Just sayin’

“Just sayin’ ” is a wonderful American expression. It gives a kernel of truth without overinflating the message.

When I was a 10-year-old boy hiding with a bunch of neighbors in the cellar of their five-story apartment house, an air raid had caught me by surprise. I had been visiting a buddy next door, I could not get back to my own apartment.

A stray bomb, probably released at random, following their air raid of the railroad station in Innsbruck Austria, then part of the Third Reich. A B-17 Bomber had a better chance to get the hell out of the valley, if it was as light as possible, after it had accomplished its mission of destroying the Innsbruck railroad station. Innsbruck is located at the foot of the Brenner Pass, some 15 miles to the south, the lowest pass over the Alps. It was a strategic supply line to the southern front in Sicily, at the bottom of the Italian boot.

Coming out of the facsimile air raid shelter, we were coated in all white from the stucco that had peeled off the cellar’s ceiling after a bomb hit some 20 feet from the outside of the walls of the apartment house. The bomb had created a crater the size of a swimming pool. Glad to be alive, we simply brushed off the dropped stucco, which gave us a ghostlike appearance.

In World War II in Europe we had to wait for six solid years to get out of an actual shooting war, and the years to follow were even more despairing.

If someone would have offered us a safe place, where we were assured not to be hit by any bombs, stray or intentional, and where we would get as much food as we wanted, and as the sacrifice we were told to hole up for a few weeks, we would have felt like we had died and gone to Heaven.

When we look at the current situation it’s not too difficult to decide which situation we would prefer: “Just sayin’.”

Roland Fleck


Reopening tour?

(This letter, addressed to Gov. Mark Gordon, was copied to the News&Guide. — Eds.)

I believe there is a winning reelection campaign strategy for you: “The Warrior Tour.” In order to (a) demonstrate your empathy, (b) support “the troops,” the first responders and frontline workers in this battle, many of whom have already lost their lives for us, and (c) prove the hoax surrounding this pesky flu, I would like you to consider the following:

For every 10,000 COVID deaths in the United States, devote one day of working, sans face mask or gloves, side-by-side with your troops in various communities around the state.

With 80,000 now who have perished, an eight-day itinerary is needed: Monday — Hospital ER, Tuesday — Nursing home, Wednesday — Prison, Thursday — Meatpacking plant. You can reinforce “Let’s Get America Working Again” with LGAWA caps for all workers, infected or not. Not sure about the next three days, but the last day might best be served at a morgue and funeral home.

Michael Baron

Corrales, N.M.

A matchmaker idea

Here’s a matchmaker idea as we head into summer, with businesses reopening (for better or worse) and many people going back to work.

I think there may be older people who are living in safe environments now, but who will need to change their living situations as their families go back to work. While it was possible to protect older friends and families during the lockdown, this may become more difficult as people have to come and go and risks increase.

I wonder if there are going to be empty guest houses because there is less travel and less visiting. If so, perhaps the owners of those guest houses could offer them to older people for just the summer season, as we see how life unfolds.

We could adopt some guidelines. For example, the matchmaker service is only for people who are 60 or older. Only one or two people in the guest family. We could also check references. No caregiving involved, of course. Everyone participating would be entirely independent and just in need of safe, isolated living quarters. No long-term obligation. Just safe haven for the summer and we could ask that all guests are tested first.

If anyone is interested in participating, either as a guest or as a host, please contact me at canday@wyoming.com. I’ll be happy to act as matchmaker.

Candra Day


Heli an essential tool

Prior to me founding Teton County Search and Rescue back in 1993 there had been three previous attempts by the Teton County Sheriff’s Office to put together some sort of search and rescue team; they had all failed. The first budget given to me to start the team, to see if we could actually put a team together that would last, was $2,787 for all the training and equipment. That was the humble beginning that has evolved into the resource Teton County has now.

Prior to coming to Jackson, my background was from a SAR team that used helicopters extensively, with experienced rescue helicopter pilots, and we trained regularly with our helicopters. Regular use by both SAR personnel and regular rescue flying by the pilot is essential for the safe and efficient use of helicopters in rescue operations. Rescue personnel untrained around helicopters and pilots untrained in rescue operations are dangerous to themselves and others, including the victims they are trying to save.

Back in its humble beginnings in 1993 I never envisioned that some day TCSAR would have the resources to have a helicopter at its disposal with which to train and save lives. But now, over 25 years later, while the team didn’t start with one, the helicopter has become an invaluable and indispensable tool with which to save lives in Teton County.

Now that Teton County has had a helicopter it is unconscionable to me that Teton County would ever go back to the days of having to hump into the backcountry when lives are at stake and we as a community should do everything we can to see to it that TCSAR has a helicopter at its disposal year-round, along with our trained and experienced rescuers and pilots.

Alan Merrell

Teton County Search and Rescue Coordinator, retired

Don’t hoard, help

Hoarding is wrong for our community. I believe we should only take what we need during this crisis. For example if we don’t hoard, there will be enough for other people. And if we only take what we need we won’t be angry at each other. Finally if we do not hoard we will be proud of our actions when this crisis is over.

One reason is if we don’t hoard goods there will be enough for older people. We need to stop thinking about ourselves. We don’t realize that it is not safe for older people to go out. They need food too! If there is more food, older people will not have to go out as much because they can get a bigger supply, and not have to go out again and again. In conclusion, by not hoarding then there will be enough food for older people.

In addition to that, if we don’t hoard we will not be angry with each other. How I mean this is people get annoyed when you take too much. There will be enough for other people if you only take what you need. If we don’t hoard we will be kinder to each other. Therefore, we won’t be angry at each other.

Finally we will be proud of our actions when this is over. You will be more proud if you do something kind such as sharing food with someone who doesn’t have enough food. We will uphold our kind community if we don’t hoard. And we will remain a non-wasteful environment that is clean and healthy.

Clearly hoarding is wrong for our community. You now know that if we only take what we need we will be fine. There will be enough for older people if you do not hoard. We will not be angry at each other if we don’t hoard. We will be proud of our actions when this is over if we don’t hoard. So because hoarding is bad for our community please don’t hoard.

Whit Griffin

Fifth grade, Alta School

Letters to the editor should be limited to 400 words, be signed and include a town of residence and a telephone number for verification. Letters are due by 5 p.m. Monday. No thank yous or political endorsement letters. Guest Shot columns are limited to 800 words. Email editor@jhnewsandguide.com.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Please note: Online comments may also run in our print publications.
Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Please turn off your CAPS LOCK.
No personal attacks. Discuss issues & opinions rather than denigrating someone with an opposing view.
No political attacks. Refrain from using negative slang when identifying political parties.
Be truthful. Don’t knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be proactive. Use the “Report” link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with us. We’d love to hear eyewitness accounts or history behind an article.
Use your real name: Anonymous commenting is not allowed.