Thanks for the memories, Horse Cave Theatre
By Sam Terry
February 27, 2013
Upon learning of the final lowering of the stage lights at Kentucky Repertory Theatre last Wednesday, I found it a good time to recall what most in the region still think of as Horse Cave Theatre and its history. While the name may have been updated to reflect the theatre’s uniqueness in the Commonwealth, those who have been around since the beginning know it was Horse Cave’s theatre.
The theatre began as the dream of a handful of people who sought to do something different and worthwhile. Most area residents thought they were crazy, after all, how could a town with only a couple thousand people possibly have a theatre with professional actors? Who was going to come to such a small place whose fame centered on a defunct railroad hotel and a cavern on its main thoroughfare where a horse might have met its end?
Enter Warren Hammack, a Kentucky fellow whose background was in the tobacco patches of western Kentucky, who possessed a penchant for theatre and a charming personality that won the hearts of those he encountered. Warren’s ability to understand and interact with the local people was one of the factors that made the theatre a success. His ability to infect others with his dream of a repertory theatre in Horse Cave allowed him to bring equity actors and theatre support staff to Horse Cave and they created the magic of the stage before our very eyes.
The sleepy little town roused a bit when work on the old Thomas Opera House began to take shape. The creative minds of the movers and shakers chose to create a lobby reminiscent of the Kentucky tobacco barns that dotted the landscape of nearly every farm in the area. The original lobby did little more than provide shelter from the rare summer rain but it was part of the charm of Horse Cave Theatre. It was a signature statement about where we were and it paid silent homage to the product that made south central Kentucky a viable place to live, raise a family, and call home.
I had the privilege of sitting in the audience on opening night of the theatre’s first play, “Candida,” on June 10, 1977. I was afforded the opportunity by my now-departed widowed grandfather who whole-heartedly supported the concept of a theatre in the area. For the following 22 years he missed only one opening night performance and he had the same seat for those 113 performances.
What a memorable evening that opening night proved to be. The reality of it was more the stuff of a well-crafted novel set in a small southern town filled with characters who were nearly as interesting as the ones being portrayed on stage.
On that hot summer night it seemed everyone glistened – it would have been impolite to merely sweat in the tobacco barn lobby of the new sensation of the region. There were the now-departed Grande dames of Horse Cave and most of south-central Kentucky – they came bejeweled and perfumed, some even pulling out fur stoles from decades gone by and others wearing flowers in their hair. There were businessmen and farmers who donned their Sunday suits while the more trendy gents sported “leisure suits” and most were a bit unsure of just how this theatre thing was going to work.
It took only a few lines from the star of the stage that night to capture the hearts and minds of the audience. The heroine of the play was embodied by the charismatic Pamela White who sashayed around the stage in a colorful gown while sorting through the choices provided by her clergyman-husband, the Rev. James Mavor Morell and the love-struck young poet, Eugene Marchbanks.
The opening production was the first of more than 230 to fill the stage of Horse Cave Theatre over the years. There were dozens of memorable productions but early favorites would have included “The Importance of Being Earnest,” “Tartuffe,” “Bus Stop,” “Of Mice and Men,” “The Glass Menagerie,” “Tobacco Road,” “Harvey,” “A Flea in Her Ear,” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” The list could go on and on.
Equally memorable were the professional actors who came to call Horse Cave “home” for a few months of the year while they personified an array of characters. Some chose to return for several seasons while others pursued other venues in larger cities. A review of the actors could fill multiple volumes.
Soon after opening, local patrons relaxed a bit and many felt the freedom to experience the plays in the more casual clothing employed by the thousands of tourists flocking to the region each summer. The beauty of Horse Cave Theatre began to shine through when everyday folks realized that the theatre was for everyone, not just certain groups. One of the pleasing sights to observe was the mixture of the well-heeled, the highly educated, the politically-powerful, and the socially-conscious rubbing elbows with the tenant farmers, the school teachers, the painters, and the sales ladies from the local stores.
Where impromptu grocery store and gas station chats once centered on the weather and suppertime menus, the conversations changed. “Have you been to see the new play at the theatre?” “Did you like the last play as well as the ones they did last year?” “What did you think of those costumes?” “Wasn’t that stage set something to see? How did they build all of that?”
