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Newspaper Archive of
Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
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July 10, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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July 10, 1997
 

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10 Thursday, July 10, 1997 Pahnnnp Valley Gazette And that's the way it is---On the Road Charles Kuralt, CBS News, died at the young age of 62 on July 4, 1997. Somehow, it seems appropriate that he died on the day of this nation's birth, even prophetic. Ask me the two national media personalities that I most respect (I limit the selection to two because there are only two) and HI answer, Walter Cronkite and Charles Kuralt. Interestingly, both were CBS folks. I met Walter Cronkite in New York City. It was an occasion I will never forget. I was in the CBS newsrooms working on a technical problem. I don't know if they still do it but they used to broadcast the news directly from the newsroom, not a studio. While I was working there was a tap on my shoulder and I turned around to find myself face-to-face with Walter Cronkite. "Hi, my name's Walter Cronkite, I be- lieve you're new around here," he said offering his hand toward me. I shook his hand and said, "My name's Dave Downing with the Associated Press, sir," I managed to blubber out. I shook his hand and I'm surprised I didn't drop to my knees and kiss his ring. He came to met He introduced himselfl My thoughts were dizzying. I recall he asked where I came from, apparently knowing instinctively that I was not a New Yorker. "Detroit, sir. Michigan," I stupidly added. "Well, welcome to the bustle of New York, Dave. If you have any problems getting around the CBS building be sure to let me know." I had always admired and respected Walter Cronkite. His concluding remarks on his CBS news report, "And that's I II I NORTHERN EXPOSURE by Dave Downing II the way it is..." was the most famous trademark on network television. But, un- known to many, that's really the way he was. A wonderful down-to-earth man that never let his position go to his head. And then there was Charles Kuralt who recently died. I admired him like a little school kid. His reports inspired me to begin writing in the same type of subject material. He was the greatest at it. What is it? Joe Schmuk writing. Joe Schmuk is the guy that busts his butt all day at an $8- an-hour job and comes home at the end of his hard day to become the world champion roller-coaster rider, or some such thing. Joe and Mary Schmuk are Mr. and Mrs. America. They are the grease that keeps the shaft turning. The cog in the wheel of America. Charles Kuralt loved Mr. and Mrs. Schmuk and saw to it that their story was told. He traveled all over this country, coast-to-coast, north to south, in a bus. He stopped at every Podunk town and searched out Mr. and Mrs. Schmuk. He taught us what America was really made of. The real story of America is not to be found in Washington D.C. His reports appeared on the CBS news in a segment entitled, "On the Road with Charles Kuralt." Here you would learn of the 10-year-old girl who trained her world- champion bull frog to jump beyond limits. The young lady who could holler down the biggest hog. The man who built wheelchairs in his spare time and then gave them away. You learned about America. I never met Charles Kuralt. But he left an impression on me. Write about the positive things in your community. Teach about its history. Why does only the negative appear / -- the positive, well, there s so much more of it. Don't ca|7 them Joe and Mary Schmuk. They're really Mr. and Mrs. America and their story is so much more important than the nonsense on the front page. It is the true America as we see it every day. I know Charles Kuralt is with God in heaven. IfI should be blessed to be there myself someday, despite my sins, I can't wait to see what he's written up there. The war on tobacco won't stop my pipe-smoking It looks like the zealot anti-smokers have won a signifi- cant round and we smokers are going to pay for it. The tobacco industry has agreed to pay $368 billion in repara- tions, eliminate cigarette machines, sharply curtail adver- tising and accept regulation by the FDA. The zealots claim they want to protect our children from being hooked by nicotine but their real objective is to wipe out smoking by federal fiat. This is actually a sweetheart deal between the cigarette manufacturers and the government. The cost of the settle- ment will be passed on to the consumer by astronomically raising the price of cigarettes, leaving the manufacturer's profits the same. The government will get a huge increase-in tax revenue when the price of a pack of cigarettes rises to $12 or perhaps $15. In reality, a