4

Suffer the Little Children…

The ever-expanding sexual abuse scandals involving the Catholic church have been in the news for days now.
It’s time to re-post part of a piece (“A Tale of Two Pedophiles”) in which I wrote about my encounter in the late 1980’s with Father Oliver O’Grady.
Unfortunately, it seems nothing has changed in the wake of that scandal:

Thoughts of Jaycee Dugard brought up my brief brush with one of the worst pedophiles the Catholic church has known to date.  His name is Father Oliver O’Grady, who spent years being shuttled from one diocese to another even though the hierarchy of the church knew he was molesting children.  He finally wound up as the parish priest in a small town in Calaveras county, California.  I was working as a dental hygienist for a local dentist and Father O’Grady happened to be one of our patients.

The dentist I worked for was a devout Catholic.  My employer was, on the whole, a nice fellow who felt strongly about his convictions.  He had anti-abortion posters hung quite visibly in his lab where patients would see them as they were escorted to their dental chairs.  Some patients took offense at being subjected to something like that in a dental office and angrily left the office–and in some cases they left the practice itself.  To me, this dogmatism on his part was like wearing a pair of blinders which allowed you to see only what you were supposed to see.

Often the dentist, his assistant and I would have lunch at a nearby sandwich shop.  On some occasions the dentist’s wife would join us.  At one of these informal lunches we were talking about water wells; a common topic in rural areas where having a good well is essential to life itself.  I happened to mention that a neighbor of mine, whose father was half Native American, taught me how to dowse for water with a forked branch.  The usual term for that was “water witching”, a skill that even the men who worked for our local electric company, PG & E, knew how to do.

My employer turned to me and said, very serious and straight-faced, “Isn’t that witchcraft?”  At first I thought he was kidding, but quickly realized he wasn’t.  I was nonplussed and stammered something about “No, it’s just something you feel.”  The dentist’s wife was in our little group and she tried to smooth things over a bit, but I have to say I was taken aback that someone in our modern age would bandy about the charge “witchcraft.”

Now, post-Palin anti-witchcraft blessing ceremonies, I’m no longer surprised.

I mention all of this in regard to Father O’Grady only to make the point that while my employer was looking behind the dental chair for imaginary witches, here we had a man who was actually doing unspeakable things with children.  Father O’Grady was a figure of authority and power, as was the diocese that sent him to this unsuspecting little hamlet.  Everyone in my office fell all over himself in deference to this man when he came in for his appointments.  It was “Father this…” and “Father that…” but no one had the slightest clue that he had been molesting children for years and the powers that be knew about it, but kept it hidden.

The sadly laughable thing about it was that he was such a little milquetoast of a man when I finally did meet him.  I took an immediate dislike to him because he would not look me in the eye.  What kind of a priest won’t look you in the eyes?  Aren’t the eyes windows into the soul?  Father O’Grady’s soul was hidden from view.  There was too much ugliness there.

Father O’Grady as he looked sometime around when I met him.

2005_07_13_Russell_BlindEye_ph_Oliver_OGrady

It was several years after I left that practice that the whole story surrounding Father O’Grady came to light.  I could only imagine what they thought at my old dental office.  Had real evil replaced the imaginary?  I somehow doubt it.  Excuses were made all along the line for the transferring of O’Grady from one place to the next, without punishment or warning.  The man involved in Jaycee Lee Dugard’s abduction seems to have had every break in the books also.  It shouldn’t have taken so long in either Garrido’s case or Father O’Grady’s for someone to step up and put a stop to the abuse.

The kids deserved better.

Advertisements
0

Quote of the Day

From the CEO of Southwest airlines:

“Our airline is not perfect. There is room for improvement,” Jordan said. “As our founder likes to say ‘please never rest on our laurels. If you do, you will simply get a thorn up your ass.’ So with that in mind … Southwest will not overbook flights.”

Image result for laurel thorn

11

I’ll Be Damned…I Won!

A couple of months ago the New York Times had an online contest to name three baby llamas that were born at a farm in Pennsylvania.

I had entered three names (Pastiche, Aspheryn and Cher) and lo and behold—the name Pastiche was chosen as one of the winners!  There were 300 NYT entries and 50 more from an open house at the farm in July.  Here’s the link to the article, and be sure to read down to the end. 