Warren employed his abundant creativity to begin producing a Kentucky play each year – that is, a play written by a Kentuckian or set in Kentucky. This unique feature grabbed the attention of people all around and it set Horse Cave Theatre apart once gain by being innovative. The concept evolved into the Kentucky Voices program that mentored inspired writers and aided some of them in seeing their writings staged at the theatre.
Simultaneously, the staging of a William Shakespeare play each year brought the works of “the Bard of Avon” to life for thousands of area students. Horse Cave Theatre had a profound impact on so many youngsters as they experienced live acting by professional actors. Other young people chose different paths for their advanced education or career choices because of what they experienced on Main Street in Horse Cave through acting classes, workshops, and opportunities to work as stage hands and box office workers, or volunteer as ushers.
Just like nearly every other activity in life, there had to be some romance and Horse Cave Theatre was no exception for not all of the drama was on the stage. Certainly there were summertime romances, but some had lasting qualities that charted new courses in life. Most notably, Warren and Pamela wed in their third year in Horse Cave, and the duo became a union of two faces that personified the theatre. Julie Beckett and Dan Crutcher were the stars of another romance that, thanks to the encouragement of my grandfather, led to a wedding.
The memories of Horse Cave Theatre and how it changed the lives of not only the residents of a small town, but an entire region, could fill multiple volumes. Ask anyone who experienced an HCT production and they will share a story about it and most can express how it affected their lives. The dream of Bill Austin, Tom Chaney, and Hammack proved to be more than a fantasy for it was real. Explaining how such a concept actually worked for over 35 years is nearly impossible.
Like Cole Porter’s clever ditty points out: it was just one of those things.
“It was just one of those things, just one of those crazy flings.
One of those bells that now and then rings, just one of those things.
It was just one of those nights, just one of those fabulous flights
A trip to the moon on gossamer wings, just one of those things.
So good-bye, dear, and amen.
Here’s hoping we meet now and then.
It was great fun, but it was just one of those things."
Thanks for the memories, Horse Cave Theatre.
Goodbye to an old friend
By Sam Terry
December 28, 2012
December 21 saw the end of an era in Glasgow history. It was, of course, the shortest day of the year as the Winter Solstice arrived. According to some persons studying the Mayan calendar, it was supposed to be the day the world would come to an end. In our town, it was both a short day and the final day for a 202 year old landmark, the Zion R. Huggins house, at 105 Cleveland Avenue.
Built in 1810 by Huggins, one of Barren County’s early distillers and nurserymen, the house was the second oldest structure standing in Glasgow, surpassed only by the historic Spotswood House. The Huggins family lived in the house for more than a century. Originally a three-pen, one-story log structure, the house was enlarged near the middle of the 19th century into a white weatherboard-sided two-story farmhouse with later additions as needs changed.
According to the writings of noted Glasgow Civil War historian and educator Jimmy Simmons, Confederate Gen. Bragg made the house his headquarters in 1862 when his troops marched through Glasgow. The story handed down for 150 years reveals that the soldiers learned of Huggins’ stock of brandy filling the cellar and soon had a brisk business selling the coveted liquor from the cellar window.
My own family’s knowledge of the house and friendship with its inhabitants goes back more than a century. Around 1905, when a town such as Glasgow had little noise, Cousin Jennie stepped onto our front porch on Leslie Avenue one summer morning and heard Miss Maud singing, the shrill notes wafting across The Triangle from the Huggins house (there were only about six houses in the entire neighborhood at the time, our home being one of two on Leslie Avenue). Maud was playing her piano and singing “I Know a Place Where the Four-Leaf Clovers Bloom” which caused Jennie to quip, “Well, it sounds like Maud’s gone and jumped in the clover patch.” Jennie’s father, C.C. Terry, resting in the front yard hammock, found it all amusing enough that the tale was passed down. That was during a time when neighbors truly knew one another as opposed to our modern tendencies.
Years later, Glasgow educator Paul Vaughn renovated the Huggins house and moved his family into the structure in late 1942. Less than two years later Vaughn sold the home to the Lykins family in 1945. Mrs. Mollie Lykins and her three of her children - Herman, Emma, Mary (nicknamed “Pet”), and granddaughter Frances, lived in the home for more than six decades. Frances Rootes Edwards was the last person to inhabit the home until her death in January 2012. At that time I became one of the owners of the property.