huge black market is hound to develop, and both company profits and government revenues will de- crease as prices rise past a certain point. Also, many smokers will successfully quit as prices exceed their economic means. No doubt President Clinton will expand the ATF (Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms) to combat the black mar- ket, creating a whole new class of criminals. And what will the zealots have achieved? We will have another controlled substance distributed illegally. The ATF and the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) will run wild with raids and arrests. And the people will have lost another freedom. The anti-smokers say that the industry should develop a nicotine-free cigarette. One of the companies tried this a while back and it was a total dud. Without the nicotine kick, it was like smoking hot air. And anyway, isn't it the tars and Ill I Changmg" Patterns .... other constituents that can cause cancer? Aside from addiction, has anyone proven that nicotine is harmful?" There is no doubt that long-term cigarette smok- ing results in lung cancer or emphysema in some individuals. But many come through totally unscathed. In a previous column I observed that Japan was a nation of notoriously heavy cigarette smokers. Despite this fact, the average life expectancy in Japan in 1989 was 76.2 years, the highest in the world. Back in the 1950s, when 85 percent of Japanese men smoked cigarettes incessantly, Japan had the world's lowest lung cancer mortality: 15 per 100,000. Since then, smoking among Japanese men has declined to 65 percent, but the lung cancer rate has risen. Or take Greece. According to the World Health Organi- zation, the Greek mortality rate from all kinds of respiratory diseases is 55.3 per 100,000, one of the lowest in the ,orld. Yet, Greek citizens smoke more than 3,200 cigarettes per capita per year! And Greece has the highest life expectancy in Europe. In another earlier column I discussed how Carol Browner, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, had dis- toned the data on sidestream smoke to portray it as a major ontributor to lung cancer. Various serious studies by the National Cancer Institute have shown it to be almost totally innocuous. Let's face it! The zealots, both in and out of government, will settle for nothing less than smoking prohibition. We went through that once with alcohol and it nearly wrecked the country. Further, the denomination of tobacco and the politization of science can have devastating effects on our future soci- ety. They also tend to mask the real reasons for the increas- ing incidence of cancer. Meanwhile, as a confirmed pipe smoker, I will begin to stockpile my tobacco. It is hound to get more expensive! fro di, P C he M TJ fr J p.. Just print the facts, man, just the facts w g on the other reporter. Drinking a cup of coffee hile watching traffic headin t I guess I shouda gone up and thanked him the other day when Ditto and I were at the Fish Lake Valley shindig. This guy was instrumental in me writing stuff for the newspaper. , How this came about was there was something due to come up at one of our local county commissioners meetings that the local reporter was unable to cover and she asked if I would sit in for her. Having never done this before I agreed. So with note pad in hand I went to this meeting and explained to this body who I was and thati would be covering whatever it was for the paper. This led one of the members to make a statement to the effect that we would get along fine if I reported the facts and not slant them as the other reporter had. Facts are pretty hard to slant and maybe that's why they were down Anyway, I sent down my notes to the paper and they seemed to make sense. Then they asked me if I wanted to Sfim Sez by Slim Sirnes submit more articles about Gold- field and the area. My subconscious musta been working as that's how the following came about. Tuesday morning I had the feeling I was supposed to go somewhere or do something. I couldn't quite think what it was. south on the highway, I spotted a guy on a horse leading a pack animal also heading south. The view of these animals' rear ends reminded me where I was supposed to be. The county commissioners meeting was today. Thank goodness the present and recent county commis- sioners don't fit this mold. They're busy trying to correct the oversights and wheeling and dealing of the past. I find myself wondering if it was coincidence or what that lead to me seeing this guy again as his name recently surfaced again as a signature on another one of those recall petitions he seems to be bringing up from time to time. I guess costing the taxpayers money is a habit hard to break. Some things never change. Think I will go get another cup of coffee and look out the window. Have a good one.