Actor’s tears showed his humanity

The actor Kirk Douglas recently died; you might be interested in this vignette about him:

The 1984 Olympic Summer Games occurred in Los Angeles. At that time, I was a correspondent for the ABC Radio Sport Networks in charge of Olympic affairs. At the Opening Ceremonies of those Games at that huge LA stadium, I took a random seat in a restricted section titled “Special Persons” and surprisingly found myself in the midst of Hollywood personalities including Brooke Shields, Walter Mathieu and other recognizable cinema personalities. Dinah Shore sat next to Kirk Douglas.

During the Opening Ceremonies, as is traditional, each of the dozens of national delegations of athletes, coaches and officials marched into the stadium to one of their nation’s traditional songs or anthems; one following another. Soon that line of marching teams filled the stadium’s quarter-mile track. However as they neared the end of that oval and looked into the lower seats and saw those Hollywood faces, they particularly recognized Douglas. Therefore that line of marchers bent out of sync and toward our section, close enough for those Olympic athletes to start tossing up their traditional Olympic pins that represented their sport and their nation toward him: a deluge of pins from Olympians from around the world.

To better catch them Douglas stood, and as I looked up at him from a lower seat I saw the serious and surprised look on his face and noticed that tears were flowing down his cheeks. He seemed astonished that anyone would possibly know just who he was, as Shore comforted him.

Maybe Douglas as a screen actor rarely came so close to those in the flesh from around the globe who loved what he did so well. And it affected him. For me, those tears indicated his humanity.

Herb Weinberg

Colorado Springs

Beautiful tribute to the flag

The tribute to Old Glory, our glorious American flag, during Super Bowl 54 was by far the most beautiful and moving I have witnessed in my 89 years on this Earth.

It brought me to tears and made me even proder to be an American. I hope Colin Kaepernick was watching.

Lillian M. Bausermar

Colorado Springs

City’s lack of 20/20 vision

Recently several actions were announced that seem anything but 2020 vision for this city:

1. The proposed sports stadium has no parking included for future events. What kind of planning is that?

2. Parking meter cost increases and applicable hours deter downtown shopping, eating, business. Yet all the while, the mayor and City Council advocate “go downtown.”

3. New proposed license plates for vehicles. Several years ago, state and local police advocated white background plates for easier visibility, replacing denim or dark green that truly is hard to read. Bottom line is millions of dollars shouldn’t be wasted in changing license plates.

4. We hear that living here is affordable! Have you seen your property tax bill ... increasing about 50% across the board. If this is responsible leadership, then they have lost 20/20 vision.

Roy W. Oswandel

Colorado Springs

Recalibrate downtown parking timesThe city’s new downtown parking meter rate increase is killing my social life. Twice since the new year’s start — when the rate changes went live — my wife and I have balked on downtown dinner plans because I didn’t want to pay for parking. Yes, that makes me the cheapest person in this city, but I suspect downtown business might be impacted by other frugal citizens, who opt to fill their stomachs outside the downtown parking zone. Recent letters to the editor from other frustrated citizens and Joe Barrera’s columns seem to confirm this.

The city’s 25 cent per hour meter rate increase is tolerable, but the extension of paid parking enforcement time from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., however, is over the top. In downtown Kansas City, our closest comparable city in population, metered, on-street parking is available and free on evenings and weekends, according to that city’s website.

Colorado Springs should recalibrate its downtown parking enforcement times to encourage patronage for downtown businesses. How about terminating enforcement at 6 p.m. on weekdays at 7 p.m. on weekends? And while we’re at it, how about 15 minutes of free parking so I can run in a grab takeout on a Thursday?

John Mohr

Colorado Springs

The impeachment issue

I know the opinion pages will be filled with impeachment comments for a week or so after the president’s acquittal.

I, too, would like to chime in, albeit from a somewhat different perspective.

First, I’d like to thank Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her prayers on behalf of the president. It would appear that God answered her prayers, and acquitted our president. Many have condemned Speaker Pelosi for talking while the president was in the middle of his speech. I do not, for I know she was praying aloud for our president’s acquittal.

On a related impeachment issue is the vote of Mitt Romney. He is the new BFF of the Democrat Party! I commend Democrats for their spirit of forgiveness in light of all the horrible accusations hurled at Romney just five years ago by these very same Democrats! Romney, too, prayed to God and followed his heart by voting — guilty.

Unlike Romney, I would never assume that I was worthy enough to speak for God. However, my limited Christian knowledge is that we should pray, then bring our hearts and minds to resolve problems. I think Romney forgot to bring his mind part to the table. I must also wonder what might have been Romney’s vote had he faced his reelection prospects in nine months, rather than four years down the road.

At any rate, Romney will always have a political home. The DNC will welcome him with open arms, and by all means — impeach on, dear Democrats.

Len Bentley

Colorado Springs

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