JUST JUNIORS JOURNAL
In the dead of winter....
"So close the windows and not hear the wind,
But see all wind-stirred."
Part Five: State Of Emergency
Another in a series of spectacular storms hit the Wasteland in early February, snowing on and off for over four days. The National Weather Service recorded ten to twelve inches of snow, and the State Department of Transportation was plowing the roads, which were quickly snowed over again in areas. And the LS Kids got a two-hour delay from school on February 7.
Staci Wyland's boyfriend was in a car accident on Friday, February seventh. He was on Highway 220 East in Salona, with approximately an inch and a half of snow on the highway. He was blown off the road by a Mack truck and rolled off the bank, landing on the passenger side of the vehicle. He and another passenger suffered minor injuuries and refused medical attention.
Upon hearing about the accident, Staci Wyland walked in sandals about two blocks in the snow, finding a pay phone at a local laundromat to contact her boyfriend, making sure he was not injured.
The weekend of February 8, Hilaire Reese was sick. In a phone call to Lou, she told him that she was down with the flu for the entire weekend, but planned to make it to school on Monday.
An arctic cold front moved in on February 10, causing another storm to bring several inches of snow to the city over twenty-four hours. This caused a power outage, which turned off the lights in Ginger White's neighborhood that evening. During the blackout, she called Lou, who brought some scented candles from ex-girlfriend Shelly, and then arrived at Ginger's new home, lighting up the place. Lou and Ginger played cards until the power came back on, later that night.
The month finished out with the worst storm yet, as over a foot of snow fell across the state. On the night of February 16, Governor Ed Rendell declared a statewide disaster emergency, and businesses closed, with people taking refuge in their homes. The snowstorm was considered the worst since 1996.
By the end of the month, some of the snow had melted away, and a new storm hit, bringing more. During high wind warnings on the 23rd, Lou and Hilaire hiked to the highest point in the city, the top of Highland Cemetery.
"We did it," said Lou,"Because it's there."
"Like it's not there in August?" said Ginger.
And after a heavy morning storm on the 24th, Lou rode up to Hilaire's school to see her perform in the school play. With temperatures in the teens and snow still drifting across the streets, Lou and Hilaire met at the school for the show.
-Staci Wyland, AGA
-Ginger White, Staff
UNITED FOR PEACE
On February 15, 2003, Lou, Hilaire Reese, and Staci Wyland went out to Triangle Park in downtown Lock Haven, to protest against the war with Iraq. They stood along the street, held signs, sang songs, drank coffee, and shouted slogans.
Around thirty people attended the protest. Among these were a reporter for the Lock Haven Express, and one from the Lock Haven University Eagle Eye. They interviewed Lou and Staci, and said they would give the LS Kids a mention in their papers. Also attending were Fran Decker of the American Cancer Society, and Toni Tomassi of the American Association of University Women, both of whom the Kids have worked with in the past.
During the protest, a local sub shop, Nyman's, donated coffee and hot chocolate to all of the protestors.
Several people rode by the protestors and showed support, beeping their car horns or holding up two-finger peace signs. "Well, hell, two fingers are better than one," commented Lou.
Not everyone agreed with the cause, and other people rode by making rude gestures or shouting obscenities. In addition, a young woman living in an apartment across the street hung a sign in her window saying,"We love Bush."
This protest was one of many, held in over three hundred cities all over the world. More protests will be planned, and the Kids agreed to join in.
February second, Lou, Michelle, and Hilaire Reese went to Punxsutawney, the home of Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog. We saw Phil, who saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter.
Nobody bought any souveniers, though we went to every place we could, including souvenier shops and Barclay Square. We saw ice sculptures and a lot of carved wooden groundhogs. We went to the grounghog zoo, which is a glass cage in the local library. We also saw Gobbler's Knob, where Phil sees his shadow.
On the way home, we passed the highest point on Highway 80 in Pennsylvania, which is 2,250 feet above sea level.
For more information on Punxsutawney, go to http://www.groundhog.org.
My mother and I moved this month, moving from our home on East Park Street to West Church, in Lock Haven. Staci Wyland and Hilaire Reese came over on February 10 to help me pack up all the stuff in my room and move it to the new house, including my Dean Koontz books and my Avril Lavigne posters. (School books can wait.)
"Hey, what's this?" said Hilaire.
"It's my Yarmulke," I said. "Gimmie that."
Lou came over later in the day, to help my mom unscrew the Mezuzah from the door. I never saw Lou use his battery-operated drill before. It was a little scary, really.
The new house is closer to just about everything, including the Ross Library and the Beth Yehuda Synagogue. It's also closer to Lou's apartment.
