Letters: Turn on your Christmas lights; Watch Twelve O’clock High
Light it like Christmas!
Let’s light up the tunnel...
Is there anyone out there not depressed over this corona crap? Stay at home ... don’t go out, except for essentials ... elbow-bump your friends. I hate it! I have always hoped my glass was not half full, but overflowing! This is way too much “Doom & Gloom.”
My wife, Jackie, along with my daughter Tomi, and I were talking about how to uplift spirits and what puts a smile on someone’s face? The unanimous consensus was the “thought” of Christmas. Not necessarily Christmas itself, which can be a time of stress for many. But the “thought” of Christmas was a sure winner.
Bringing the procrastinator that I am, and haven’t taken down the outdoor Christmas lights yet. We decided to turn them on — and leave them on until this is over. Hopefully it’s over long before next Christmas.
Therefore, we invite anyone still with Christmas lights to join in and turn them on! Show your solidarity that we shall overcome, especially in our spirits.
Let’s not talk about a “light at the end of the tunnel.” Let’s light up the tunnel!
2 West Mountain Road, March 20
Twelve O’clock High
In these days of confinement, I suggest watching the 1949 movie “Twelve O’clock High” (Dir. Henry King; Prod. Darryl Zanuck; Writ. Sy Bartlett and Bierne Lay, Jr).
Gregory Peck, assisted in his excellence by Hugh Marlowe, Dean Jagger, Gary Merrill and Millard Mitchell, portrays Air Force Brigadier General Frank Savage, Commander of the beleaguered, demoralized, terrified 918th Bomb Group, assigned in early 1942 to the daylight bombing of Germany (death, casualty & equipment loss rate > 30% per month). The title refers to the lethal attack position (i.e. “directly from overhead”) handily used by the Luftwaffe in mutilating vulnerable US heavy bombers flying over Europe. It is considered a reasonably accurate depiction of the difficulties of high command, and the need to follow orders, in the midst of the terror of WW II, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_O%27Clock_High.
Gen. Savage was trying to break the cycle of demoralization, fatal sarcasm and general lack of discipline that the grueling bombing runs inflicted on his men. He quietly delivers a short speech in which he says something that no one would dare say now: “Consider yourselves already dead, then get on with your job, it will be easier then.” Oddly enough, General Savage succeeded in re-forming his Squadron despite extraordinary additional sacrifice and loss.
The film was utilized for years in US Service Academy Situational Leadership Training. Its lessons are universally applicable. Nobody needs smarty pants posing snarky questions at Presidential News Briefings; nobody needs suntanned “talking heads.” Everybody needs “to finish the work we are in … to bind up the nations wounds” (A. Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address). Let’s just get ready and get on with the job.
638 Danbury Road, March 22