Write Again … It’s still needed

Published 6:59 pm Sunday, May 24, 2020

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My friend Marty has, unquestionably, the largest and most extensive collection of issues of the “Washington Daily News” that exists in the original form.

These issues are from decades past. The “Daily News” converted all of their library of saved papers to the more up-to-date computerized form of preservation, and Marty availed himself of all of the back issues of the papers kept in-house. His gleanings are not limited to the “Daily News,” however.

From time to time Marty will pass along things he runs across which he thinks would be of interest to me.

Marty is an archivist with a focus on local history. He has some published works of history he wrote.

He more recently sent me something that appeared November 5, 1970, in the Belhaven “Beaufort-Hyde” News. It was in this paper that my column writing endeavor began. The column was then titled “New View.”

So. Please allow me to share that column with you:

The recent Ed Sullivan Show featuring people from all around the world was an impressive program indeed. Songs and dance in native attire provided a splendid evening’s viewing.

It was more than entertainment. There was a lesson for each of us who were fortunate to see the program. Quite simply, the theme of the entire hour was “love.” The Young Americans were the last group to perform, and they concluded their portion of the show with the song “What the World Needs Now.” As I’m sure you know, the completion of the opening lines of the song are “love, sweet love, that’s the only thing there’s too little of.”

Seeing the happiness and pride of all of the entertainers was a moving experience. That an American audience could applaud thunderously a Soviet pianist is a healthy thing. Music is truly a universal language.

The oft told story of the Germans and Americans, each in their own trenches, singing Silent Night (Stille Nacht), each in their own language, on a cold Christmas Eve (Heilige Nacht) during World War I, is significant.

For the finale of the Ed Sullivan Show, all of the performers joined together singing only four words — set to a lilting melody — “White, Black, Pink, Yellow.” I’m sure that the impact and charisma is diminished greatly in this inept recounting of it. Those who saw the program know what I’m trying to impart. As for those who saw and heard the show, and had no feelings, well … we don’t all respond to the same things in the same way.

Aldous Huxley once very eloquently addressed himself to the word “love.” I’d like to share it with you.

“Of all the worn, smudged, dog-eared words in our vocabulary, ‘love’ is surely the grubbiest. Bawled from a million pulpits, lasciviously crooned through hundreds of loud-speakers, it has become an outrage to good taste and decent feeling, an obscenity which one hesitates to pronounce.

And yet it has to be pronounced, for after all, Love is the last word.”

It’s something to think about.

APROPOS — “To live without love is not really to live.”

— Jean Baptiste Moliere