Message Forum

Welcome to the Watterson High School Message Forum.

The message forum is an ongoing dialogue between classmates. There are no items, topics, subtopics, etc.

Forums work when people participate - so don't be bashful! Click the "Post Message" button to add your entry to the forum.

go to bottom 
  Post Message
    Prior Page

09/30/22 02:09 PM #11673    


Michael McLeod

Glad to hear it Dave. By the time it hit here it was a tropical storm and I knew it wasn't going to have enough warm water underneath it on the way to your house to muster up another punch. It was sure holy hell down south, though. Going to take years to rebuild. 

09/30/22 03:16 PM #11674    


David Mitchell

In the aftermath of all this destruction and loss of life, there will inevidably follow the discussions about the risks and costs of building on land so close to the shoreline. The discussion has gone on for years down here and will continue again after this storm. 

I, for one agree that we chould be much more restrictive as to ocean front development. There will be massive insurance payouts and the cost of insurance will probably rise. And the arguments of who should share in those costs. Some of the cost of the insurance is born by the taxpayers, and that sparks many disccussions about fairness and responsibility.

Again, I think greater ocean front development restrictions are in order. That and much stricter building codes in those sensitive areas. I'm no expert, but we have all seen this scene played out over, and over, and over. Just going back to the same old routine seems wasteful, and foolish - not to mention risky. 


P.s. If you are wondering about my own property location, please understand I do not own this place.  I have rented here for 20 years (shame on an old Rear Estate broker like me). My landlords have raised my (very low) rent $100 in all this time. Hard to leave this Shangra La on the May River where we almost NEVER get hit. 


Added later

More to the point of this age-old discussion. I live at a mere 10 or 12 feet above sea level. That is not very much. But this old cottage has been standing here for over 80 years. The problem I am talking about is those areas (you've all seen the photos) where there is constructon jammed together at about 2 to 4 feet above sea level. That just makes no sense at all !

10/01/22 08:13 AM #11675    


Mary Ann Nolan (Thomas)

Ian gave Beaufort a break once again. Further north of us in Pawleys and Charleston did not fare as well. Dave glad to know you are safe.

10/01/22 02:39 PM #11676    


David Mitchell

Same to you Marry Ann.

It was really a non-event here - as usual.

The history of our area is that this part of the East coast curves in so far that they almost always hit Florida, and then head up to Charleston, or further north. We got some damage from Matthew a few years ago, but I don't think a big one has here here directly since the 1940s.

Strange to see so much damage a few hours to our north (Myrtle Beach) while we got almost nothing.

10/01/22 11:43 PM #11677    


James Hamilton, M. D.

Any more updates/info from Tom and Tess, Frank Ganley or other Floridians or other SC residents ( according to our profiles Marrue Shirley lives on Pawleys Island)?


10/02/22 10:07 AM #11678    


Michael McLeod

last night late I was in the back yard looking at the sky. And I could see the constellations and planets so clearly - more of them than usual, and those so sharply defined. And I realized that the hurricane had essentially scrubbed the sky as it came through. In the natural order of things, that's their job, scrubbing - cleaning out the forest of brush and weaker trees, a big version of those scooter things that clean your floors for you.

10/02/22 11:06 AM #11679    


Mary Margaret Clark (Schultheis)

I have been reading Victor Davis Hanson for many years. His article today spoke to the heart of what lies ahead for my kids and grandkids. This is not the legacy my grandparents and parents left for me, and yet it appears to be the legacy I will be leaving behind.

10/02/22 01:42 PM #11680    


David Mitchell

More on the random nature of hurricanes.

The company I drive for did a wedding yesterday here in Bluffton. As the date approached, there were a lot of worries as to whether it could take place or not. Would we even be driving at all? But as it turns out, the weather here was gorgeous - about 78 degrees, sunny, and dry.

I drove the "get-away" car - bride and groom and all their stuff (change of clothing, bottle of Champaigne, extra snack food, wedding dress bag, etc.)

As we drove out from an expensive golf club house here in Bluffton onto the "Island" (Hilton Head) to their condo on the beach, they shared with me about some of the luck of their timing. But it wasn't without some collateral damage. Out of about 200 invited guests (mostly all from California and New York - this is a "desitination wedding location) 46 of them cancelled, expecting the storm to be too risky. And four of the ushers, who had flown in to Atlanta from San Francisco, had their flight to Savannah cancelled. So they had to rent a car and drive the 4 1/2 hours to get here. What a shame for those who did not come. The weather was perfect.

