Mello and Fred say goodbye

Published 4:31 pm Saturday, January 12, 2013

It’s difficult to consider this to be my last column for the Herald. I worry some about Mello and Fred not finding their names in the paper but they’ll bear with it.

They will miss the work of Eric Johnson, who has probably become more acquainted with Mello and Fred through this column. Maybe I can shoot a picture of Mello, Fred and I together barking at the same time together.

This last addition will include a few words about the late Vaclav Havel, one time president of the Czech Republic in a review of his book “Summer Meditations.”

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“It is surely rare for the president of a modern country, while still in office, to offer the public so unsparing an expose of his political and personal philosophy. And what is even more striking still is the elevated quality, morally and intellectually, of the philosophy that emerges from this effort. A leader who values civility, who can write and speak beautifully, and who has moral authority and compassion.”

I was able to attend Vaclav Havel’s presentation in the Twin Cities where I popped out of my seat and stood in front of him while Vaclav was seated.

Eugene J. McCarthy shared a My Lai Conversation that reads:

“How old are you, small Vietnamese boy? Six fingers. Six years. Why did you carry water to the wounded soldier, now dead? Your father. Your father was enemy of free world. You father was enemy of free world. Who told you to carry water to your father? Your mother! Your mother is also enemy of free world. You go into ditch with your mother. American politician has said, ‘It is better to kill you as a boy in the elephant grass of Vietnam than to have to kill you as a man in the rye grass in the USA. You understand, it is easier to die where you know the names of the birds, the trees and the grass than in a strange country. You will be number 128 in the body count for today. High body count will make the Commander-in-Chief of free world much encouraged. Good-bye, small six-year-old Vietnamese boy, enemy of free world.’”