On this Thanksgiving Day 2016, I’m thinking about:
:: The parents of the six children killed in the school-bus crash in Chattanooga and the injured children and their families…Twenty-four-year-old Johnthony Walker should not have been anywhere near a school bus, much less in the driver’s seat.
:: Jennifer and David Beaird, the Warrenton, MO, couple whose two children were killed in the horrific, Labor Day crash on I-70 in Blue Springs. David Beaird reportedly was paralyzed from the chest down, and the couple lost 13-year-old Gavin and 7-year-old Chloe. Solely responsible for upending the Beairds’ lives was a 60-year-old, drunken shithead named James Green of Odessa. Looking down at his phone and with his big, black SUV set on cruise control, he plowed into the back of the Beairds’ Hyundai Elantra while the Beairds were stopped in traffic. Green is charged with two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of assault and driving while intoxicated.
A couple of months ago, I sent a $100 contribution to a fund that had been set up for Jennifer and David. I got a handwritten response from the couple, probably written by Jennifer. It said in part: “Thank you so much for thinking of us in our darkest of times.” Yes, it’s hard to imagine a family going through times much darker…
:: Why on earth (on a lighter note) did Highwoods, the former owner of the Country Club Plaza see fit to add fireworks to the annual Plaza Lighting Ceremony? As I’ve said here before, fireworks detracts from the magic, solemnity and uniqueness of the lighting ceremony.
I am fervently hoping that tonight, with the Plaza under new ownership since early this year, we will be pleasantly surprised and — poof! — the fireworks will have gone away…Early this year after sale of the Plaza was announced, I sent a letter to Robert (Bobby) Taubman, one of the new owners (along with Dana Anderson of Lawrence), asking him to cease and desist with the fireworks. A vice president of his company, the Taubman Centers Inc., wrote back, thanking me for my letter and saying, “Please be assured that we will take your comments into serious consideration as we plan future programming.” Well, the FUTURE IS NOW, and I’ll be watching…
:: President-elect Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida…Who, I’m wondering, is going to be cooking the turkey? Melania? Ivanka? Jared Kushner? Or maybe Donald himself. Can you picture him wearing an apron bearing the words “Make American Great Again” and leaning into the oven to check on the browning of the bird? Somehow, I can picture that more readily than Melania or Ivanka striking the same pose with their long, straight hair and high heels…(I hope they’re padding around in house shoes today, instead of high heels.)
:: Gail Collins, New York Times Op-Ed columnist extraordinaire, who today had a hilarious piece titled “Carving Donald Trump.” Collins recounted that Trump once sent her a letter saying she was “a dog and a liar” and had the face of a pig. Noting his recent waffling on some of his key campaign promises, including climate control and the use of torture, Collins closed with this:
“Next year at this time, we’ll be watching President Trump pardon the Thanksgiving turkeys. Unless he reverts and winds up ordering the turkeys tortured.”
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone…Thanks for your readership.