How fortunate it wasn't scheduled for Sanibel, or Fort Myers.

10/02/22 03:37 PM #11681    


James Hamilton, M. D.

"There's Gold in Them Thar Hills!"

I'm going to switch gears, latitude and altitude from sea level where hurricanes have struck to where wildfires are more of a danger. Fortunately, no wildfires occurred this year in the area I recently visited.

On September 30th I made my annual trek into the mountains to capture some fall color. Yes, some 2000 miles from the Florida gulf coast and about 2 miles above sea level. As mentioned in a previous post, this year was difficult to predict when the aspens would be at peak change, but I did find some areas where that was the case. Best aspen growth in the forests is somewhere between about 8500 and 10,000 feet in altitude. On my journey into Pike National Forest in Teller County, the peak changes seemed to be around 9000-9500 feet. 

In the old "film camera" days photographers were aware that it was expensive to shoot rolls of 36 exposure Kodak or Velvia color film or slides and have them professionally developed. Thus, fewer exposures were made and more care was taken in composition and the essentials of making a good photograph. With today's digital cards it is fairly inexpensive to take hundreds of shots and see them immediately on the camera's screen and delete or keep them. I try my best to adhere to the old ways of taking fewer photos and making each count. That being said, I still end up, when I upload them to my computer, of finding only a few which I feel are worth sharing.

So, the theme of this year's foray was Gold. Here is a litte bit of gold in trees, history and trying to get rich.

The above shot is off of a dirt road, Four Mile Road, which splits from CO 67 and passes through several good aspen stands until it rejoins CO 67 (4 miles later - duh!) at Gillett, north of Cripple Creek. Some aspens are close to peak color, others still green. 

Four Mile Road. A few aspen off to the left and right have dropped their foliage but one stand is in full change and catching the morning sun.

Backlit aspens. The golden leaves are translucent and give a nice glow with the late morning sun. The few remaining green leaves are basically opaque.

So much for the trees themselves, now onto a different type of gold!

This is a shot of Cripple Creek (yep, that's the whole city!) elevation 9494 feet and I was on a hill about 1000 feet above. Since 1891 to present the Cripple Creek gold mine region has produced more gold than the gold rushes of California and Alaska combined, thus giving it the title of "The World's Greatest Gold Camp".

Today the "Creek" is better known for its casinos where gamblers hope to strike it rich in the Rockies in a different "vein" (another pun, intended).

But mining gold is still an active pursuit:

This picture is but a small part of the Cripple Creek and Victor (formerly the Cresson) Mine. For scale, notice the cars parked in the "parking lot" space about halfway up the road on the left side of the picture and the buildings on top in the middle. And this is just a small part of this massive mining operation.

Yes, there is still "gold in them thar hills" and can be found in trees, casinos and mines.

Caution: There are still dozens of old mine and air shafts from the early days that are a danger to any who wander around the hillsides of this region. Not to mention the rattlesnakes!



10/02/22 04:16 PM #11682    


Michael McLeod

wish I could be there just long enough to take a deep breath. 

10/02/22 07:48 PM #11683    


James Hamilton, M. D.

Mike, ​​​​​​

It better be a very deep breath since the air up there is pretty thin for someone who lives close to sea level and is as old as we are!


10/03/22 10:00 AM #11684    


Mary Margaret Clark (Schultheis)

Gorgeous pictures of God's creaton, Jim.  Thank you for sharing.

10/03/22 10:27 AM #11685    


John Schaeufele

Beautiful golden foliage Jim!  Reminds me of a fall trip to Vail.  Glad to hear everyone survived Ian (Dave, MaryAnn and Mike.)  My daughter in Charleston said looking out her windows was like being in a car wash.  My youngest brother (Class of '74) lucked out in Cape Coral, FL.  He lost a fence and his swimming pool cover but the house was spared.  Here in Virginia we had a lot of rain and wind but we never lost power.

10/03/22 10:30 AM #11686    


Michael McLeod

John Wayne was pissed!



Sacheen Littlefeather, Activist Who Rejected Brando’s Oscar, Dies at 75

The actress was booed at the Academy Awards in 1973 after she refused the best actor award on Marlon Brando’s behalf in protest of Hollywood’s depictions of Native Americans.


Sacheen Littlefeather at an Academy event last month in Los Angeles. She had said that she was “representing all Indigenous voices out there” when she refused the Oscar on behalf of the actor Marlon Brando.Credit...Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Eduardo Medina

Oct. 3, 2022Updated 9:25 a.m. ET

Sacheen Littlefeather, the Apache activist and actress who refused to accept the best actor award on behalf of Marlon Brando at the 1973 Oscars, drawing jeers onstage in an act that pierced through the facade of the awards show and highlighted her criticism of Hollywood for its depictions of Native Americans, has died. She was 75.

