Press-Republican

Columns

January 8, 2012

Future looks bright

A new year and a new leaf. Turn it over, and let's discover what's underneath. Perhaps even a shorter belt around what my wonderful wife, Kaye, calls my "middiddle." We figuratively kissed goodbye and good riddance to a year that was less than perfect for many. We welcomed the 2012 baby and hoped that his diaper wouldn't be full before the first week was finished.

My personal philosophy in two words is, "Next Chapter." We're grateful for what we have and forever optimistic that the Mayan masterminds miscalculated what some doomsayers predict will mark the end of the world as we know it. I've lived through so many bogus apocalypses that I could write a treatise about it.

It all started for me in October 1938. I was no doubt crawling around on our tiny kitchen floor in Monsey, N.Y., when the Mercury Theater program blared from the radio. My mother, the late Alta Grace Requa Little, tidied up the supper dishes and remembered to flip the switch with no thought about what program was on the air. Thinking that she was listening to a news broadcast, her attention was immediately focused on what came out of the radio and into her ears. Like so many others listening to the Orson Welles production "The War of the Worlds," she was drawn in by the frightening scenario involving reports that martians had landed not far from us in New Jersey.

According to my mother's retrospective account many years later, our next-door neighbor burst through the kitchen door screaming to the top of her lungs: "Mrs. Little, quick, get down on your knees. It's the end of the world." They prayed and prayed and presently learned that it was nothing more than a well-acted radio drama. Whew. With that behind us, I listened hundreds of times to my Nazarene preacher dad as he pounded his huge fists on the podium and warned his attentive flock that Jesus would be returning any day like a thief in the night to proclaim something he called the "rapture," when the dead and the chosen will be taken up into the clouds. We were told to be ready.

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