­­ Bumper sticker of the week: ''Zero to bitch in 6 seconds.''

­­ Quote of the week: ''There's a heavy price to pay for being a black woman. For one thing, no one expects you to know anything.''-- Faith Ringgold

­­ Here's some scary stuff. The top five programs on basic cable networks from September 13 19: NFL Football; WWF Entertainment-- 10pm Monday; WWF Entertainment-- 9pm Monday; NFL prime time and WWF Sunday Night Heat, respectively. It's good to see we're using our spare time so wisely.

­­ Speaking of how far we have to go, I stand in constant amazement at how inept the city administration is at getting some of our slum housing under control. Dumps that are allowed to house five to ten unrelated people in the middle of nice residential neighborhoods. Many of the worst places belong to three or four of Galesburg's most notorious slumlords. If you didn't know any better, you would swear these people had some kind of connections at City Hall. Knowing this to be about 85 percent unlikely, I assume this goes back to ''If it doesn't affect me directly, we'll get around to straightening this out about the first of never.'' In some of these neighborhoods, you have young families and older residents who are afraid to go out of their homes. These places attract young kids who are having trouble getting along with their parents and other, sometimes older, people, who can't get along with anyone. This combination often results in excessive noise, illicit alcohol and drug use, unnecessary babies and intimidation of the neighborhood. I can understand these situations in large cities but find it inexcusable in a small town like Galesburg. It is a case of the city administration, city council and police all being unable or unwilling to maintain order. I believe everyone is looking to be as happy as possible and get along as best we can. This is presumably what these kids and adults living in these places are also doing. But in this process, you cannot trample on the rights of others. The owners of these dumps need to be held accountable for what is going on. They need to monitor who is in the building and maintain the property at an appropriate level. A simple solution would be to make them stay at the property so that they can come to a full level of appreciation for what is going on there. That might end some of this nonsense.

­­ Men and the games they play. Often the kids get caught in the endless attempts we make at recapturing our youth. Little League, Jr. Football, Youth Basketball and YMCA Soccer. Our motives should be to guide, teach sportsmanship and learn to win with humility and lose with dignity. But it doesn't always work out that way. The whole thing becomes about, and for, us-- the adults. It's win at any cost. We let young kids throw curve balls,though their muscles are not prepared for such stress. We mix older kids in with younger ones to help build their confidence and, in the process, it might toughen up the younger ones. We yell, holler, scream and cuss. ''What a bunch of sissies. Our uniforms should be dresses.'' It's not always a pretty sight. Still, the kids seem to survive in spite of us. At least most of them.

­­ Peever Pulverizes Press

Sensationalized headlines are sorry excuses for reporting. Most of the Register-Mail staff should work for the tabloids. Oh, I guess maybe they do.

­­ They go off every now and then, those bombs in the mind. They shake you, get you to wondering, reminiscing. What's life all about? Have I made a difference? Am I accomplishing what I set out to do? These bombs have their own schedule. There's not much you can do. You need to respond. Maybe sleep a lot. Take medication. Older men look for younger women. Older women try to look young. Face lifts, hair transplants, tucks, suctions, sports cars, swim suits way too small, career changes, moves, diets, trips, new clothes and that last full-court basketball game. Running away, arriving. There are always options. Varying responses. Countless possibilities. Hopes, desires, dreams and needs. Some of our responses are frivolous by their very nature. We cannot put off the inevitable. Other responses are new beginnings, new paths, new adventures, paved with hope and energy and determination. Who ever knows? Bombs go off and we are moved.

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online October 5, 1999

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