Her death was announced on Sunday by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The cause of death was not immediately known.

Her death came just weeks after the Academy apologized to Ms. Littlefeather for her treatment during the Oscars. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in August, Ms. Littlefeather said she was “stunned” by the apology. “I never thought I’d live to see the day I would be hearing this, experiencing this,” she said.

When Ms. Littlefeather, then 26, held up her right hand that night inside the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles — clearly signaling to the award presenters, the audience and the millions watching on TV that she had no desire to ceremoniously accept the shiny golden statue — it marked one of the best-known disruptive moments in the history of the Oscars.

“I beg at this time that I have not intruded upon this evening, and that we will, in the future, our hearts and our understandings, will meet with love and generosity,” Ms. Littlefeather said at the podium, having endured a chorus of boos and some cheers from the crowd.

Donning a glimmering buckskin dress, moccasins and hair ties, her appearance at the 45th Academy Awards, at the age of 26, was the first time a Native American woman had stood onstage at the ceremony. But the backlash and criticism was immediate: The actor John Wayne was so unsettled that a show producer, Marty Pasetta, said security guards had to restrain him so that he would not storm the stage.



Ms. Littlefeather and Mr. Brando had become friends through her neighbor, the director Francis Ford Coppola.Credit...Associated Press


She told The Hollywood Reporter in August: “When I was at the podium in 1973, I stood there alone.”

Ms. Littlefeather, whose name at birth was Marie Cruz, was born on Nov. 14, 1946, in Salinas, Calif., to a father from the White Mountain Apache and Yaqui tribes in Arizona and a French-German-Dutch mother, according to her website. After high school, she took the name Sacheen Littlefeather to “reflect her natural heritage,” the site states.

Her website said she participated in the Native American occupation of Alcatraz Island, which began in 1969 in an act of defiance against a government that they said had long trampled on their rights.

Her acting career began at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco in the early 1970s. She would go on to play roles in films like “The Trial of Billy Jack” and “Winterhawk.”

Ms. Littlefeather said in an interview with the Academy that she had been planning to watch the awards on television when she received a call the night before the ceremony from Mr. Brando, who had been nominated for his performance as Vito Corleone in “The Godfather.”

The two had become friends through her neighbor, the director Francis Ford Coppola. Mr. Brando asked her to refuse the award on his behalf if he won and gave her a speech to read just in case.

With only about 15 minutes left in the program, Ms. Littlefeather arrived at the ceremony with little information about how the night would work.

A producer for the Oscars noticed the pages in Ms. Littlefeather’s hand and told her that she would be arrested if her comments lasted more than 60 seconds.

Then, Mr. Brando won.

In the speech, Ms. Littlefeather also brought attention to the federal government’s standoff with Native Americans at Wounded Knee.

Editors’ Picks



She later recalled that while she was giving the speech, she had “focused in on the mouths and the jaws that were dropping open in the audience, and there were quite a few.”

The audience, she recalled, looked like a “sea of Clorox” because there were “very few people of color.”

She said some audience members did the so-called “tomahawk chop” at her and that when she went to Mr. Brando’s house later, people shot at the doorway where she was standing.

Last month, Ms. Littlefeather spoke at a program hosted by the Academy called “An Evening with Sacheen Littlefeather,” recalling how she had stood up for justice in the arts.

“I didn’t represent myself,” she said. “I was representing all Indigenous voices out there, all Indigenous people, because we had never been heard in that way before.”

And when she spoke those words, the audience erupted in applause.

“I had to pay the price of admission, and that was OK,” she said. “Because those doors had to be open.”

After learning that the Academy would formally apologize to her, Ms. Littlefeather said it felt “like a big cleanse.”

“It feels like the sacred circle is completing itself,” she said, “before I go in this life.”


10/03/22 01:09 PM #11687    


David Mitchell

Okay John Schaeufele

Where the heck were you last month?

I had fully expectd to see you at this last reunion - especially after you declared that you would be when you missed teh 50th. 

10/03/22 01:28 PM #11688    


David Mitchell


Nice tribute to Ms. Little Feather.

Yes, I also noticed this in the news last week. She was long overdue. This conversation always reminds me of the book, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown. 

