Bay Reflection
Reflections on 1998
by M.L. Faunce

Contributing editor M. L. Faunce quartered the year with her series of reflections on 1968, now 30 years past.

First, on Jan. 8, came "All You Need is Love":
Each of us has a defining moment. Mine was 1968. Thirty years later, the events of 1968 are still being weighed. Like us, balance is not fully achieved. It's a process as liberating as the '60s

Second, on March 15, came "He Had a Dream":
As we approach the 30th anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s death, I've wondered what this legendary civil rights leader would say

Third, on June 4, came "Here's to You, Robert Kennedy":
The trip that my brother and I took in 1968 was not so much about a destination but the journey we all must make to find - and maybe go beyond - ourselves. I'm reminded of that whenever I hear church bells ring on a sparkling Sunday morning in June.

God bless you, please, Bobbie Kennedy, heaven holds a place for those who pray. Hey, hey, hey.

Fourth, on Dec. 17, came "Still Hopeful After All These Years":
When the U.S. Postal Service recently asked customers what themes they most identified with the 1960s, the top three choices were the Beatles, Woodstock and Star Trek. But when I asked several of my 50-something friends what themes they most identified with the year 1968, the decade's most violent year, they sounded more grass roots than counter culture, to speak in terms coined in '68.

They talked about the fight for civil rights, classic space flights, and a war that couldn't be won - at home or abroad. To this day, they still feel the loss of two leaders who died that year by assassins' bullets


"In Spring's Conspiracy," on May 21, contributing editor Carol Glover reminded us that the forces of nature move in powerfully persuasive ways:
We're tired of mowing grass, cleaning the gutters, patching the beach shed. We're surrounded by chores. Wouldn't it be great to wake up in beautiful surroundings and leave the maintenance to someone else? Or at least minimize it.

So what happens? Spring moves in with a vengeance


Audrey Y. Scharmen has written in each of our five years and six volumes on how humans touch - and are touched by - nature's rhythms. In "St. Francis of Summer," she described the meeting of girl and gull:

A child of nature, with sea-eyes and sun-burnished skin, she is one with this gull whom she closely watches. He is likely (in bird years) the same age as she. There is a bond and she covets him


Pat Piper is a man with big fish to fry: he's talk-show host Larry King's ghost writer. But when occasional reflections come our way - Crash! Bang! Alakazam! Seemingly out of an orange-colored sky - they're always wonderful.

We heard from him this year in July, on "Lessons from the Road":
Let me tell you something: guys in pickups with big tires aren't Buddhists. He gunned the vehicle past me, past the squirrel and tore off down the road. At the 258 intersection, he got stopped by a red light.

I was smiling, and I'm sure I saw the squirrel wink.

And again in November in, "Come Here and Go Home":
I was standing in a bar on the lower Eastern Shore, swilling a beverage and watching Oprah with four other guys. You know, just another routine day in October.

"Why," I queried, "is the Eastern Shore capitalized?"

I was getting The Stare from everyone now. The room was getting cold


Aloysia C. Hamalainen, NBT's prize-winning columnist in 1997's Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association Editorial Contest, reflected with us again this year on the trials - and occasional rewards - of family life. She dedicated her June column "Graduation Days," to "All Who Barely Made It."

Wipe your eyes and smile!

I offer a toast to the parents, grandparents and guardians of those who barely made it through high school graduation this June. Our charges have had no asterisks next to their names acknowledging awards and academic excellence. We have the dubious distinction of not knowing anyone who graduated with distinction

In December, Hamalainen rededicated our holiday spirit with "Gifts of the Season":
The three of us were working in sync as she piloted the horse and I gave encouraging comments. What we gave each other in those few minutes! The gifts of patience and cooperation, hardened by sheer guts and determination and crystallizing into sweet success. When this year's toys are long broken and forgotten, this precious moment will stay brilliant and undiminished.

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Volume VI Number 51
December 23, 1998 - January 6, 1999
New Bay Times

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