On April 24 of this year an arsonist saw fit to set fire to the historic home and the result not only robbed the time-tested structure of its very life, but the Glasgow community of a noteworthy piece of its history. Though efforts to save the house were sincerely made, the post-fire condition was such that a renovation was not feasible.
Last week in a downpour of rain, a cold December wind blew through the house as its inevitable demise drew near. As I walked among charred rubble I could not help but recall dozens of stories about the house and its former inhabitants. Fortunately, most of the stories were happy memories and the people in the stories didn’t have to endure the horror of seeing what had happened to a place they loved and cherished.
While the downpour of rain continued and water poured in from who knows where, I noticed in the parlor the remains of a once-treasured piano that in its glory days had filled the house with melodies. Nearby there were empty, charred frames from a father’s art studio, their paint-laden canvasses destroyed by fire. Where a fine Adam mantel had been the proud centerpiece of the parlor stood a crumbling fireplace with an appearance more like that of a toothless, bruised fellow who lost a fight.
One final trip up the stairs that now creaked and groaned, revealed bedrooms that were reduced to being less of a shelter than the most dilapidated barns. Walls that once held family portraits showed outlines of beds that were no longer there and the walls themselves were reduced to thin barriers longing for the end of their service.
As I descended the now banister-less staircase I paused to think of how many chubby little fingers had caressed the walls as they made their way down – and how many frail and trembling hands had struggled to make their way up when they’d grown old.
There were no more hushed tones of silverware on china in the dining room and Chan the cat who slept in a grandmother’s prized Blue Willow turkey platter had left the scene decades ago. Pet’s hand-painted china plates were merely pieces of broken porcelain mingling on the floor with shards of crystal cake stands that had proudly served jam cakes of Christmases past.
Where once had been a front door was an oversized opening giving a view to the yard where wild flowers would be coming up in just a few months. The gong that once announced the arrival of little boys for afternoon visits would ring no more in this entry hall where gingerbread men had delighted trick-or-treaters of days gone by.
I found myself straining to hear one more burst of laughter from the kitchen where an old Mammy’s chair once rocked and soothed fretful children - and adults, too. No, there was no sound and there was no one – everyone and everything had gone.
When the sun rose on December 21, all that remained of the Zion Huggins house was a shell of what had been, now waiting for the sweet release of death. When the sun set on the same day, all that remained was a pile of rubble awaiting burial.
Sadly, the house, like its inhabitants, had died. All of the earthly remains are a couple of mantels, a few boxes of trinkets and dishes, a few pieces of fire-damaged furniture, a few dozen handmade bricks and three hand hewn limestone steps destined for a new use. The other remains are merely memories of a place and its people who once called Glasgow home.
May they all rest in peace.
And so this is Christmas…again
By Sam Terry
There’s a little bit of Scrooge in all of us. When one reaches an age in which he’s experienced a number of Christmases, a few dozen marathon shopping sprees combined with holiday decorating frenzies that have little to do with the actual holiday, Christmas can become more of a going through the motions rather than all being merry and bright.
There are family traditions to uphold – a certain decoration given its honored place, the making of recipes handed down from family and friends, the cookies to bake, the lights to string, and the list goes on to the point that the holiday season can begin to seem like a chore. Too often, we easily fall into the “Bah, humbug” attitude with our goal being to just get through it. Frequently, we hear of people issuing a holiday greeting with the addendum of the desire for it to all be over.
Blend all of the above with the news of a horrible tragedy like the one witnessed by our country last Friday, and the sparkling holiday glitter loses much of its luster and dulls considerably. Heartbreaking catastrophes seem magnified when they occur near a favored holiday and perhaps leave us asking “why” with a little more bewilderment.
Somehow, despite it all, Christmas lives. The spirit goes on. But how does it happen?
Now many would say Christmas lives because of the religious origin of the holiday, and hardly anyone would argue otherwise.
Some would say Christmas lives because of commercialism. We complain that the holiday has become too commerce-oriented, yet our 19th century ancestors were the folks who started that trend in the years following the Civil War. Whether we like it not, our economy depends on Christmas, and that’s part of how Christmas lives.
Perhaps the way the hallowed holiday continues on is because it is reborn every year. Most holiday seasons are punctuated with some particular moment when the spirit of Christmas magically appears.
When children line up on stages and begin to sing “Silent Night,” no one seems to notice that it’s off-key.
