Thursday, June 10, 2010

I Love America, Too

(Now with 50% less snark than yesterday's post.)

The late Verna Oller of Washington State understood the meaning of community:
There are two things about 98-year-old Verna Oller that just about anyone around her neigborhood in Long Beach, Washington can tell you. She was feisty, and she was frugal.


Oller never made much money, earning an hourly wage filleting fish until she was in her 70s. She cut her own firewood until she was in her 90s. But Oller was carrying a secret, a big one, and she entrusted the Glenns to keep it. It turned out she was a master investor.

"She went to the library and read Barrons," Guy Glenn said. "She read the Wall Street Journal."


The sturdy old lady with no formal education amassed a not-so-small fortune: $4.5 million. It was up over $5 million before the recession. Before she died, she directed Guy Glenn to spend every cent of it, but not on her, on her home town.

"She wants a swimming pool to be built, that was her main goal," he said.

Mission accomplished. Part of Oller's money will go to building the town's very first indoor swimming pool. The pool was important to Oller because as a poor little girl growing up there it frustrated her that kids often had no place to swim even though they lived on the ocean. But the shoreline can be dangerous in the Pacific Northwestern town. Money will also be set aside for scholarships and grants for local teachers.


When Oller died, she didn't want a funeral or even an obit. In fact, she didn't want any credit at all.

And then there's this America, always breaking the boundaries of homicidal behavior and language taboos, on the Today show, no less:

Kayla Manson, a 13-year-old Florida girl accused as an accomplice after her boyfriend allegedly attempted to murder her best friend, recalled the text messages that her friend and boyfriend exchanged before he attacked her.

Manson said she did not see the texts where her boyfriend, Wayne Treacy, threatened to kill her best friend, Josie Ratley, but rather only ones in which they called each other names.

Manson said the two text messages she saw were "the one where she calls him a rapist, and she calls him a cunt, I mean the one where he calls her a cunt."

"We just have to be careful with our language, but that's all right, sweetheart," Meredith Vieira said.

Reminds me of the classic Kurt Vonnegut short sci-fi story, "The Big Space Fuck," set in a future where all the words have been exposed, so the last obscenity left is "jizzum."

Thank you, young Kayla Manson.

Hmm. Any relation?

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