Time to Replace the Bald Eagle?


I’m beginning to wonder if it’s time we revisit the bald eagle as our national symbol.

That majestic winged creature with those fierce piercing eyes promotes an image of “Don’t mess with me!”

With it’s taloned feet grasping 13 arrows  in one claw and palm fronds in the other, the thought that comes to mind for me is, “Not looking for trouble but if you cross me, all bets are off!”

So, why do I think we need we need a new drum major at the head for this national band of ours?

I don’t think our world  wide image is that of a bird that means business.

A number of recent events make me wonder if we’ve “wimped out” a bit.

There are times I think the bald eagle should be replaced by an Oscar Meyer food stuff since so many of us have become “wieners”.

I also thought that a furry little kitten could suffice as the national emblem since we seem to be overrun by…well…you figure it out.

So what set this writer off?

Halloween and Trick or Treat.

On Halloween, our local newspaper had a front page store that said, “OH SNOW: FORECASTERS WARN OF CHILLY, WET HALLOWEEN”.

First off, why do we need to be “warned” due something chilly or wet?

Swirling flood waters. tornado-like winds or pounding hail might be worthy of a “warning” but “chilly, wet” doesn’t seem to be worthy of a warning.

However, in today’s world of “cyclone bombs”, “maga-storms”,  the seemingly monthly “storm of the century” or named winter weather systems, I guess a precipitation mixture falling  when it’s just above freezing fits the bill.

Probably not to the level of sending thousands streaming to the local grocery store to buy milk, bread and toilet paper when a snow flake is forecast…but it was windy, too.

Not so gusty that it blew the gum you spit out back into your mouth but there was a bit of a chill factor involved.

Even before the onerous weather arrived, numerous communities moved Halloween activities indoors or re-scheduled outdoor Trick or Treating to the next day or two.

Heaven forbid a youngster might get damp or chilled.

I remember one Trick or Treat in northern Ohio when my Mom sent me with my 3 youngster sisters out on our door-to-door quest with heavy paper shopping bags with those corded handles.

It snowed that year so we trudged from house-to-house  in a slushy mess.

But we pressed on with visions of  piles of candy on the living room floor dancing in our heads when we got back home.

The oldest of my sisters, Charlene (Chuckie), got a bit tuckered on the trek and started to drag her goody sack in the snow.

That seemed like a good idea until we got home and she discovered the wet snow had opened an escape route for some of her treats.

She obviously left a sweet trail of treats along the streets and in the yards after tiring of keeping that sack aloft.

She was a bit distressed to say the least.

I don’t know it for a fact but I suspect our parents employed a bit of Solomon-like wisdom and forced all of us to pile our candy together and then equally divide it into fourths.

Chuckie was not penalized for her weariness

But, oh the angst and hand-wringing today if any of the current crop of  youth had to march door-to-door in inclement weather!

The chilly night limited the Trick-or-Treat count at our house to just over a dozen.

Many of the ghost or goblins were delivered to the end of our driveway by a heated vehicle, which sat there idling while the kids trotted to the door  for some goodies.

I could just imagine our parents snickering at the thought of providing vehicular transportation for our treat trot.

We would’ve probably heard something akin to, “Toughen up buttercup! You want candy, go get it. We’re not driving you!”

Frankly, I think Trick or Treat is on the endangered species list.

I envision a day when busy-body politicos say our nation has to stop filling our youth with sweets every October.

There’ll be a day when you ring the doorbell and all you’ll get is a box of Sun-Maid raisins, a granola bar or an apple.

When I was a kid, we had a few homes in our neighborhood that handed out those very items.

We’d do a bit of a double-take when they plopped that in our bounty bags.

The word would quickly spread on the street, “Don’t go there! They don’t have candy.”

I also saw a story from the FDA warning folks not top eat too much black licorice since some of it could contain a chemical compound that can cause the body’s potassium levels to fall, leading to heart problems and high blood pressure.

The federal health officials said the risk is lower with a “modern” version of licorice.

But the FDA did “warn” to be on the safe side, don’t eat any Halloween goodies in large quantities.

Remember, you heard it here first when new federal guidelines for Trick-or-Treating come out one of these days.

I’m betting bobbing for apples will also come under scrutiny due to the drowning threat.

Ben Franklin felt the turkey should have been our national emblem.

Ben, I still like the vision of the majestic winged creature but I really wonder if it’s still appropriate for a country that cowers at the thought of a chilly, wet Halloween.


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