Hermiston herald. (Hermiston, Or.) 1994-current, May 23, 2015, Image 4

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SATURDAY, MAY 23, 2015
To contact the Hermiston Herald for news, advertising or subscription information:
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• e-mail info@hermistonherald.com
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,QVLGH8PDWLOOD0RUURZFRXQWLHV ......................................................................................... $42.65
2XWVLGH8PDWLOOD0RUURZFRXQWLHV ...................................................................................... $53.90
For Memorial Day — Special-
Top 11 reasons needs students honor veterans
being POTUS I
is so darn cool
s it appears we’re
smack dab in the
middle of the 2016
presidential campaign
announcement season,
this might be the perfect
time to ask the question
on every American’s lips:
What kind of twisted
psychopath chooses to do
this? Who are these people
enter this soul-sucking
that is oval? Masochists?
Sadists? Sadomasochists?
Masosadochists? Folks
who didn’t pay attention
during any previous
As we ravenous hounds
of the media descend
like quadrennial locusts
on the plucky pioneers
making their early
intentions known, the
public is entitled to know
willingly volunteers to
sell their soul and ditch
their family for the chance
to become a human sound
byte and eat crap food for
18 months. Who in their
right mind would desire to
be President? Aye, there’s
the rub. The right mind
part. Reinforcing a belief
that anybody who wants
to be president shouldn’t
It can’t be the power.
Buffeted by the winds
of domestic, foreign
and intergalactic fate, a
president is as effective
as a weatherman in an
outhouse hit by a tornado.
Running for POTUS is
an exercise in doomed
futility. Like applying
for the job of lion tamer
knowing they’re going to
take away your clothes,
whip and chair, paint
dashes around your neck,
and hang a sign that says,
“bite here.”
It’s got to be the
perks. In order to
compensate for all this
dismal malarkey, the
pretty darn sweet. After
intensive investigation,
we here at Durstco
have discovered the top
11 reasons why being
president is so darn cool.
Why 11? Because it’s 10
percent funnier than 10,
that’s why.
11. Not only are your
driving days over, but
you’ll never sweat a red
light again. Don’t want to
Letters Policy
wear a seat belt? Don’t.
10. A cool $400,000
a year salary. About the
same as a mid- level porn
producer. Although, if
Carly Fiorina or Hillary
Clinton wins, we only
have to pay them 77
percent, or $308,000.
9. From out of
nowhere, mothers will
hand you their babies. To
do with what you will.
8. Your own 747.
connections, ballistic
missiles, evasive action
capabilities and 19
7. Everywhere you go,
someone close will be
carrying a football.
6. People pay attention
to what you say. Your
every syllable will be
raked over like a beach
near the crash site of a
jet carrying the world’s
largest shipment of blue
5. Got a minor phobia
about being late? Nothing
will ever start without
you again.
4. You want lobster
thermidor at 3 a.m.?
You can have lobster
thermidor at 3 a.m.
3. Guaranteed to age
into a stylish head of
distinguished grey hair.
Every president gets
it. Obama looks like a
snow-capped mountain
pass. Thank God John
McCain didn’t win in
2008. The guy started out
a sarcophagus. By the
would have looked like a
rubber Yoda hand puppet
shriveled in the Arizona
summer sun.
2. Extremely attentive
health care. You don’t
just have a doctor on call.
He’s in the bullet- proof
car behind you.
1. Your post
presidential speaking fee
just crossed into seven
— Copyright © 2015,
Will Durst, distributed
by the Cagle Cartoons
Inc. syndicate. Will Durst
is an award- winning,
nationally acclaimed po-
litical comic. Email Will
at durst@caglecartoons.
The Hermiston Herald welcomes original letters for
publication on public issues and public policies. Submitted
letters must be signed by the author and include the city of
residence and a daytime phone number. Phone numbers
will not be published. Letters may be mailed to the
Hermiston Herald, 333 E. Main, Hermiston, OR, 97838;
or emailed to editor@hermistonherald.com
t was the most moving
Memorial Day ceremony
I’ve ever attended.
The event took place at
the ACLD Tillotson School
in Pittsburgh, a special-
needs school with a private
academic license approved
yearly by the Pennsylvania
Department of Education.
The brain is a
complicated thing, you see.
Even the slightest deviation
in normal brain function
can interrupt an individual’s
ability to receive, process
and communicate
According to the
National Institutes of
Health, one out of seven
Learning Disabilities
(SLD) — a complex
cluster of neurobiological
inhibit the ability to process
Interestingly, some of
the world’s most inventive
people have learning
disabilities. Einstein had
Asperger’s Syndrome, a
form of autism. Thomas
Edison suffered severe
ADHD. His third-grade
teacher kicked him out of
school for being “inattentive,
Tillotson students run the
gamut, from children with
normal to high IQs who
read, to some with moderate
to severe autism, to others
with a host of other learning
disabilities. Some go on to
college. Others succeed in
the trades. Some are taught
to maximize basic skills, so
they can become productive,
All of the students require
exceptional patience and
care. That is delivered in
abundance by Tillotson’s
teachers and administrators,
which was evident when I
attended the Memorial Day
In the spirit of full
disclosure, Kristine Sacco,
the Tillotson art teacher who
organized the event, is my
sister. She said the students
have been learning about
Memorial Day in social
studies. To help them better
understand the meaning of
service, the school initiated
a door-decorating contest
— then agreed to take the
concept a step further by
inviting veterans to visit the
Three veterans
attended the event: Air
Force Capt. Patricia
Atkinson, who served for
six years following the
Vietnam War and is now a
paraprofessional at Tillotson;
Air Force Reserve Maj.
Deborah Gorencic, who
served for 23 years and
participated in the 1993
Iraq War; and my father,
Army Pfc. Thomas Purcell,
a military policeman who
served for two years after the
Korean War.