I mentioned this before, but this book was so compelling, I could hardly put it down, and yet so depressing, I could not finish the final chapters. This should be must reading for American high school kids, but then, the "censors" would probably ban it because there is too much painful truth in it. 

10/03/22 05:28 PM #11689    


Mark Schweickart

Mike – I enjoyed reading your recent article that you linked on Facebook about the brouhaha at the Orlando Art Museum (that even included an FBI raid) and was caused by an exhibition of fake Basquiat works. Good stuff, my friend. It must be nice to get meaty topics like this to sink your typing-teeth into.

Here's a link to Mike's piece:

Jim – Nice photos. You never disappoint. By the way, I was struck by your comment reminding us of how one had to be especially selective in choosing one's shots in the days before digital cameras, when we were limited to 36 shots before needing to reload. It reminded me of listening to a talk  that I attended way back in the late 70's, given by a former news/sports photographer, who made a similar point about how difficult it had been (especially in covering sporting events) back in his early days when he was shooting with one of these 4x5 bad boys that required reloading after every shot:

No modern (late '70s) cameras with motorized film advancement, or through-the-lens viewing, but somehow he was stilll able to capture that slide into home plate with the ump signaling "Safe!" (And with a 4x5' high resolution negative as a bonus.)

10/03/22 06:00 PM #11690    


Michael McLeod

Thanks Mark.

I got really, really involved and engaged by Basquiat and felt such a sense of betrayal that the paintings were fake.

And Dave: That book has had a place of particular honor on my bookshelf for decades now.



10/03/22 07:22 PM #11691    


James Hamilton, M. D.


Your are spot-on that God did all the work on the gorgeous sceneries that are in our world. I, and many photographers, just like to take their pictures to share with others. 

John S.,

Glad you enjoyed my photos. Although I am not a skier, places like Vail, Aspen, Crested Butte and several other places famous for their ski areas offer excellent autumn color. I have visited a few in the fall but they are such a long drive from our home that I prefer the less crowded National Forests that involve day trips.


Certainly, the modern digital era of photography has made things much easier, not only in the picture taking itself, but also hauling around heavy gear.

Ansel Adams, probably one of the best ever landscape photographers, often used an 8x10 view camera - one glass slide at a time - attached to a very heavy solid wooden tripod. He then did his own developing and perfected the "burning and dodging" technique to make his black and white photos true works of art. No Photoshop there! 

In the 1970's, although I had a Minolta SLR camera, my preferred landscape tool was a used Rolleiflex twin lens reflex camera which created 3x3 negatives and excellent images that could be enlarged to great sizes. 

I have not yet hopped on the bandwagon of those - even pros - who have lightened their load even more with the mirrorless models. Those often require a whole new set of lenses and that gets very expensive $$$$!!! 


My "Rollei" 



10/04/22 12:36 AM #11692    


David Mitchell

Wow Jim,

I love it! 

Of all the many cameras I have owned, (about 8 over the years) my old Minolta Autocord (another "twin lens" model) was one of my favorites. Your "Rollie" is a gem. It really brings back memories. Looking down as you hold the camera at your waist, and hand cranking the film advance - how cool is that?

10/04/22 03:35 AM #11693    


James Hamilton, M. D.


That camera is the only medium format I have ever owned. From what I understand, it and the Hasselblads we're the best in that category. If I remember correctly, years ago I researched the serial number of this particular one and it was made in - get this - 1948, our birth year! 

An old general practice doctor who worked at Fort Carson when I first arrived there, was my photo buddy and we went on several Saturday photographic expeditions. He had that camera and no longer used it so he offered it to me for one dollar. Sold! 




10/04/22 12:40 PM #11694    


David Mitchell


You thief, you!

If I was still active in the hobby I'd offer you double your money - lol

10/04/22 03:48 PM #11695    


John Schaeufele


Sorry to have diappointed you.  I really was planning on being in Cols for the 55+ reunion and was disppointed myself in canceling the trip.  Circumstances beyond my control happened.  Life's twits and turns - what more can I say.  Maybe next time!

10/05/22 03:43 PM #11696    


Michael McLeod

A predictable aftermath.

The writer, Scott Maxwell, is a good friend of mine.



Thanks to Hurricane Ian, Florida is about to experience an insurance crisis that could send your already-high rates even higher, limit your insurer choices even more and cost taxpayers billions.

There’s nothing mankind could do to stop Ian. But there was plenty Florida politicians could’ve done to help prepare its insurance market.

In fact, this crisis was totally predicted. Watchdogs urged Gov. Ron DeSantis and state legislators to take action. But the politicians were more interested in screaming about critical race theory and demonizing LGBTQ families.

