By Alan Sorensen
What a surprise that federal Immigration and Naturalization Service officers would enter a home without a warrant. The Republican pundits on the Hill have taken the ball Nixon dropped 30 years ago and recycled it as a Democratic plot.
Oh, well. Maybe they just weren't born yet and only know what they've read in their history books.
My big question, throughout the entire Elian Gonzalez affairs, has been why haven't his United States relatives been charged with kidnapping? I looked up kidnapping the other day in my trusty dictionary and it usually has something to do with holding a person for ransom, a reverse euphemism for profit.
As far as I can tell, none of the people in Elian's American family had jobs. But with all the furor over his predicament, particularly among the exiled Cubans in Miami's Little Havana, there must have been some money to make. Donations in support of the American family must have been substantial.
Were the relatives upset that they had lost the boy to Communism and despotism, or were they upset that their meal ticket had flown the coop?
They told so many half truths and outright lies after the INS made its daring rescue (without a single casualty), that I became confused about what it was they really were charging. They came from every direction, making up their stories as they went along.
I am so proud of the American public for seeing the Elian issue for what it is: a custody dispute involving a father and some shirt-tail relatives, people who believe that possession is 9/10ths of the law (until they no longer have possession).
I wouldn't have written about this because I like to keep my column local, but I am a father whose kids disappeared from his life at an early age. In my case, I never really fear for my children, because I knew they were safe with their mother.
But that didn't keep me from hurting and whining to anyone who would listen. They were taken from me under the guise of a visit to area relatives. I didn't see or talk with them again for nearly a year.
The amazing thing in all of this is the lack of whining I've heard from Elian's dad.
Does the story deserve all the national attention it's getting? No. Does that keep me from watching the developments since the boy was "rescued?" No.
I'm just now starting to get swept up in the excitement about the '60s Fossil Festival coming up next fall. Having the entire 1959 state championship football Ponies here will be great. It is the 40th reunion for about a dozen of them. Maybe the whole '61 team will make it, too.
I looked at the picture of the '59 bunch and read the names and among them are some legends that I grew up with: Archie Warwick (Texas), Jim Ratchey (Flathead), Jim Dowen, (Flathead), Dennis "Denny" Langston, Jerry Larson (Hawaii), Lowell Larson, Glenn Havskjold (California) , Gary Blazek (Spokane), Scott MacKenzie (Chinook), Errol Shulund (Havre), Jim McLean (Bozeman), Dave Calahan, Julius Preite (Seattle), Jack Rucinsky, Bill Solem (Chinook), Chuck Jones (Florida), Russell Bitz (Idaho).
The list just goes on and on. We were just kids and they were our idols. It's amazing how many of them I've gotten to know over the years and how many had little brothers and sisters I grew up with or got to know over the years. A guy could write a whole column about that team.
I just hope I'm alive next week to write any column at all. I'll be putting my life on the line when I toe my 290 pounds up to the 11 a.m. starting line for the Bear Paw Run tomorrow. It will be my first training run of the rest of my life, and I figure that if my legs get tired, I can just lie down and roll. After all, most of the 6.2 mile course is downhill.
Hope to see you all at the JC, Optimist, Taylor Road finish line (but not for the last time, please).