In this era of media full disclosure, I call your attention to the guy's photo accompanying this column. It is an artist's rendering of what he thinks I will look like when I get to that age. Pity the fool.
Moving on, I recently received an e-mail from a former valued employee wondering why I quit writing my Struck Strikes Out column. He said he and his buddies daily search the Chronicle Times website for a Struck Strikes Out column and are "very tired" of never finding one.
That was preceded by a few other people asking the same question over the last several months.
OK. It is said, "Be careful what you wish for...you just might get it."
As the Penn State child sex abuse scandal rages throughout the country and world, I think the millions of people who have expounded on the tragedy - whether it be national or local media, or the guy in the coffee shop - may be overlooking the REAL reason the alleged molester Jerry Sandusky did what he did, and the revered Penn State coaching legend and humanitarian Joe Paterno inexplicably closed his eyes and allowed it to continue on his watch.
As a little boy himself, Sandusky was raised in a tiny apartment above a youth recreation center in Washington, PA. designed to keep troubled kids out of trouble by staying occupied through sports. Sandusky's father Art directed the center and his mother Evie ran concessions, coached the cheerleaders, and directed children's plays. As a child on the scene, Jerry Sandusky obviously was exposed to all who entered the center.
With the stream of youths and adults of all ages utilizing the recreation center, is it possible to consider that often ignored Sandusky was sexually abused as a child? Or, did he witness or know of such sexual abuse and become conditioned to viewing it as something very wrong, but apparently acceptable in the world he lived in?
Paterno attended a Catholic grammar school and high school. With history as our guide, was Joe sexually abused as a child? Or, did he witness or know of such sexual abuse and become conditioned to viewing it as something very wrong, but apparently acceptable in the world he lived in?
Then, with this sinister level of acceptance perhaps ingrained in the minds of two susceptible young boys later united as adults at Penn State, was it incorporated by Sandusky in his alleged despicable actions, and Paterno in his willingness to close his eyes and turn his head to the reported travesty?
And further, with Paterno being the supreme being at Penn State, did he improperly influence all those in his stead to be silent accomplices in this sordid tragedy?
As predominately the case, Sandusky, the alleged charming pedophile predator, endeared himself to the poverty-stricken, broken-home youths by starting a charity in their name, lodging them, buying them gifts, and treating them to Penn State football games and unlimited access to exciting college sports venues, all in a sick perversion to buy their favor, their gratitude, and their silence.
Where the hell is vigilante justice when you really need it? And can we ever get past Jerry and Joe and apply it to all those who came before them and have perpetuated this demonic behavior in too many places for too many years?
And now, with nobody involved in the Penn State cover-up willing to talk, all I can think about are the dozens of innocent, deprived, young victims sobbing into their pillows each night, painfully torn asunder by the joyful experience of finally being able to sample here and there a slice of the good life, and the horrific price they had to pay to get it.