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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
                 Monday, July 14 2003 

Jon Kennedy, webmasterI'll show them!

My Blacklick Township High School classmate, Avanel Kim, gave the only performance at one of the school spring Hi Variety shows between 1957 and 1960 that I still clearly remember. In fact, I remember Avanel's song and its delivery more clearly than any of my own performances in those shows. Even more strangely, her song was one I'd never heard before we started rehearsing, and I don't think I've ever heard since, though most of the other numbers were the overplayed hit songs of the era, like the Kingston Trio's "Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley" and Marty Robbins' "El Paso" (I remembered them being in one of the shows, but not who performed either of them, or how they did so).

Avanel's song was about getting even with all the people in her life who were always picking on her. I'm almost sorry I looked up the words I remembered on Google, because I now know more than I wanted to. It's from a 1930's Betty Boop cartoon. The "chorus" or refrain (almost all of which I remembered, along with the "tune") of the song is:

But, I know what I'll do, bye 'n' bye,
I'll eat some worms and then I'll die,
When I'm gone, you wait and see,
They'll all be sorry that they picked on me!

Avanel, who was in my class from first grade on through high school, I don't remember as ever having been a "little" girl, but for the performance she was costumed and made up to look like a little girl, and whoever taught her the song and to sing it (perhaps Mrs. Rhea Taylor, the district's music teacher and impressario) taught her to "sound" like a little girl, or a variation on Betty Boop. Avanel struck me as a complete pro at the time, and one of the surprises of my later life is why I've never seen her name in lights. In fact, she was not in attendance at either of the class reunions I've been at, and I haven't seen nor had any news of her since graduating.

But probably the reason I was so impressed by the song was that it struck me from first hearing as one that could have been my personal theme. Not that I felt so much "picked on," but because I often plotted ways to get even with some of the people who seemed dedicated to making my life miserable. Of course I actually had a good and generally happy childhood and never ate any worms or carried out any of those plots. But I had enough—shall we say?—"contact points" with this kind of thinking that I can empathize (though not sympathize at all) with the boys arrested in New Jersey last week for plotting a massacre among their acquaintances, and even the ones behind the Columbine tragic national catastrophe. Of course there's no justification for doing violence on one's enemies (unless it's literally self-defense), but I'm sure those who act on such motives have lost any such conscience, if they ever had one.

Next time I'll see if I can make 100 words or more out of one of the times I decided to "show them" which changed my life.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

A hundred years ago in the USA

YEAR 1903 in the United States of America...what a difference a century makes. More US statistics for 1903.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California. With a mere 1.4 million residents, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
The average wage in the United States was 22 cents an hour!

— Sent by Mary Ann Losiewcz

Thought for today

For me, the supreme truth of Christianity is that in Jesus I see God. When I see Jesus feeding the hungry, comforting the sorrowing, befriending men and owmen with whom no one else could have had anything to do, I can say: "This is God."

— William Barclay

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