In And Around Hannibal: September 1, 2012

Rita Hooper

I should be writing about Labor Day this weekend, a day set aside to honor the American work force. In a way I will be, but first it’s time for Rita’s Rant!

There has been much controversy over the 10 Commandments and particularly their use in public buildings. A little research will show that Jews, Christians and Muslims all share in a similar 10 commandments. Hindus and Buddhists also have a somewhat similar list.

I’ve often said that the 10 Commandments are just simple, commonsense rules to live by if one chooses to. If Shakespeare had written them, they would probably have been better accepted. In the early days, when they were more universally accepted, people took them as law.

The first four commandments do have a religious overtone. You must not have any other God but me. Don’t make an idol of any kind, do not bow down to them or worship them.

Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God or take His name in vain. My mother would have said, “If you can’t find another way of saying something without using the Lord’s name, you have a very limited vocabulary.”

She also said that of vulgarity.  If someone were to say “O God” in my husband’s presence he would reply in a slow deep voice “Yesssss.”

In any event, the point was made.

If you were not a person of faith, you learned not to say these things less they offend a friend or business associate who was.

In Latin, we learned “a word to the wise is sufficient.”

Observe the Sabbath day and keep it holy. Pastor Bob (my other half) was heard to say on numerous occasions that Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

As God created the earth in seven days and rested, God felt man needed to rest on the seventh day. Shopping may be rest to some as is doing the laundry, cutting the lawn or cleaning out the fridge or doing homework, but to others, a day of rest may start with church, family gatherings and a nap.

I don’t know who can argue about a day set aside for not working!

The remaining six commandments are just good rules to live by.  Honor your father and mother, don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t covet (hanker, long for, lust after) anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Oh, but if we could live by just 10 rules. Isn’t the human being a strange animal? If God makes a rule, man works to find a way around it.

God made rules to help us all get along and we say we want to live at peace with others but we just keep working to find ways not too.

Man thought he could do better so he made lots of laws. And then other people found ways to work around those laws so more laws were written and others found ways around them and the cycle of law writing continues. Imagine the tombstone, “I wrote more laws than anyone!”

It seems to me it would be so much simpler to live by the intent of say 7 basic laws (leaving the religious ones to those who believe.)  All of which can be applied to the issues of today from fracking to abortion to fair labor practices and finances,  electioneering and identity theft. We might not need tons of regulations either.

Remember the greatest commandment was to love your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself — if we throw in the Golden Rule to “do unto others as you would have them do to you ” we might not need all those rules and regs written by man.

On this Labor Day weekend, remember the unions were created to bring about fair practices and safe working conditions for their members.

The eight hour day was their first big step (oh, how we have complicated that simple law — time and a half, over-time, double time, 12 hour, 15 hour days, 4 day weeks to name a few).

Child labor was soon after banned but now we have rules regarding not only the age of children when they can work but also about their using power equipment, sharp tools and ladders to name just a few.

Common sense went out the window along with looking out for each other.

This week try doing unto others as you would have them do unto you – keep the phrase on your mind and see where you can mention it in a nice way. Change begins with us!

Rant over!

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The following was sent to me by John Norvel; it fits in with my long standing theme of the good folks that have graduated from Hannibal High School and what they have done with the rest of their lives.

The Hannibal Class of 1962 held its 50th reunion recently. Joyce Bacon Daniels, Bruce Allen, Donna Burnett James and Ron James, Jack and Faye Beckwith, Milan and Dolores Kimball Hubbard, and Beverly Gray Perkins served as the organizing committee for the event.

A two-night celebration was held at the South Forty Restaurant in North Sterling with more than 50 alums and guests in attendance.  Alums came from as far away as Washington State – Shirley Blanchard Mitchell;  Virginia – Norman Hastings;  and Florida – Milton Mansfield.

The majority of the class members still reside in New York, with many in the greater Oswego and Central New York areas.

Of the 71 members who graduated, eight have died: Bernard Shoults, Karen Andrews, Doug Chapman, Marlene Fresh Godden, Judy Hofmann Brown, Gerald Phelps,  and Gary Scruton.

Ten members of the class married classmates: Ron and Donna Burnett James, John and Bonnie Irwin Norvell, Dan and Linda Gardner Griffin, Jim and Ellen Thomas Bell, and Milan and Delores Kimball Hubbard – and they are still married.

The reunion celebrated the service of many of the class to our nation, their communities, and the world. Fifteen class members served our nation: Air Force (John Norvell, Ellen Bell, Vern Cole, and Gary Scruton), Navy (Keith Chetney, Ron James, Carl Crawford, Dick Burdick, Jim Bell, Emmett Wood), Army ( Dick Atkins and Randy Woods), and Marines (Burton Hall, Bruce Richmond, and Dick Farnham).

At the annual Hannibal Alumni Association banquet, a flag was presented to Hannibal Central School in honor of these classmates. Serving their communities,  11 became teachers, one was a fireman (Michael Roden), and 11 ran their own businesses.

In addition, Dexter Benedict is a nationally-recognized sculptor who has exhibited works all over the nation and around the world; Ron and Donna Burnett James are nationally known hybridizers of Irises and other plants;  Norman Hastings was a member of the US State Department; and Richard Best served in the Salvation Army for more than 35 years.

The highlights of the evening included a moving letter and video from Alexandra “Sandy” Cevallos, the American Field Service exchange student from Ecuador, who told of her life since she left the class of 1962 and how she would never forget her friends in Hannibal.

Bruce Allen, the poet laureate of 1962, summed it up: “The friends we gathered throughout our journey, Created the memories that last for eternity.”

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The Hannibal Jammers will be meeting Monday evening at 6 p.m. at the American Legion for their annual Labor Day Dinner. Please bring a dish to share. Music will begin at 7 p.m. If you like country, bluegrass and a little Gospel come on down and over and spend an evening with some good music and friends.

The Hannibal Senior Meals program will not meet this Monday in honor of Labor Day. They will meet Wednesday and Friday at noon for lunch. Most of the folks come earlier for cards and games, conversation and coffee.

This week’s menu features ham steak, scalloped potatoes, green beans, and fruit cup on Wednesday, and homemade soup and tuna sandwich, juice, and cookie on Friday. To make your reservation, please call Rosemary at 564-5471.

Friday, Sept. 7 from 11:30 a.m. until done, there will be a flu, pneumonia and pertussis clinic at the Senior Center. Please bring insurance card. The Senior Center is located on Oswego Street, across from the firehouse.

Remember children go back to school this week – be extra careful when driving, especially at “bus time.” The best wishes for a successful school year go to all our students and school staffs.

The Hannibal Methodist Church hosts a free chili and soup lunch on Thursdays at 11:30 a.m. Good food and good people to talk with.

Take-outs available.

The Hannibal Board of Education will meet Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 7:15 at the Board Room in the High School.

Hannibal Sports Schedule:

• Sept. 4 — Junior varsity and varsity soccer at Cazenovia at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.

• Sept. 6 — All Modified sports practices begin.

• Sept. 7 — Varsity football at Bishop Ludden

• Sat. 8 — Junior varsity and varsity soccer at Sodus; and varsity cross country at J-E Invitational.

This column is written for the folks in and around Hannibal – so please keep me informed of your groups doings so I can pass the word around. Thanks.

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