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October 26, 2021

Worthy to Print Column | Make It Cool

I have been watching our local politicians as they try to govern the unruly County of Monterey. One week the county supervisors said they wanted to make everyone outside and in wear a mask to cut down on the rate of transmission of this scourge we are all fighting in our own way. They decided in one meeting to put off the vote until the next meeting. In that meeting they decided to NOT pass this onerous rule. 

Now, they have scheduled another vote to determine if we are so cowed by their powerful positions enough to put on your protection based only on their vote. This by the way depends upon the will of the people, not the whim of these elected godlets. I have written before that I am a law-abiding citizen and try to obey all local laws as well as the weird laws that come out of Sacramento.

I got my two vaccinations; I wash my hands often and use strong soap. I take my shoes off at the door of any house I walk in because although there is no law concerning the wearing of shoes inside, if any investigation were to be made it could be proved that kicking off your shoes at the threshold is way more important than wearing another non-proven device to stop the transmission of the virus, i.e. a mask. Wearing a mask seems to be another way for the authorities to prove to you they are in charge, not us.

I do have a suggestion on how to get folks to take all precautions: make it “cool.”

You see, I grew up in a time of merchandisers finding ways for you to feel awkward. I have mentioned in my scribbles about how I grew up when money was very tight. I had plenty to eat and a warm bed to sleep in and parents that would do without to make sure I and my brothers were fed and clothed. This wasn’t as hard as I make it sound. I got one new pair of Levi’s at the beginning of the school year and washed them at the end of that year. 

Yes, you read that right. It was practically a sin to wash a pair of Five Oh Ones. It was a mark of manhood that you wore your jeans until they would stand up in the corner. Those were my mom’s words. She watched us use a shoe brush to occasionally brush the crude off our jeans, but with four boys she didn’t argue. She knew another argument would come along and she didn’t want to waste time on what was cool or not. In fact, I’d be surprised if she even cared what was cool.

To make her happy, I did wash my jeans once during midyear. I let her think it was because I knew she wanted me to, but the truth is that I was trying to interest the young lady who shared a desk with me in algebra. I thought she might help me a little more in doing my homework and maybe, just maybe, go to the after-game dance held in the cafeteria. My hopes were dashed as she chose not to do either. Oh well, I was out of her league financially anyway. 

In washing my jeans, it should be pointed out that I didn’t truly wash them as much as I soaked them. I would put them on and get into the bathtub with the hottest water I could stand and just sit there until the water got cold. I would then get out and wear them until they dried. Tailored Five Oh Ones.  

Allowing my mind to wander back to those good old days, I came upon a remedy that the “Sups” might want to examine. I don’t know about you. Perhaps you had all the cool clothes you needed in high school. Maybe there were some fads that came along and you were able to blend in with the other cool kids and wear the cool stuff. I was not of that crowd. I was more of the kids that ate lunch out of a bag because we didn’t have the money for school lunches in the cafeteria. However, I was known because I always stated my opinion even if it were not asked for or needed. All I can remember about those days is that it was so critical to be cool. To be accepted and have my jokes laughed at.  

I have grown old and know that those days were the hardest days I ever struggled through, and I remind you that I fought in a war. My mother, God bless her, even though she grew up in very difficult circumstances, she wasn’t cool and she knew it, but she loved so much and so hard that I thought she walked on water. Her shopping days were on the weekend when all the rummage sales were going on in town.

There was a time when a certain styled “Car Coat” was very popular with the “In Crowd” at Wasco High. They were crazy expensive for the times and money wasn’t available for looking cool. However, my mom would go to these sales and buy whatever was closest to my description of the cool car coat. I just broke down and cried when she showed me what she had bought so I could be cool. It wasn’t the right color, it didn’t have that rolled collar and the pockets were all wrong. 

It was wool, so my mom washed it a couple of times so carefully that it wouldn’t shrink and I had to wear that coat to school. I didn’t exactly turn the heads of pretty girls with that coat, but by the end of day I was so ashamed of crying in front of my mom that I wouldn’t have cared if they had burned that coat with me inside. The truth be told, I got compliments on that coat. Some from good guys that knew my family situation, but one from a very sweet girl that almost made me cry again.

That whole situation was just to tell these power-mad politicians what they have to do; make the mask, vaccinations and standoff “cool.” If they would use their brains instead of the gavel or their imagined power, they could have folks lining up at the clinic and designing masks that are so cool that you would be the object of adoration just from wearing one. This, like all commonsense suggestions, will be ignored by the politicians, but at least I tried.

God Bless.

George Worthy
Gonzales Columnist

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