When tinsel halos are perched atop children’s heads while fluttering wings are pinned to their backs, no one minds the devilish grin on the angel’s face.
When bathrobes become shepherd’s attire and great grandpa’s long-unused cane comes out of the closet to become a shepherd’s staff, no one notices that there’s not a sheep in sight.
When children sit on a parent’s lap and drink in the tale of a certain night before Christmas, it becomes magical.
When new generations gaze at shiny baubles on a Christmas tree for the first time, it’s a memorable sight to behold.
When one reads or hears the story of old that begins at each telling, “And it came to pass…,” one knows the story will go on to swaddling clothes, angels, shepherds, and the eternally-tardy magi.
When old familiar strains to the carols of season remind us to rest beside the weary road and hear the angels sing while all is calm and bright in a lowly cattle shed and the good news is spread across the earth in story, song, and the ringing of bells.
These are the things that keep Christmas alive and help adults escape the numbing influences to renew the celebration that goes back centuries.
When the magic of Christmas arrives, it can be felt in the air, on the streets, it’s tucked in colorful envelopes arriving in the mail, in the greetings of nearly everyone, and even the most crazed among us become a little nicer.
We see the magic of Christmas as we travel our community and see the way people decorate – even over-decorate – their homes and lawns. It’s a reminder that even adults can be infected with an extra dose of joy to become almost giddy.
Yes, Christmas is also a time of gluttony and greed, when extravagant excesses also fill shopping lists to the point that too often it resembles the paganism and commercialism that Christmas purists love to hate.
Other parts of Christmas exist, too. Just sit back and let the sounds of the season swirl about your head. There you’ll find that every dreamy Christmas is snow-laden, chestnuts are eternally roasting on open fires, and we’re reminded that at Christmas, all roads lead home, whether literally or in memory. Gaze upon lights that enchant us to the point of being slightly out of focus, and then we remember that it can be a beautiful season after all.
What we all should strive for is to keep the Christmas spirit alive the rest of the year and not confined to just a few days. Probably no one penned such a thought as eloquently as Henry van Dyke when he wrote his sermon well over 100 years ago and entitled it “Keeping Christmas.” I’ll leave you with an excerpt from the message, and wish you a Merry Christmas.
“Are you willing to forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you; to ignore what the world owes you, and to think what you owe the world; to put your rights in the background, and your duties in the middle distance, and your chances to do a little more than your duty in the foreground; to see that your fellow-men are just as real as you are, and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for job; to own that probably the only good reason for your existence is not what you are going to get out of life, but what you are going to give to life; to close your book of complaints against the management of the universe, and look around you for a place where you can sow a few seeds of happiness – are you willing to do these things even for a day? Then you can keep Christmas.
“Are you willing to stoop down and consider the needs and the desires of little children; to remember the weakness and loneliness of people who are growing old; to stop asking how much your friends love you, and ask yourself whether you love them enough; to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear on their hearts; to try to understand what those who live in the same house with you really want, without waiting for them to tell you; to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow will fall behind you; to make a grave for your ugly thoughts, and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open – are you willing to do these things for even a day? Then you can keep Christmas.
“Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world – stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death – and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love? Then you can keep Christmas.
“And if you keep it for a day, why not always?”
Do we need a little civility?
by Sam Terry
When he was not yet 16 years of age, a boy named George Washington set about to transcribe Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation. Twenty-first century readers of those 110 rules may find them outdated and too formal but the basic tenet remains the same: “Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present.”
Considering a number of observations of our current society one must ask the question “what happened to civility?” You remember - civility - the notion of politeness, courtesy, and respect in conduct, not unlike the most golden of rules of treating others as you hope to be treated.
Have we become so self-oriented that we ignore basic courtesies? Have we ascribed to the “me” generation’s notion of doing only what “I” want to do when “I” want to do it and behaving however “I” choose to behave without regard for others? Have we forgotten that the world does not revolve around us, that this earth has 6.8 billion people on it who must attempt to move through life with some degree of civility in order to not have local and global chaos? Have we been exposed to so much outrageous behavior on television and in movies that we actually believe it is acceptable to emulate such behavior?
Sometimes it seems we need a referee on the playing field to occasionally blow a whistle to stop the action in the game of life and then have a little talk in the huddle to regroup and remember what we need to accomplish and how we need to go about the task.
