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Asa and Odds 'n Ends

Story ID:3038
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Cleveland Ohio USA
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Asa and Odds 'n Ends

I have no idea where the expression "odds 'n ends" comes from, but I'm sure there must be an adequate explanation to describe the various and
sundry experiences we have -if not daily - probably by week's end.

ASA COON --And such a week I had - remembering first the sad accound of Asa Coon. This sad tortured 14 year- old was in the news recently because he went back into the school he was expelled from for a couple of days to mete out his form of justice. He wanted revenge on his World History teacher because he was failing the subject. Luckily, he killed no one but wounded four - two teachers and 2 students. Sadly, he took his own life shortly thereafter.

He was a chubby, dark-haired boy who had a twin sister. He also had an older brother Stephen who was his opposite in looks. The picture I saw
of him as the police arrested him for some sort of probation violation showed him with a blond buzz haircut and he appeared to be of average weight. I think Stephen's bad example played a part in what happened to Asa, though the family who came from New York and settled in Cleveland seemed dysfunctional at best.

Before I leave Asa -- how sad that this bright lad who had made it into the prestigious Success Technical Academy (Success Tech) of Cleveland could not have gotten the help he so desperately needed to exorcize his demons. He had been the city's chess champion which is certainly an accomplishment I will never match, but one which did not prevent the bullies from making fun
because of his weight. We would do well as parents to try and teach our youngsters to be caring and considerate of everyone's needs and certainly not to judge them by their appearance or weight.

Today I find that our young are sadly lacking in the virtues of being kind and compassionate to everyone including the animals. It is a sad commentary on the "me" society which I believe began when we decided that we can't discipline our children without recrimination, when we decided that social promotions in schools are more important than actual scholarly achievements, when we decided that we would have sex education in our schools which would include doling out condoms as part of that curriculum, when we decided that we would give our children all the material things we never had or had to work for to get, when we decided that we would be our children's "best" friends instead of their parents.

I hope I have not unhinged anyone with my thoughts. I think honest people will agree.
We haven't done our children any favors. Having said that, I know that we adults are not beyond reproach either.

WILLIAM HEIRAN --Just recently I watched two TRUE Cold cases narrated by Bill Kurtis. In each case the accused had redeeming values and in my opinion were innocent. I was not the only one who thought a 17 year- old William Heiran was innocent of killing 3 persons including a youngster who was decapitated.

If you watch the true Cold Cases, you too may have seen this story. I believe that although he signed a confession probaby under duress, 50 years ago the handling of suspects was perhaps less than honest and ethical. He has his defenders and among them a lady who wrote a book about this "injustice." Rehashing the account here will serve no purpose and certainly would take a lot of writing, but I believe in this man's innocence. And though he has conducted himself admirably in prison --doing many worthy things for his fellow prisoners and the prison itself, the family of the deceased child refuse to entertain the thought that he should be let out even though he is now an old man after spending 50 years in prison.

I am less than impressed with this cold heartedness especially since there is some doubt
about his guilt. If we are Christian, should we not look to the Crucified Christ who forgave
us willingly and unconditionally? I don't know what I would do in the same circumstance, but I hope I would look to the forgiving Christ and do likewise.

We can become so consumed with hate that in another case I already mentioned in one of
my Echo submissions, a guilty man was exonerated, but yet the woman of the slain
person besieged the judge to keep him in prison! This, for me, is beyond belief.

GREG OTT is another man being held in prison for "accidentally" shooting a Texas Ranger.
After hearing his story, I do believe it was an accident and I think the Cold Case producers
gave the facts objectively-as is humanly possible. However, shooting a Texas Ranger is
unforgivable in the opinion of the Rangers and their families. While incarcerated, Ott was
a commendable prisoner and even put his own life on the line in order to save a guard from death by another prisoner. So, when after a number of years he was considered for parole, the parole board decided in his favor. However, someone within the system got hold of this decision and sent it to the Texas Rangers Association. Immediately, they sounded the alarm to all the Texas Rangers and their families who immediately flooded the Parole Board with their protests. The Parole Board felt they had no alternative but to rescind the parole. Each time that Greg Ott came before the board - the same protests were sent. I don't remember how many times this happened until finally the Parole Board-- who this time was influenced by a public outcry finally granted Ott his freedom. If I ever entertained admiration for the Texas Rangers, I no longer do.

MY RENTER. Believe me -I admire anyone who takes in renters. They come in various degrees of good and bad. I only have 2 small apartments to rent out but when the last renter - an Algerian- born Muslim accused me of trying to poison him with my house water, that tiny apartment was left vacant for 12 years. I finally accepted a former renter who was now retired and needed a small place. He is a very pleasant man but his laundry practices leave much to be desired. And this is astounding to me because he has a slew of female relatives who should have clued him in on how to wash clothes. None of them it seems has done so.