You know this. Think about how many stories you read about GOP lawmakers trying to pass “anti-woke” legislation vs. how many stories you read about them trying to stabilize the insurance market. Well, now you’re about to pay the price.

This is what happens when you elect people more interested in politicking than governing.

Experts are predicting everything from rising insurance costs — in a state where rates are already more than double the national average — to massive bills for taxpayers. The Sentinel detailed the expected fallout in a recent piece: “Hurricane Ian: Damage will drive insurance rates even higher, cripple industry.”

The default defense by the politicians who let these problems fester seems to be: Now isn’t the time for Monday-morning quarterbacking.

But that’s not what this is. These alarms weren’t set off the Monday after the game. They were sounded months ago. Years ago.

The national Insurance Journal penned a series back in 2020 entitled: “Florida Property Insurance Market Inches Closer to Crisis.” Bloomberg wrote a piece the same year: “Florida Braces for a Storm of Homeowners Insurance Rate Hikes.” By then, companies had also started fleeing Florida, and the state-run Citizens’ program was bloating.

But lawmakers did next to nothing ... and are now acting surprised.

State Sen. Jeff Brandes was one of the few Republicans who pleaded with his colleagues to do more. They did not.

So either they lacked the competence and courage to fix the problem. Or they simply didn’t care about the problem — at least as much as they cared about culture-warring. Neither option instills confidence.

Insurance reform is an admittedly complex problem. Florida is flat, surrounded by water and a frequent target for hurricanes.

Many politicians blame rampant insurance fraud for jacking up rates and driving insurers away. So then so crack down on fraud!

If Florida had a rash of burglaries, you’d target the burglars, right?

Well, then if insurance fraud is really a statewide problem, why hasn’t Florida created a statewide force with 10 times the current number of investigators and prosecutors already assigned to the cause?

Instead, DeSantis created a voting-fraud force … despite a lack of evidence of problems in that arena. That was a choice.

Florida Insurance rates soar to ‘crisis’ level after do-nothing lawmakers piddled | Commentary ]

DeSantis and legislators also made a choice when they ignored scores of insurance warnings during their legislative session last year so they could instead froth about Disney and other supposedly “woke” corporations.

Only later, in a much shorter special session on insurance, did they pay token attention to the obvious crisis. Then, they took some meaningful-but-small steps, including adding $2 billion in reinsurance relief. (To put that amount in perspective, estimators are looking at tens of billions in damage and claims.)

There was much more that could’ve been done. Aside from seriously cracking down on fraud, experts have pushed for arbitration between homeowners and insurers before lawsuits are filed. Lawmakers could’ve supported Brandes’ plan to reduce the average homeowner’s bill by $150 a year by restructuring the state’s reinsurance-fund deductible. They could’ve cracked down on the creative accounting measures some insurers use to siphon profits out of Florida to make their financial health look worse here.

But all those things would’ve taken guts and energy. It was easier to kick the can down the road — a popular tactic for a state whose unofficial motto has always been: Build now, deal with consequences later.

Flooding is another example. The potential for devastating flooding has long been known. But homeowners aren’t required to have flood insurance. Nor are basic homeowner’s policies required to cover flood damage.

So is it surprising that now, in the hardest-hit counties of Collier and Lee, only about 30% of homes have flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program, according to the Tampa Bay Times?

That means most homeowners are out of luck — or taxpayers will bail them out. (We’ll soon see if the politicians like DeSantis — who said people who decided to take out college loans shouldn’t get taxpayer bailouts — feel the same way about Florida homeowners who decided not to buy flood insurance.)

The bottom line: Everyone knew these messes were coming. The politicians in charge were negligent. And you’re going to pay the price.

The question now is: What are you going to do about it?

What would you do in any other part of your life? If your financial advisor, for instance, ignored one warning after another to safeguard your portfolio and then lost the bulk of your retirement account, would you simply shrug?

And what if he had the audacity to tell you that Now isn’t the time for Monday-morning quarterbacking — even though you’d warned him time and again to safeguard your investments?

Only a fool would keep that advisor around.

Well, politics and partisanship sometimes do foolish things to people’s brains. But any clear-thinking person knows the time for excuses on Florida’s insurance crisis isn’t just over; it ended long ago.


10/05/22 09:47 PM #11697    


David Mitchell

Well stated Mike.

This has been nothing short of a time bomb, waiting to go off.

go to top 
  Post Message
    Prior Page