A few weeks ago we were in the season of commencements – a happy and hopeful time when graduates look to the future and parents remember the past. One of our local classes realized outstanding accomplishments but their commencement also achieved notoriety that will go down in history because two adult female spectators got in a fight and had to be hauled off to jail during the conferring of diplomas. At more than one commencement it appeared that people had forgotten they were at graduation and not a sporting event where cheering for your team is perfectly appropriate. There is an appropriate time and place for nearly everything and perhaps we need a few reminders.
At various community events, but particularly one recent major event, it was observed that the majority of the hat-wearing males seemed to forget to remove their headgear for the playing of our National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. Have we lost so much of our pride in being Americans – citizens of the greatest nation the earth has ever known – that we can’t be interrupted? One certainly didn’t see such a situation at the recent Memorial Day services honoring our veterans, both living and dead. How refreshing to see that our recent Scottish visitors for the Glasgow Highland Games were the first to leap from their seats for the playing of the American anthem as a sign of respect for their host country.
No matter what your opinion of the sitting President of the United States, he is still our President and as such deserves the respect afforded to the highest office in the land. We’ve never had a president who was liked by every citizen and we never will. The liberties afforded to Americans allow us to have our own opinions about the nation’s leader without fear of repercussion, but we still are obliged to respect the office.
Have we become so crass and determined to have our personal opinions known that it is acceptable to verbally trash others, even the dead, in public settings for all to hear? No matter what a person did or did not do, they were a human being and part of God’s creation, they were important to someone, and even with their personal idiosyncrasies, had redeeming qualities. Must we insist on being judge and jury and announce our verdict to the world? How peculiar that our 21st century society feels tolerance is the number one virtue but we have so little of it. We need to remember that others might have something to teach us – even when we think they might be crazy, ignorant or uninformed. Our great grandmothers had the best idea when they told their offspring “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
Our world has the wonder of the internet but it also has users who use it to abuse and malign others. It is much harder to be uncivil to a person standing in front of you, but when hiding behind a smart phone or a laptop, throwing around angry opinions or fabricated untruths with little thought or care is all too easy. Where is that referee with the whistle?
The internet has also made us junkies who can’t seem to get enough information. The advent of smart phones allowing a palm-sized avenue to communication seems to have made us afraid to ever be out of reach. Must we check our email and Facebook pages during the movie, at the play or concert, or at church? Could we stop texting during a meal so that we actually converse, face-to-face, with the other persons at the table? Perhaps we need a reminder to respect those we are physically with by giving them our undivided attention. By the same token, is it really necessary to conduct cell phone visits in public places for all to hear personal conversations?
Finally, have we lost respect for ourselves? One only has to move through life, encounter and observe people to ask such a question. What happened to respecting ourselves enough to maintain so much as our personal appearance? Have we become so obsessed with being comfortable, casual and carefree that mediocrity has overtaken us? What happened to dressing out of respect for the occasion, or the place or those you were to see – at the funeral, the wedding, the doctor, the church, even work?
The reassuring thing about all of the above-mentioned situations is that it is not everyone, but it certainly seems the trend toward being uncivil continues to march forward at a fast pace. Mary Wortley Montagu correctly noted, “Civility costs nothing and buys everything.” How about we paraphrase Number 110 of Washington’s transcription and “labour to keep alive in your Breast that Little Spark of Celestial fire” called civility?
The War on Christmas Greetings
Americans have been waging a war about Christmas. Articles, blogs and editorials espousing one view or another can be found filling the pages of magazines, newspapers and websites. Social media outlets have been inundated with postings declaring allegiance to the phrase “Merry Christmas” and proclaiming that other seasonal phrases are not appropriate. Some sources would have you believe that if one doesn’t use the time-honored phrase “Merry Christmas” one surely cannot be a Christian. Some shoppers insist they won’t patronize a business if the store’s employees say “Happy Holidays” instead of wishing them a “Merry Christmas.”
The word holiday is derived from the words Holy Day, originally meant to reference a religious date of significance, but in modern terms, a day of rest, relaxation and observance away from one’s work, school, or routine. Americans enjoy a calendar filled with various holidays, including the quintessential American holidays of Independence Day and Thanksgiving Day. We round out each autumn season with Thanksgiving and welcome early winter with Christmas and the New Year. Our Jewish friends observe the minor feast of Hanukkah during this same time period while many persons, primarily those of African descent, celebrate Kwanzaa between Christmas and New Years. Simply put, it is the holiday season and the phrase “Happy Holidays” is an easy way to cover them all.