THANKS FROM THE TROOPS
On August 25, 2002, the LS Kids took part in the Yellow Ribbon Campaign. They went around Lock Haven hanging yellow ribbons on trees and signs. The ribbons were in honor of all the armed forces protecting our country. Lou, Michelle, Mia Shelley, and Staci Wyland went on that project.
Recently, Lou recieved a link to a web page that contained a special thank you from the solders. The page is at http://www.ccastle.net/aug28.htm.
SEND A CRAZY GIRL TO ALASKA
NORTH CAROLINA- Most big brothers would pay a lot of money to send their little sister to another state. Lou didn't have to pay that much, but his sister gets to come back.
The Lost Solace Kids sent a donation to Lou's younger sister, Jen, to send her to Alaska. She plans to run in the Midnight Sun Marathon on June 21, 2003, to raise money for the Leukemia Society.
Jen is a radio professional in North Carolina. She will be running with Team In Training, a group of people who raise money for Leukemia patients and research. To run in the marathon, she needs to meet a fundraising goal of $4,900. To raise the money, she began to solicit donations for her "Send A Crazy Girl To Alaska" fundraising campaign. The LS Kids donated thirty-five dollars toward her effort.
"I know there will be times when I won't feel like taking another step," says Jen, who plans to run over eight hundred miles to train for the marathon. "But knowing that [people] are behind me....Will provide the energy I need to keep going."
Lou and Jen dealt with the effects of cancer last year, when their mother was diagnosed with a tumor.
A YEAR WITH JANICE
One year ago, Janice Marco of the Phillippines became the only foreign LS Kid. The Lost Solace Kids had been discussing sponsoring a child through an organization called Children International in January of 2002.
Lou made the call and told Children International that he would like to sponsor a girl, between the ages of eleven and sixteen. They choose this young lady off of the list of the children that needed the most help.
Janice is a 12-year-old female from the Philippines who enjoys Social Studies and jumping rope. She speaks Filipino. The LS Kids, over the past year, have sent fifiteen dollars a month to help support this young lady and her family. This is the one-year anniversary of Janice's adoption into the group.
"It's been a good way to reach out," said Lou. "Janice writes us letters, and tells us what a difference we make in her life."
"I am blessed for having sponsors like you," Janice said in a recent letter to the Kids. "I figured out that you are good individuals. My family was so happy because of you."
If you are interested in hearing more about this program or would like to sponsor a child, please call 1-800-888-3089 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the website at www.children.org.
-Staci Wyland, AGA
-Ginger White, Staff
When you look in a puppy, cat, dog, parrot, or hamster's eyes, you just fall in love with them.
Animals need special care, just like humans. They are not toys. They are a big responsiblity, but it's worth it. Believe me, I have two myself.
Some are also badly abused. Some animals could be not so nice-looking, but all animals have a heart of gold, with all the love in the world to give. Sometimes they may bite, but they are just playing or need to adjust to that person. Many people are against animal abuse, but I hope that you don't try to hurt animals.
BLONDE AT HEART
My daughter Nevaeh is going to be a carpenter, apparently, when she grows up. I wanted her to be a cheerleader, with long hair and nice little dresses. But she seems to want to be a carpenter. At age one, she's shown this talent for fixing things.
She has a toy rocking horse, which she fixed the other day. A screw on it was loose, and she got it back in. She did this by banging on it with a doll, which is probably not what they teach you in carpenter school, but it sort of worked.
And she fixed my friend's phone. This phone didn't ring for weeks, and then Nevaeh was playing with it. She picked it up and threw it, and then it rang really loud. Everyone was impressed. My daughter can fix a phone.
RHYME AND REASON
The Truth Of Friends
Friends may not be
what you picture them to be.
its ends tragically.
With fights and words
and screams and yell.
Just like a fight within hell.
and you're ready to put it up for sale.
Your friendship with them means nothing anymore.
And you pick up your stuff and walk out the door.
Have you ever fought with them like this before?
Remember the times they let your dreams soar.
But bruises and bleeding.
And a friend you're needing.
you feel so much pain you think there's no end.
and you realize the truth of a friend.
They never seem to be there when you need them to be.
They are never there when you say please help me.
But I've tried to hand you the key.
About the truth of friends it's easy to see.
They may not last forever.
They may not last the night.
But no matter what.
You'll always have to fight.
Wether it's to keep them.
To lose them.
Or hold on to them.
You'll never understand
the truth of friendship.
THE RUDY REPORT
I have a very important matter to discuss today. Recently, my owners gave me a new toy: A Squeakee Dog Frizbee. It's a bright blue rubber thing, maybe six inches around, that the owner is supposed to throw, and the dog chases off after it and brings it back. How this is supposed to be fun for both of us simultaneously, I'm not sure.
