Letters to the editor from this week's Chronicle:

Redneck Special!
No. 100 - 3/20/2017
When the number "100" popped up on my computer this week, it was decided to use an old writer's privilege to make unexpected changes, and use the title, "Special," this week rather than the normal "Review!" That number is special to me, because it was shocking how fast the 100 weeks have gone by since my decision was made in April, 2015, to offer a weekly article to the Cottonwood Chronicle, called the "Red Neck Review."
My idea at the time was to compare life in our world and in our area during my earlier years from the 1940's on with the present day, and ask if there is anything that could be learned from making the comparison. Shocking also are the changes which have occurred since!
Another motivation was the ancient maxim all history students know, that essentially states:"Those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past, are doomed to repeat them." So the reader will find below some of the characteristics of the mid-1900's which those of us now in our "golden years" can recall!
1)Our first permanent home in Denver was in an older house WITH NO ELECTRICITY, so we lit up the night with kerosene lamps, and heated our home primarily with wood, though already in the 1940's our home was upgraded to a new "oil stove." Upstairs bedrooms were very cold, heated in our home by a duct in the floor over the stove in the room below. We did have a phone, on a party line, our ring was three longs and a short. All on the line could "rubber in" on any call initiated by a series of long and short rings caused by a crank turned on the side. An emergency was singled by a continuous cranking on the handle, which we used when I was in the 5th grade when our home at the time burned down. For entertainment, we listened on our radio to "The Lone Ranger," "Roy Rogers, and "Pepper Young's Family!" My, how times have changed!
2)Our worries and our concerns? The '60's were characterized by a fear by many of an end of the world coming, or by a nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia. In Korea and in Vietnam, our soldiers were sent over seas to fight wars which ended in disaster, and with no apparent victory, as contrasted with a long and deadly five year battle with Germany and Japan won by the U.S. and our allies in 1945. Most families featured a mother at home, the father the only necessary bread winner, and all children assigned daily chores.
3)The 1960's were characterized by widespread warnings by "experts" that over population and tough times were coming. During the 1970 "world earth days, dire predictions came from everywhere, warning of starvation and disaster in the next few decades if population was not curbed, and resources not rationed. One local governor predicted that by 2000, we would be standing side by side in an over populated world, and a Los Alamos and Montana State Lab simulator was used to convince educators that all gas and oil reserves would be totally exhausted by 2000 if population growth was not reduced or consumption rationed. "Life boat Earth" exercises were pushed for teachers to use to impress on students the need to control the quantity and quality of people brought into existence. A best seller book "The Population Bomb" written by Stanford professor Paul Erlich in the late 1940's, and based on theories of Thomas Malthus, predicted a grim future for civilization because of population growth and food shortages. Add to these dire warnings, the conviction of experts that an "ice age" was on its way with additional survival problems! The future sounded bleak indeed! But, can anything be learned here? Simply this, that disaster warnings calling for drastic changes that destroy freedom and our traditional way of life are bogus and should best be ignored!
Jake Wren

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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