Ahem.  [beaming with pride]

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/19/garden/the-results-of-the-baby-llama-naming-contest.html?src=rechp

04LLAMABABY_SPAN-articleLarge-v3

THAT’S MY BOY ON THE LEFT—I’M SO PROUD.

3

How Many Pigs Will You Take for a By-pass, Doc?

Chickens for Checkups

Last week, Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sue Lowden suggested that people who could not afford health insurance should “barter” with their doctors. Despite criticism and mockery about the ridiculousness of such an argument, Lowden recently doubled down on her approach (watch here):

5

Don’t Piss Off Mother Nature

Well, the big Tea Party rally scheduled for our fair city ran into the wrath of Mother Nature today in the form of steady rainfall.  I drove past the corner on Main St. where protesters were supposed to gather with their “tasteful signage” on display, but none were to be seen. 

The covered area of the nearby park where speeches were to be given by such notables as the Mayor (and some people I never heard of) wasn’t exactly overflowing with humanity either.

Such a pity. 

           

7

In a Last Minute Fashion

I thought I’d post some fashion sketches I did yesterday for my daughter, the furniture designer.  She’s going to the big furniture market in N. Carolina on Sunday and she asked me (kind of at the last minute…ahem) if I would do some sketches from fashion magazine photos that were her inspiration for several of the pieces in her current furniture line. 

Kind of reminds me of when I used to hear “Mom, I need a diorama of the solar system for Mrs. Krabopple’s class today” as the kids were getting ready for school.

So, like the wonderful mommy that I am, here they are:

6

Attention Walmart Flossers…

When I got out of my car at Walmart today, a used flosspick was on the pavement next to my parking spot:

 

 

Question of the day:  If there are people who go to Walmart who actually use flosspicks, why are so many of them missing teeth?
Would these products do more to encourage Walmart shoppers to floss?

 

Somehow, I don’t think this next one would be popular:

Or, we could resort to our baser natures and go for the dog butt floss dispenser:

                             

Why do I notice stuff like used flosspicks?
You can take the girl out of dental hygiene, but you can’t take the dental hygienist out of the girl.  
Or something. 
7

Early Bird Special

My husband and I went to a school function this morning for our granddaughter who’s in first grade.  She and her brother attend a small private school, one which has a fantastic curriculum with a particular emphasis on reading and the arts.  (Some of the kids’ paintings would put many adult would-be artists to shame—myself included.)

Today’s special program was a puppet show presented by the first graders.  It was an adaptation of the story “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.”  Each child in the class had a role and created his or her own puppet to go with it.  Our granddaughter, S., was chosen by the teacher as one of the two narrators of the story.  Her best friend, C.K., was the other one. 

Wow, can these kids read!  They stood up to the microphone and did an excellent job—even when the microphone started blaring feedback shortly after S. started.  Luckily, that was corrected and S. continued with her narration, completely unfazed by the air raid siren volume of racket that so rudely interrupted her.  I was exceedingly proud of her.  I told her teacher that only a couple of years ago S. was a shy little flower who didn’t want anyone to look at her and got very upset if she thought anyone might be laughing at her. 

Today, she was Ethel Merman on Broadway.  Way to go!

The puppet show was scheduled for 11:00 am and since we live about eleven miles outside of town we calculated that we should leave home about 10:20 to give us enough time to get to the school before the show started.  (I hate to be one of those people who comes straggling in after something has already begun.  Maybe it’s because everyone turns around and looks at you—gee, I wonder where S. got her phobia about not wanting to be looked at?  Hmmm…..)

It turns out we left home a little early, about 10:15, so we arrived at the school just a bit after 10:30—way too soon because the kids were out on the playground and there weren’t many other cars in the vicinity that looked like they belonged to fellow puppet show attendees.   We sat there for a minute and then decided we’d go to the post office and pick up our mail first and then come back.

My husband asked “Why is it old people are always early to everything and young people are always late?”

I just looked at him and replied “It’s because young people have a life.”

But, if we did have a life, we might have been too busy to see Ethel…er…S. in her big performance. 

I much prefer it this way.  Here’s to the Early Birds.