I have issues with the Squeakee Dog Frizbee. I feel it should be banned, and I am lobbying for a complete recall on all Squeakee Dog Frizbees. Why?
Well, they taste terrible.
The makers of the Squeakee Dog Frizbee did not think this through. These things taste like I am chewing on a mouthful of rubber bands. I'm a dog, and the only way I have to pick things up is my mouth. Why would I want to chew on something that tastes like garbage?
Well, actually, I like eating garbage. I eat people food that is way past the expiration date, and raw wild animals, and other things you humans wouldn't touch with a rented mouth. But, sorry, I can't stand the taste of a Squeakee Dog Frizbee.
Okay, so you say that's no reason to ban it. Well, I feel there are serious safety issues here. If I spent enough time trying to play with the Squeakee Dog Frizbee, I might throw up from the terrible taste. That could get me scolded, banished to the front porch, or worst of all, a trip to the (gasp!) vet!
So, who's with me? Boycott the Squeakee Dog Frizbee, and make the world safe for beagles! I'm sticking with the plain old stuffed hedgehog toys, which taste okay and don't choke me.
-Rudy The Dancing Beagle
ADORE IT/DEPLORE IT
Adore It: New Mexico teen Roxanna Vega sustained ankle, arm, and back fractures while getting help for two cousins trapped in a wrecked car. Sixteen-year-old Roxanna climbed a freezing slope to bring back help. She saved two lives, showing courage and caring. If Roxanna ever decides to join the LS Kids, she'll be welcome.
Deplore It: In early February, fans of the TV reality show "Joe Millionaire" complained because the show's advertising had led them to believe the show would conclude one week earlier than was actually planned. Fans refused to continue watching, claiming they were misled and lied to by Fox.
Let me see if I got this straight....Fans of Joe Millionaire were upset at being lied to? The entire show is based upon lying! The women were lied to, the star was lied to....And the fans ate it up. They have some nerve declaring that they were lied to, as well.
The Just Juniors Journal Is:
Assistant: Staci Wyland
President: Debbie Benfield
Hard News Director: Marjorie Shelley
Features Director: Mia Shelley
Secretary: Krystle Welch
Quartermaster: Hilarie Reese
Staff: Julie Rote, Ginger White
Renovo Bureau: Sarah Wilson, Meghan Wilson
Reserve Bureau: Brenda Geyer, Nickole Vincent, Kendra Koch
Distant Correspondents: Vesta Jones, Amber Fleming, Kazlynn Otto, Rachel Wykry, Regina Spence
When I first heard about the peace protest in February, I called up Staci. "Hey, Staci," I said,"How do you feel about going to war with Iraq?"
"Well, not right now, Lou," she said. "I'm about to have dinner."
"I don't mean us personally. I mean, how do you feel about our government's plans to go to war with Iraq?"
"I think it's crazy," she said.
That about sums it up. Crazy. I think our president is pushing very had to get us into a war we don't need, and send other people's loved ones off to fight it. I can't even realistically say,"Our elected leader," because he wasn't elected, in the sense that anyone actually completed counting the votes. So, in my view, what we have is a president we did not elect, pushing for a war we do not need.
Since when does this happen in America? Well, since now, I guess.
Bush is pressuring us to go to war on the basis that Iraq and North Korea both have nuclear weapons and biological weapons. So the Iraqis may have weapons? So? America has weapons, and we wouldn't allow anyone to force us to get rid of them. Just imagine, if some other country tried to pressure America into allowing inspectors to check out our weapons, and getting rid of them. We'd be outraged, perhaps rightly so. But why do we feel we have the right to force our will on other countries?
Saddam is a dictator, yes. He's cruel to his people, yes.
But is that really our country's problem? Over two hundred years ago, our people organized, overthrew a dictator, and formed their own government. Maybe it's time to let the Iraqi people do the same.
When I went to see Hilaire's school play, I thought about some of this. The play was about the Constitution---One of those cute things with singing that only ten-year-olds seem to be able to pull off. They performed the whole Constitutional Convention, though I suspect there was less singing in the actual one. (Hilaire played George Washington. My youngest is on the one-dollar bill.)
Maybe you support a war. Possibly I'm going to get some disagreeing e-mail on this. That's fine; this is America, and everyone can state their opinion. That's one of the things America stands for, and I believe in that. I still love my country---I realized that as I watched the children sing. My country is great, but I feel my president is deeply wrong.
If Bush starts a war, it won't be his loved ones getting killed in it---It'll be yours and mine. And I can't support that.
I thought about it a lot as I listened to the children sing.
"And should auld acquaintance be forgot, keep your eye on the grand old flag."
-All we are saying....Is give peace a chance