden, “Low I.Q” and Elizabeth Warren, “Pocahontas” .  It is ironic that he chose “Crooked Hillary” for his 2016 opponent… when he was the businessman sued hundreds of times over shady real estate deals.

Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by three million votes. This was despite Russian interference helping Donald Trump ….as documented clearly in The Mueller Report.

………………………………………Joyce S. Anderson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“An Exaltation of Larks”

 

A very special book beckons to me from the shelves, An Exaltation of Larks, the fascinating collection by James Lipton, first published in 1968.  Lipton, an American writer, poet, composer and actor, traced the tradition in the English language back to the 15th century when groups of animals, fish and birds associated with hunting were given names to epitomize salient characteristics. Young gentlemen were taught the precise designation of their quarry. We are familiar with some: a pride of lions, a plague of locusts and a litter of puppies. The magic of this book is in the hundreds of collective nouns that identify the essence of the group to the reader for the first time — and the witty engravings by Grandville, a 19th century French lithographer, that accompany most of the terms and the text.

 

Here are a few groups of birds to whet your appetite:

A parliament of owls.

An ostentation of peacocks.

A banquet of pheasants.

A murder of crows.

A siege of herons.

A brood of hens.

An exaltation of larks.

Skylarks climb high together into the heavens while uttering their song — thus the poetic comment of exaltation.  In the interesting introduction to the book, Lipton traces the history from the 15th century to the present. He writes, “Obviously, at one time or another, every one of these terms had to be invented — and it is equally obvious that much imagination, wit and semantic ingenuity has always gone into their invention. The terms are too full of charm and poetry to suppose that their inventors were unaware of the possibilities open to them , and unconscious of the fun and beauty they were creating. What we have in these terms is clearly the end result of a game that amateur semanticists have been playing for over five hundred years.”

 

Part III of the book may be the most fun for readers since Lipton drew upon the Book of St. Albans, compiled in 1486, which included seventy references to people and life in the 15th century in addition to the birds, animals and fish for the hunt. The social references, scattered through the St. Albans book, are filled with wit and commentary about the manners and morals of the day. The lively, intriguing engravings accompanying these human figures capture the meaning and nuances in each term.  Here are samples from the 15th century:

 

A Herd of Harlots

A Converting of Preachers

A Doctrine of Doctors

An Incredulity of Cuckolds

A Riffraff of Knaves

A Drift of Fishermen

An Eloquence of Lawyers

A Worship of Writers (Ah, I love that.)

 

Lipton closes his delightful book with a challenge to the reader to join the “game” and create clever terms that illuminate intrinsic qualities of a group. He says, about playing the game, “like Tom Sawyer whitewashing the fence. I found that spectators didn’t stay spectators for long. If you should feel the urge, there are more brushes in the pail.”

 

………………………………………………………………………………….

An Exaltation of Larks  is available online at Amazon.com

Joyce S. Anderson …………………………………………………………………………………

Cell Phone Madness!

Are you ready to take a test?  Okay, here goes:

Do you own a cell phone?

Do you keep it with you in your car?

Do you answer the phone while you are driving?

Do you call someone on the phone while you are driving?

Do you turn corners with one hand while holding your phone with the other?

Do you have a head set for your telephone?

Do you conduct business on your telephone?

Do you call someone as soon as you leave the house in the morning?  For business?

For pleasure?

Do you ever argue with anyone on the telephone while you are driving?

Do you ever get upset during a telephone conversation while you are driving?

Do you know if New Jersey has a law against driving while using a hand held cell phone?

Oh — by the way — do you ever drink, eat, comb your hair, read, write or put on make up while driving?

……………………………………………………..

In the movie, “Network”, Peter Finch the television executive sticks his head out of his apartment window and shouts, “I’m mad as Hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”  This scene flashed through my mind as I walked along Burroughs Avenue in Linwood one peaceful autumn morning and reached the corner. While I waited to cross, I watched driver after driver turn the corner from Oak Avenue onto Burroughs with one hand —  while talking on the phone held in the other hand. I felt like Peter Finch. I wanted to yell at all those drivers! But their windows were closed and they were oblivious to a lone walker watching them take the corner.

Most drivers I observe appear to be deeply involved in conversations as they drive their cars and talk on the cell phones at the same time.  Sometimes they appear angry with contorted faces. That’s when I really worry what’s going to happen next.  Psychologists have told us about attention span and doing more than one thing at once. The results have been proven in scientific laboratories. Now, we have the behavior happening all around us without laboratory controls.  Accidents on the way to happen.

Did you know the answer to the question about New Jersey law and using hand held cell phones while driving? In case you didn’t, here’s the answer. And the story on cell phones and driving nationwide.

New Jersey became the second state after New York to pass a law against using hand held cell phones — not head sets —  while driving. It has been ILLEGAL to drive and talk on a hand held cell phone since July 2004. This is called a ‘secondary offense’ after a driver has been stopped for another driving infraction, such as speeding.  The penalty is a fine up to $250; the violation does not carry points.   In New York, the police can stop motorists for talking on the phone even if no other driving infraction takes place.