The veterans were given
a tour of the school as
students lined both sides of
They proudly displayed their
carefully crafted Memorial
Day decorations that
adorned the doors and walls.
As the veterans were
led to the dais, one group
of students walked onto
the stage. Each took turns
explaining how Memorial
Day differs from other
holidays — that its purpose
is to remember those who
died in active military
group exited, a second
took the stage. Students
took turns reciting “The
Unknown Soldier” by Roger
Robicheau: “You need not
ever know my name, this
unknown soldier seeks no
The three veterans took
turns describing their service
from the podium. One
described her experiences
as a nurse in the military,
where she assisted wounded
soldiers returning from
One described how,
during the Vietnam War,
before she had served, her
unit was responsible for
evacuating people during the
fall of Saigon. She described
one tragedy in which a plane
killing most everyone on
board. Her words were
greeted with dead silence.
My father explained what
it was like to be a military
policeman in Germany in the
1950s — what it was like to
be drafted.
The students had spirited,
insightful questions for the
veterans. The question-and-
answer session went on for
some time.
At the conclusion of the
event, the students presented
thanking them for their
service, then gave them
hearty applause.
Learning may be more
challenging for these
kids than others, but they
intuitively understand the
meaning of Memorial Day
better than most.
They understand that
the wonderful school that is
helping them blossom and
prepare for life is a direct
and prosperity made possible
by the many veterans who
As I sat by my 81-year-
old dad after the event, one
young girl walked up to him
and shook his hand.
“Thank you for your
service, sir,” she said to
him. I got choked up by the
respect she gave him.
That’s why this was
most moving Memorial
Day ceremony I have ever
(ACLD Tillotson
School was founded in
1972 by special-education
pioneer Katherine Dean
Tillotson. Learn more at
— ©2015 Tom Pur-
cell. Tom Purcell, author
of “Misadventures of a
1970’s Childhood” and
“Comical Sense: A Lone
Humorist Takes on a
World Gone Nutty!” is a
Pittsburgh Tribune-Re-
view humor columnist and
is nationally syndicated
exclusively by Cagle Car-
toons Inc. Send comments
to Tom at Purcell@cagle-
13 things Reader’s Digest won’t tell you
f not for my son Gideon
(age 11), I might have
missed my deadline this
Over the past few
months, Gideon has
become an avid reader of
the venerable “Reader’s
Digest,” following in the
footsteps of me and my late
father (and probably my
grandmother Tyree).
I had scoured the internet
news sites in vain for a late-
breaking topic that appealed
to me, but that issue lying
on the back seat of the
Nissan Rogue triggered a
A few years ago, RD
began carrying a feature
called “Things Your (Fill-in-
the-blank) Won’t Tell You,”
spilling the insider beans on
the lives of doctors, grocers,
bankers and others who
deeply affect our lives.
Well, turnabout is fair play,
as someone probably said in
one of those RD “Quotable
Quotes” features. I’ve tracked
down an anonymous RD
staffer who wishes to reveal
“13 Things Reader’s Digest
Won’t Tell You”:
1. The items in our
“That’s Outrageous!”
feature don’t sound so
outrageous after we go back
on our meds.
2. “Laughter Is The Best
Medicine”? Yeah, sure,
that’s why so many states
are rushing to open medical
laughter dispensaries.
3. Santa Claus reads
“Reader’s Digest,” so all
the smart-aleck kids who
get quoted in our magazine
should be aware that there
will come a reckoning.
4. When we think that
of 1922 necessitated the
creation of “Reader’s
Digest” and its abbreviated
articles, we inevitably laugh
so hard we wet our pants.
5. Union rules won’t let
our “Everyday Heroes” be
on duty every day.
6. We seriously
considered whacking JFK
ourselves when he turned
down helping with our
“Ich bin ein subscriber”
marketing campaign. (We
did manage to squash FDR’s
“Fifth Freedom.” You know,
“Freedom From &^%$#
Magazine Insert Cards
Littering Your Floor.”)
7. We have now sneaked
a microchip into each issue,
so when “It Pays To Enrich
Your Word Power” pays
you, the IRS will come
around for its share.
8. The U.S. edition
emphasizes uplifting
celebrations of traditional
American values; but
some of our foreign
editions lean more toward
“Death To Those United
States,” “Great Satan In
Uniform” and “Do you
have an amusing beheading
9. Our Braille edition and
Large Print Edition have
not been nearly the money
pits that our “free service
dog with each purchase”
gimmick turned out to be.
10. Yes, we’ve killed a
lot of trees over the years;
but the timber mills assure
us they’ve been planting
new trees, where the deer
and rabbits and unicorns can
play. Say what? Oh, sugar!
11. We take pride in
keeping up with the times
and staying hep. Page us on
our beeper and we’ll send
our society editor out to
cover your civil union.
12. Our toughest
condensing job involved
whether to drop “Jesus” or
“wept.” We’re still trying to
clean up from that plague of
13. Our editorial board
is still debating whether
to update “All In A Day’s
Work” to “All In A Day’s
Faking Disability” and “You
Be The Judge” to “You Be
The Activist Judge.”
I’m glad I could give a
tip of the hat to “Reader’s
Digest.” It certainly inspires
me to write “an article a
week of enduring value —
for housebreaking puppies.”
*Hmph!* Perhaps
whoever edited that last
paragraph would like
“Personal Glimpses” of
my size 14 boot headed his
— ©2015 Danny Tyree.
Danny welcomes email
responses at tyreetyrades@
aol.com and visits to his
Facebook fan page “Tyree’s
Tyrades.” Danny’s weekly
column is distributed exclu-
sively by Cagle Cartoons
Inc. newspaper syndicate