“Happy Holidays” as a phrase was introduced to the world in 1942 by Irving Berlin in a song of the same name which was the featured selection in the movie Holiday Inn starring Bing Crosby, Marjorie Reynolds and Fred Astaire. The classic movie was set at an inn open only for holidays throughout the year and featured other musical hits such as “Easter Parade,” and “White Christmas.”
“Merry Christmas” has long been a standard greeting for the December 25th holiday, agreed by all as a date we observe the birth of Jesus, though there is no record of when the birth actually occurred. Unfortunately, many people today think of the greeting as Christian, while history proves otherwise. In fact, “Merry Christmas” was not frequently used more than one hundred years ago and the people who frowned upon the phrase were Christians. You see, we now think of “merry” as meaning jovial, cheerful, jolly or outgoing. But to Victorians in the 19th century, “merry” had much different connotations. “Merry” was a term meaning tipsy or drunk. The group most noted for frowning on the word “merry” being added to Christmas were followers of Methodism, and they preferred “Happy Christmas” as the appropriate greeting.
“Happy Christmas” was the standard holiday greeting throughout the 19th century. In the original version of Clement Clark Moore’s 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” the piece ends with Santa exclaiming “Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night.” In the latter half of the 20th century publishers saw fit to alter Moore’s writing by changing the name to “The Night Before Christmas” and the ending line was changed to read “Merry Christmas” instead of the original phrase. “Happy Christmas” remains popular in England today and it is the preferred holiday greeting of Queen Elizabeth II.
“Season’s Greetings” has been the staple holiday sentiment for cards many years, but it, too, has been modified. In the 19th century, “Compliments of the Season” was a popular printed or written greeting along with “Christmas Greetings.” The two eventually melded together to become “The Season’s Greetings” which was later shortened to the familiar “Season’s Greetings.”
For a few years now there has been a perennial campaign about the use of the abbreviated form of Christmas, “Xmas.” Without fail, there will be demands that the abbreviation not be used because it is “taking Christ out of Christmas.” This is ironic because those who have studied Greek will recall that X is the first letter of the word Christ, written
Christmas is an important religious holiday and it is also important to our culture, and yes, it is important to our economy. We declare that Christmas has become too commercialized yet the same complaint can be found in newspaper columns from more than 140 years ago. Post-Civil War Americans began the gift-giving frenzy when the industrial revolution made mass production a reality. In the last century, Kentucky author Allen M. Trout complained in his 1949 Christmas article that the holiday was far too commercial. It seems some things haven’t changed, though our forms of marketing have changed because of technology.
Christ should be kept in Christmas; after all, it observes Jesus’ birth. At the same time, we are in a season of holidays with varying significance to different people. Does wishing others a “Merry Christmas” make the day more holy? Does wishing someone a “Merry Christmas” make the speaker a more ardent follower of Christ? Realistically, all of the people filling the malls and stores, shopping online and partaking of the celebrations are not Christian. Many of us prefer sending greetings that are Christmas cards, and gazing at our illuminated Christmas trees and that’s not likely to change.
Perhaps we should stop worrying about whether someone wishes us a “Merry Christmas” versus “Happy Holidays” or what greeting retail chain stores print on their signs and shopping bags. There are many things in our world to be angry about. We need to be angry about adults who are supposed to be mentoring and helping mold young boys into productive adults but who molest and abuse them. We need to be angry about greed and mismanagement of our country’s resources which have put us on the brink of collapse. We need to be angry about government officials who concern themselves with personal gain rather than the good of the country and its citizens. We need to be angry about those who aren’t good stewards of the earth, the only place humankind has to live. We need to be angry about not having a cure for cancer or AIDS. Let’s be angry that in this land of plenty, few can afford the exorbitant fees for medical care and are held hostage by insurance premiums. Let’s be angry that among us are children and adults who are hungry, or homeless, or outcast. Let’s be upset about the things that truly matter. Perhaps what those of us who celebrate Christmas as a Christian holiday should do is attempt to be more Christ-like and an example of Christ’s principles.