State officials describe this law as a first step to get drivers to stop using hand held cell phones while they drive. Robert Rodriguez, director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety compares the cell phone law to the state law requiring the use of seat belts which also started as a secondary offense.  “We want to analyze human behavior to see if making it tougher is necessary.”  They found that 2 of every l0 drivers in New Jersey were not buckling their seat belts and changed the use of seat belts from a secondary offense to a primary offense.

 

What is the picture nationwide?  Eleven states and the District of Columbia have laws restricting cell phones while driving, and nineteen states also keep track of phone involvement in auto crashes.  New Hampshire with its motto, “Live Free or Die” is the only state in the union without a mandatory seat belt law.  But it did pass the first law in the nation against ‘distracted driving’ in 2001. This prohibits talking on a cell phone, eating, drinking or putting on makeup while behind the wheel.  Drivers face fines up to $1000. if police find any of the distracting activity caused an accident.

“If you’re going to have a law, it should cover all distractions,” says Jonathan Adkins of the Governors Highway Safety Association, a nonprofit group that represents safety officers.  Adkins added that there is no evidence that using a headset makes telephone use any safer while driving. A study funded by the American Automobile Association in 2003 found that changing the radio dials, talking with other passengers, eating, drinking , grooming and writing were more common activities for drivers than talking on a cell phone. Pam Fischer, an AAA spokesperson, says, “Research shows that it’s the conversation, not the device, that causes the distraction.”

Laws against cell phones vary in their specific prohibitions from state to state. Teenage drivers are  banned from talking on cell phones in New Jersey, Maine and the District of Columbia.  School bus drivers are also prohibited from talking on cell phones except in emergencies in ten states, including New Jersey , and the District of Columbia.  Some municipalities have passed their own rules on the subject although certain states restrict local governments from doing this. The bottom line is that legislators in each state research, debate and decide what actions they will take to protect the citizens in their state.

 

Final note: hands-free cell phone devices can be purchased at any cell phone store or online. Verizon sells these devices for prices ranging from $14.99 to $129.99.   However, drivers should be cautioned that two free hands can lead to all the other ‘distractions’.  The toughest danger to avoid while driving may be any telephone conversation that becomes intense or heated. Don’t risk it. Just hang up! And focus your attention on the road.

………………………………………………………………………………… Joyce S, Anderson

 

Census Citizen Question at The Supreme Court!

Prologue:  Every ten years since 1950, the Census Bureau has counted the population of the United States.  Originally, a government worker known as ‘enumerator’ would visit households and record the information.  In later years, people filled in their own forms on paper or electronically.

Everyone who lived in a household would be counted.  Adults  and children. The number then became the basis in states for their representation in the House of Representatives. Many households were two or three generational, including older members who had emigrated from other countries. There was never a question of citizenship.

On Tuesday, April 23, The Supreme Court will hear a Trump Administration case proposing a Citizenship Question be added to the 2020 Census.  Since 1960, the Census Bureau has been against adding a census question , saying “it would produce a less accurate population count. “ Five former Census Bureau directors from Republican and Democratic administrations wrote a brief to the Supreme Court against adding the Citizenship Question.

The purpose of this question is very clear.  Donald Trump has been opposed to immigration since he came down the escalator in Trump Tower and castigated immigrants from Mexico as “rapists and murderers”.   His successive bans on Muslims were in the courts for years.  Other members of his inner circle have agreed.  His chief of staff, General John Kelly said his formula for immigration from countries south of our border was” zero to one.”  In addition, the fate of the young children who were brought by their parents to live in the United States, still remains in limbo.  Many  of “The Dreamers” have graduated from college and are working and paying taxes.

Trump Administration immigrant court battles: Last year the Supreme Court upheld a Trump ban on visitors to the U.S. from several Muslim countries.  The High Court did temporarily block an administration plans to make it harder for people to claim asylum. The Justices are also considering an appeal that would allow Trump to end protections for  The Dreamers.  Last case: Federal judges in California,  New York and  Maryland have  blocked the administration from going ahead with the citizenship question.

Census Bureau experts have said millions of Hispanics and immigrants would not be counted.  That would cost several states a number of seats in The U.S. House  and millions of federal dollars that are determined by the Census.

Historical Notation:  See Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 of The United States Constitution.  You will find the phrase “three fifths of other persons”…. This refers to the black slaves in the southern states.  It was the result of a compromise in 1787 between Southern and Northern states arguing about representation and taxes.  It was changed in 1868 after the Civil War by the 14th Amendment, but still exists in print in copies, with the change in a footnote.

The infamous Dred Scott Supreme Court decision in 1857 had described the escaped slave as property of his owner.

Epilogue:  Secretary of Commerce Ross proposed adding the Census Question to the 2020 Census.  The urgency on the administration side is that copies must be printed at this time.  The Supreme Court decision will not be made public until  June.

