Letters to the Editor - Sept. 14

September 14, 2011

What’s up with tattoos?

To the editor:

At the risk of angering or upsetting a number of folks, I¿ve been compelled for some time to share thoughts on the tattoo craze.  I will put aside the religious taboo side of it, as well as the health aspects that at one time was a major and legitimate concern.

I will admit up front that I am fascinated by the phenomenon and the psyche of those who get tattoos. I have even found myself listening to their personal stories on shows like “Miami Ink” and ¿L.A. Ink.¿ As a baby boomer, my conception of those who ¿got tattoos¿ generally was restricted to the military, outlaw bikers, and those who did jail time. Then I guess the trend might have picked up when tattoos became the order of the day for those in Hollywood, sports or just celebrities in general.

Obviously tattoos run the gamut from what appears to be illegible scribble (¿now that person must have run out of scratch paper¿) to genuine works of art. In my observations, sadly, the former seems more commonplace. And most of us know that tattoos invoke a variety of feelings from the ¿audience.¿ For example, many still shun those with tattoos on their neck, face and even fingers — for these are ¿dark¿ people for sure (picture Robert Mitchum in ¿The Night of the Hunter¿ or consider Mike Tyson). Furthermore, though many ¿tattoo people¿ might disagree, I am sure securing a white collar job for these folks is unlikely, even in these days of cultural liberalism.

I will go out on a limb here and say that tattoos on women, particularly those who don tattoos on their arms and what is visible on chests, are not attractive. Ladies, tattoos on your arms actually make them look larger than they are, so why would any woman go that route? Also, I see no need to go into what is referred to as a ¿tramp stamp,¿ as it sort of speaks for itself.

There is not enough room in this forum to list the many reasons people get tattoos or why so many end up regretting that choice.  I was actually saddened to see toddlers at the shore sporting fake tattoos (what were their parents thinking)? It will be interesting to see if tattoos end up being a generational fad whereby your age can be determined by one¿s having tattoos. Of course those who once displayed proud eagles will likely have something resembling a rooster in due time.

My wife is a comedienne of sorts, as she points out a scenario where she is old and hospitalized and somewhere during her stay a nurse calls out to her colleagues: ¿Hey you guys, check this out … this lady doesn¿t have any tattoos! Oh, and by the way, I am the Navy veteran with the rooster tattoo ¿ thank goodness for shirts!

Jim Rosko

GOP would scrap Social Security and Medicare

To the editor:

This is to all Americans, Republicans and Democrats. I watch a lot of political shows. I even watch the Fox noise channel once in awhile to get a different view. There¿s one thing I am sure of: The tea party and Republicans have one thing on their minds ¿ do away with Social Security and Medicare.

Just the other day Marco Rubio gave a speech and said these two programs have weakened America. Really? I¿m guessing they think the only people on Social Security are Democrats. I paid into the system for 40 years. I am now disabled. My mother worked up until she was 74; she just lost her part-time job a few months ago.

She paid into the system for over 60 years. You¿re telling me she doesn¿t deserve to get some of her money back and live nicely in her golden years?

Is there fraud and waste in these two programs? Yes. But fix it and make it better. But you cannot do away with them. People pay into the system for 30, 40, 50 years and deserve to have it there when they retire or for some reason get on disability.

So if my Republican friends don¿t want Social Security or Medicare anymore, vote a Republican into the White House. Mark my words if these two programs are done away with or cut to the bone, poverty will be a hundred times worse. This once-great country, the United States of America will become a third world country.

Rodney A. Guessford

Without a senior center, enthusiasm remains

To the editor:

Washington County is the only Maryland county without a senior center; yet, the county has an active and energetic group that will celebrate National Senior Center Month as if they have one with an open house at the temporary center Wednesday, Sept. 21.

Beginning only three years ago, Kathy Fisher, the current director, and her capable staff, have been able to sustain a whole range of classes, activities and programs. Located at Girls, Inc., 626 Washington Ave., the open house will provide a showcase of what happens daily for visitors and interested new members.

Beginning at 9 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 21, demonstrations and meet-and-greet events will showcase line dancing, computer instruction, step aerobics, piano instruction, painting-acrylic and oil, strength training, bead making and chair yoga.  

In addition, light refreshments will be served; prizes and gifts will be presented to guests during the 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. event. No registration or admission fees are required. There will be ample free parking for all at Girls, Inc. and in an adjoining parking lot. If you have questions, please call the center at 301-671-2368.

So, Washington County is Maryland¿s only county without a senior center. Judging from this open house event you certainly can¿t conclude there¿s a lack of energetic and enthusiastic efforts toward getting one.

Blanton Croft
Commission on Aging Advisory Council member  

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