Farewell to a good man

Dear Editor:

Once in a while a small store like ours has a story to share with our customers. Those of us who knew Walter Hauck, well, lost a good friend last Sunday. A gentleman who genuinely liked all with whom he came in contact with. A guy who had fellows come to the store with small problems, big projects and funny stories to tell. Walt always had time to share and make them feel as if they were the most important person in the world at that time.

Then there were the ladies who always had problems with their pool cleaning machines, and very often short on cash. Walt would dig around and come up with some spare parts to fix their cleaners for very little or no cost at all. We always kidded Walt about his “harem,” or “Walt’s girls.”

Walt worked a good number of years for us, and we really never knew that he was often the man who did so many little things that the rest of us might miss. Thank you, Walt, for making our little store so big in many ways.

Leonard and Karilyn Branstetter and friends

Plaza Hardware and Pool


Dionne Warwick and Yogi Berra in concert

Dear Editor:

Yogi Berra said, “It’s like deja vu all over again,” and Dionne Warwick agrees!

A few centuries ago, Louis XV, the respected king of an economically-recovering France, led his nation into the War of the Polish Succession (1733-1735), later the war of the Austrian Succession (1749-1748), and finally into the French and Indian War (1756-1763). Louis attempted to rule equitably, but the wars and the government’s incompetence drove the country down the road to widespread financial and economic problems. Without any “czars,” and in the face of widespread discontent, the king was reported to have said “Apres moi, de deluge” – loosely translated as “after me, change you would not believe!”

Louis XVI succeeded his grandfather with France ... “improverished and burdened with debt.” The escalating taxation resulted in widespread misery and resentment among the middle class – those Frenchmen earning more than one “De Farge” per year. The most blessed Louis cancelled some of the most repressive taxes and crazy financial reform schemes – such as taxing health care benefits, like leeching. However, his overall recovery plan failed to stem the political, financial and social upheaval.

Even his wife, the French queen, Marie Antoinette, who reportedly was never proud of her country – having been born, of course, an Austrian grand duchess – supposedly commented that “if the people don’t have bread, let them eat cake,” or maybe some Napoleons with a posh Pouilly-Fuisse. To initiate her own stimulus, she invented the beehive hairdo and purchased a $6,000 handbag and a $500 pair of playshoes to wear when she and the blessed one left Versailles to dine and catch a show in Paris with other aristocrats.

Obviously, this flagrant borrowing and spending could not prevent the bankruptcy of the government, which precipitated the calling of the Estates General (Constitutional) Assembly for the first time in 175 years, followed by the first (now annual) Bastille Day celebration, followed by The Reign of Terror, which sponsored the first French national sport – guillotining (eventually replaced by cycling, centuries later). A substantial number of French “aristos” and government officials simply lost their heads over the matter, thus giving inspiration to Charles Dickens to write A Tale of Two Cities, Baroness Orczy to publish The Scarlet Pimpernel and eventually Tchaikovsky to compose the 1812 Overture (unintended consequences).

To summarize: the time-worn cliche is simply put – those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it. And Yogi and Dionne have nailed it!

Alan Tindale


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