Monday, August 25, 2008

Behold . . . a communiss plot

Every now and again, I am reminded that my Omaha-bred wife and I hail from the same country but different worlds.

THE ABOVE PHOTO and story is from Page 17 of the Evening World-Herald on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 1963. There was nothing remarkable at all that day in Omaha, Neb., about this bit of newspaper boilerplate.

Typical Omaha elementary school. Staged picture accompanying routine, feel-good story about a natural-gas company providing ice cream and cookies for the kids next door. Cute . . . but ho-hum.

If this story and picture -- reflecting an equivalent reality in my hometown, Baton Rouge, La. -- had run that same evening in the State-Times. . . .

Forget it.

There is no way in hell that story and picture ever would have run in the State-Times. The circumstances behind it would not -- could not -- have happened. Not without military occupation . . . and, come to think of it, not even then.

What was unremarkable in Omaha in 1963 didn't even start to happen in Baton Rouge until 1970. Technically.

It never did work out, actually.

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