Religious Chick Didn’t Hatch Lawsuits
all the really important things going on in the world
at the moment, I doubt that very many people
are waiting with bated breath and agog with anticipation
over the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court over
whether or not “under God” will remain
as part of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Whatever the decision, it’s doubtful that the earth will rock on its axis,
but the whole issue reminded me of one of those church and state issues which
could have — but fortunately didn’t — arise several decades
It was springtime, back in the days before “Easter vacation” had
evolved into “spring break,” and one of those junior high schools
in the north area came out with a special edition of its mimeographed student
newspaper, complete with some student art work on the cover.
What the young artist had drawn was an egg with the top of the shell missing
and the edge jagged. And from the shell was emerging a newly hatched — actually
hatching — chick. A proper secular tribute to the season, wouldn’t
Ah, but above that chick-spouting egg was the legend, “Alleluia, He Is
Risen!” Now was that or was that not injecting religion into the issue?
Actually, both sides could have been offended. Those of a religious bent might
have claimed it was mocking belief in the Resurrection of the Messiah by illustrating
it with that chicken and egg.
On the other hand, nonbelievers might well have objected to injecting what they
looked at as a symbol of religious faith.
The fact of the matter is that no one did anything. There were no public objections
from anyone — no sermons preached, no letters to editors, no suits filed
in any courts.
And that, it seems to me, is exactly the way things should have been. No offense
meant. No offense taken.
• • •
back on my own childhood Easters, despite being an
only child, an only grandchild and an only great-grandchild,
they were not exactly unqualified successes.
Understand, there was no lack of bountiful baskets everywhere I went. The grandparents — all
four of them — and two great-grandparents were lavish when it came to laying
on the chocolate.
It was my mother who insisted that virtually everything had to be saved “for
later.” I’m telling you, “later” never came.
I got a lot of doubletalk about “saving your teeth” and the like,
and you want to know how much good that did? Those choppers that were “saved” by
chocolate deprivation were all gone, every last one, before I was 40.
Of course, a lot of what mothers do “for the children” is really
done for themselves. Mine was determined to keep me in short pants forever, I
think, and as a first or second grader, I had had enough. After much begging,
she had my seamstress grandmother run up some long pants for me, and I was inordinately
proud as I went off to school.
Except they weren’t really boy-type long pants. They were what were known
as “beach pajamas,” which were worn only by girls, and every kid
in school knew what I had on.
I’d been conned. I was humiliated. And I was unforgiving. That was one
put-down I never forgot. And that I never forgave.
• • •
… Each year I give a plug to the first pre-Jazz Jubilee performance that
comes to my attention, and this year — again this year, I should say — the
first arrived from Congregation Beth Shalom, at 4746 El Camino Ave., in Carmichael,
more than a month ahead of time, telling me that Fat Sam’s Band from
Scotland will perform from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 22; call (916)
ticket information …
… While it’s in conjunction with their 50-year reunion, Grant Union
High’s class of 1954 invites all alumni, family, friends and organ
aficionados to a concert by Tom Thompson on the George Wright Memorial Pipe
Organ in the
Grant High auditorium, 1400 Grand Ave., at 1 p.m., Sunday, May 2; tickets
are $8 at the door or in advance by calling Sondra Fuson, (916) 485-9033.
• • •
may not believe me, but as far as I’m concerned, the New Year started
last Friday. Right, that’s when the River Cats opened the home baseball
season at Raley Field, and — these columns have to be written ahead of
time, you know — I trust we were there.
Actually, the Pacific Coast League season began April 8, with the River
Cats in Edmonton for four games, followed by four in Salt Lake City.
would put the earliest games of the season in the Canadian province of
Alberta followed by the chilly clime of Utah doesn’t make much sense, but some
guy in Alabama who’s never been west of the Mississippi probably
is hired to do that job.
I recall one time in the late 1930s when it stormed so hard in Sacramento
that groundskeepers were out at the ballpark burning gasoline on the
infield to try
to dry it enough to play. Then there was a later season — probably 1948
or 1949 — when an entire opening week was rained out and the Senator
Hotel bar was crowded with Solons, Seals, sports writers and a couple
of high school
teachers, all living it up.
Speaking from personal knowledge, I’m sure the last named were
definitely not at their most effective in the classroom that week.
So now it’s another ball park, another team name and even another century.
The uniforms are no longer of heavy flannel and the players’ pants sag
down around their ankles. Umpires no longer wear coats and ties in the hottest
weather even thought the Almighty did not want them ever to be comfortable. But,
thank the Lord, it’s the same old game.
retiring from a long and respected career with The Sacramento
Bee, Stan Gilliam found that he just couldn't stop writing.
So he brought his "Stan's Sacramento" column to
the Spectrum, where it has been a favorite of readers for 15
years ... and counting.
Focus Humor 55-Plus
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