First, he lets his dirty laundry accumulate til he has to register "super" load. In my opinion, one should not overload the washer unless necessary. Secondly, I left my Purex laundry detergent out believing that he would have enough sense to buy and use his own. Nope, he did not, and then instead of using the one capful designated for the wash - he poured in
7 capfuls - half of the liquid gallon container of detergent!

Later -wanting to use the washer myself, I had to empty the dryer with his clothes and wouldn't you know - heavy jeans and light T-shirts were all part of the mix. For the life of your clothes and for even drying, heavy clothes should be separated from lighter ones because they take longer to dry. Makes sense???

I told him all of the above and just yesterday found my half gallon bottle of ammonia empty.
I thought Norman who was working in my basement used it and I asked him about it. No, he said the renter upstairs used it for his laundry because he didn't have any chlorax. Well, I just haven't had the gumption yet to explain to him that if you do use ammonia in the wash - the directions say use a cup --not a half gallon!

GLAUCOMA --A frightening word and when my eye doctor said I have the beginning symptoms - I thought -ouch! He said normal eye pressure readings are 22 or below. Mine was 23, but he said - that eye drops each day could contain further deterioration. He also said that even though I moaned and groaned at the prognosis - I should consider myself lucky that my corneas are sound and I shouldn't have to worry about macular
degeneration. Putting it that way makes sense. And I was also glad to hear that taking supplements Leutin and Zeaxanthin would probably help the condition of my eyes as well.

This morning when I was saying the rosary in church, I looked at the floor as I sometimes do. I believe this floor made of pressed stone is 104 years old. At least the church is that old and I imagine the floor was laid down then too. Anyway, sometimes I see in the floor little sparkles of red, green, or white light.
Today I found this bright white tiny light and it made me think of the glaucoma test I took. Glaucoma, if untreated cuts off peripheral vision and so the doctor had me undergo a simple test to confirm his diagnosis. I had to look at a tiny circle of yellow light and note with the clicker in my hand each time I saw a tiny white flashing light which could be found all around the yellow beacon of light.

Sadly, his diagnosis was correct and he sent me home with an eye drop prescription. My Slovak mother's wise words came to mind - Starost ne radost! (Old age is no fun!) My response would
have to be -Na pravdu! (In truth!)

Lastly, I noticed that some of the accounts of the week about Asa, William, and Greg had me a little depressed. It brought to mind Dr. Weil's suggestion, that we sometimes have a news fast - or I imagine a reading fast as well if reading too makes one feel blue. He is an interesting doctor who specializes in "intergrative" medicine - a blend of both the traditional and alternative. He said if he had a broken bone - he would go to a traditional doctor. But he added that alternative medicine has its place too. I agree. For one thing, I much rather consume supplements than drugs.

While the supplements are largely natural, they do usually take more time to work, but I don't believe that any of them have harmful side effects except for Ephreda-- a diet supplement which has since been banned and taken off the
market. Traditional doctors like to bring this up - but how many more harmful drugs have been pulled off the market? Presently, I can only think of two or three -- Vioxx (this year), Thalidimide (years ago), and I believe Premarin is considered harmful too. But there have been many more drugs taken off the market just
this year. I was heartened that the national news brought this to our attention.

As for Premarin -I think it is a terrible drug not only because of the harm it may do to women,
but because of the horrible cruelty it inflicts on the poor mares who are tethered for the
duration of their pregnancy. They are also only given very little amounts of water during this time so as to produce concentrated urine. I would imagine that the mares were thirsty most of the time. I hope that Premarin is pulled off the market entirely.

As for me, I would never think of subjecting a poor harmless mare to that type of cruelty for
ANY supposed benefits to me personally. I also now have little respect for the Wyeth
Pharmaceutical Company for subjecting mares to
cruelty for over 50 years in the name of profit -not true medicine.

And for those who care about animals, there are two internet sites which I click daily. One
of them has Dr. Weil as a sponsor and his concern re pet food. He says: "I don't believe that animal by-products have any place in pet food." Sadly, many pet manufacturers include slaughter "by products" in pet food: feathers, fecal matter, entrails, etc. If you click www.pets.care2.com you will be helping the pets and will see Dr. Weil's ad. There is also a link
which reveals the awful common ingredients found
in pet food. Again profit rears its ugly head.

Another link I click daily is www.theanimalrescuesite.com. One person thought this was probably a sales ploy. No, they have sponsors who donate money for the pets who
are rescued. What an easy way to help animals by bookmarking two sites and adding them to our Favorites. We can all do this if we truly care.