Good morning, y’all. A beautiful day here in the mountains. A little chilly at first light, a little windy, but all and all, a perfect day. I think it just made a 10 on the Whiz O Meter because one of the weather drones thinks he saw a cloud on the radar. To my mind, cloudy or not, it was an 11. I’ll take another 365 just like it, if you please.
Well, it was so perfect that Mulva and I looked for something new to do with our perfect day. We settled on driving to Gainesville to see the Walking Tour of the Solar System. For all of you asking, “what”?, “huh”?, let me assure you, it is a real thing. To quote directly from the webpage, “This 1.8-mile Scale Model 1:2,000,000,000 Walking Tour of Our Solar System (one of only five in the United States) takes visitors from the sun at the Southeast corner of the Historic Downtown Square (near the courthouse) and ends just past the tennis courts and American flag, where you will come to Pluto and Alpha Centauri.” Let me say that it is an interesting way to walk around downtown Gainesville, and the price is right. I suspect that it is a big boon to the little shops that thrive on the foot traffic that the attraction brings in.
I was enjoying one of those little enterprises, a little cupcake place called the “Cupcake Diva”, when I witnessed what I consider to be a crime. A man was dragging a little boy by his arm, wrenching the arm back and forth as he tried to get the little boy to “straighten up and fly right”. I had no idea what the infraction was, but the altercation ended when the man, I will presume the dad, smacked the boy across the face. The boy collapsed in a heap and just sobbed. The man seemed to become aware of where he was, and what he had done. Several people jumping up out of their chairs and heading towards the man probably put the man on notice as well. I allowed a young woman to fulfill the “Bud” role of explaining to the man what a lowlife SOB he was. She was far more articulate than I would have been.
I remember when the Marshal Tucker band articulated their thoughts on the subject in a song a long time ago:
“I can’t stand to see a grown man
Hit a little kid
Or get cussed out for somethin’
Not even knowin’ what he did”
The singer of the song filled it with so much emotion that you knew he knew what he was talking about. I can relate, and those strong feeling don’t go away with age.
If I get this worked up about what some people “lovingly” refer to as “corporal punishment”, you can imagine my thoughts on the continual cesspool of Penn State. There was more confirmation that came out this week that Joe Paterno, the patron saint of all things football at Penn State, was aware back in the ’70’s that his assistant was abusing children. The pedophile, Jerry Sandusky, was not charged until 2011. Paterno allowed Sandusky forty years of abusing children with impunity.
There are no good ways to spin this story. There is no amount of psychological, sociological, whatever theories that can excuse the abuse of children by an adult. If I was a believer in the hereafter, I would have to believe that there is a special spot in Hell reserved for these people. Close by to the pedophiles room is the room reserved for the people who allowed the pedophiles to flourish. I guess in honor of all of his accomplishments, we’ll call this the “Paterno Room”. When the news came out that at least six assistants knew about the abuse, but nothing was done, it sealed the deal for me as to whether or not Paterno was involved. Despite all of the denials that his family has put up, the only way a story like this can be hidden is if the controller of everything at Penn State wants it to stay hidden. That power rested solely with Joe Paterno.
I am willing to believe in Hell for the solace of knowing that Paterno is roasting there for eternity. Won’t we all sleep better at night thinking that Satan is giving Paterno a poke in the nether regions with his pitchfork?