We would appear to be taking a step back in time since  the proposed Census Question by the Trump administration would turn back the clock to l787 . From that date on, some people living in the United States were counted as “three fifths of persons.”

Now in the 21st century, millions of undocumented immigrants would not be counted at all!  Let us hope that the Justices of The Supreme Court believe that every human being counts in the United States of America.

…………………………………………………..Joyce S. Anderson

Forward To The Past

 

 

“What’s a record player?” the clerk behind the counter asked when I had finally decided that my faithful decades-old machine needed replacing.  My classical music collection of LP’s includes some of the operatic greats. Toscanini conducting “La Traviata”. Leonard Warren as Rigoletto. Marilyn Horne and Joan Sutherland in “Norma”.  Maria Callas. Even Rosa Ponselle and Enrico Caruso.

 

I repeated my intent to the puzzled young man in the music store. “I would like to buy a record player.” Again, he responded, “What’s a record player.”   I had the uncomfortable sensation of being in a time warp. He was not kidding. He really didn’t know what I was talking about. And he was looking at me the way those people looked at Michael J. Fox in the film, “Back to the Future”. To see if there were any other strange characteristics besides my peculiar inquiry.

 

I persevered. “ A record machine. You know, the kind that you put the records on. With a turntable and the automatic arm that drops the records one by one.”  Oh,”, he said, “You mean the machines that people used to have in the old days before the cassettes and  C.D.s?  ( I aged two decades with that comment)  Now, it was my turn. “C.D.s What are they?” (CD to me means certificate of deposit or civil defense and I didn’t think he was on either of those wave lengths.)

He explained, “C.D.s are compact disks. They’re the latest thing in the sound business. The best possible way to hear music next to being there. Would you like me to play one for you?”  “Well”, I went on, “It’s not that I don’t believe you, but I have this huge collection of L.Ps at home. Something of a lifetime investment, you might say. I think I’ll stick with what I have. That’s why I need a new machine. Don’t you carry them at all anymore?”

 

At this point, we had reached an impasse. He obviously regarded me as an alien in the modern world of music. It also occurred to me that he might not even know what L.P.s were. It was clear that I was not a potential buyer of C.Ds, the sound of the future. He turned me over to the assistant manager, who diplomatically informed me, “We really don’t have any call for the type of machine you are describing. Perhaps a second-hand store or an antique dealer might have one.”

 

Help! Alvin Toffler was right. My world is becoming archaic. My machine is an anachronism. Toffler predicted in his book, “Future Shock” that this would happen. At the time, I didn’t believe him. After this consciousness raising session at the music store, I decided to keep my old machine. The sound may not be perfect, but I know it well and its sounds right to me. I also began t think about other things that have become outmoded, outdated and out of stock. I didn’t have to search too far. Here’s my starter list:

Clotheslines and wooden clothespins.

Dry goods stores.

Watches and clocks that one winds and sets.

Stockings, not pantyhose.

Rouge, not blusher.

Soap, not a body bar.

A manual typewriter.

A malted milk shake.

Five and Dime stores. At least one per town.

Roller skates that clip onto your shoes.

The metal key to tighten the skates.

Fountain pens. Other than the status models.

Bottles of ink for the fountain pens.

Ink eradicator to correct the blots.

A baby stroller that is simple in purpose.

 

Have you tried lately to buy a plain canvas what-we-used-to-call sneaker? The variations on this form of footwear are awesome. Tennis. Walking. Jogging. Running. Racing. With reinforced arch. Without said arch. High top. Low top. No top. Leather. Nylon. Canvas. Wide laces. Narrow laces. Stretchable laces. And all of these choices occur before you enter the world of different brands and myriad colors.

 

Many people yearn for the days of the past. For the simple rural society and its values. For fewer choices. For the small town with the 5 and 10 cent store and the corner drugstore with soda fountain. I cannot say I belong to that segment of the population. I guess I am somewhere in between that world and the present one, with a clothing chain store on every other block. One for women. One for men. And one for children. Is this really necessary?

 

How I would love to see tucked away on one of those blocks a nostalgia store. A store that stocks all the anachronisms and archaic objects I crave. All the hard-to-find record machines, needle threaders and wooden clothespins. This image conjures up the legendary store that used to exist in a neighborhood. It might have been called a hardware store, or a general store in the real old days. In every case, this store was the place of first and last resort. Merchandise usually spilled down fromm the jammed aisles.  Threading one’s way through the aisles took determination. But the reward was finding exactly what you needed. In the right size. And the right color. And just the brand you usually bought.

 

The owners of these stores knew their inventory and the hiding place of every item. They honed in on the most obscure request with unerring accuracy. “I know I have a few in stock. On the third aisle, top shelf, under the rubber spatulas.” And there they were!

 

Having such a store in our neighborhood would gave me a wonderful sense of security. As I am catapulted into the future, I could visit the nostalgia store from time to time and hold on to the comfortable past.

 

……………………………………………………………………………….  Joyce S . Anderson