Sarasota News Leader

08/09/2013 & 08/16/2013

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Page 92 of 113

Sarasota News Leader August 9 & 16, 2013 OPINION immediately. I knew that I was innocent of all the charges — or at least I was unaware of the incident. But in the long run, sometimes it is more beneficial to cancel out a negative as quickly as possible, to get on with the business of having a positive and enjoyable lifestyle. Page 93 The judge's decision consisted of ordering me to pay a small fine and requiring me to do 25 hours of community service. Personally, I think I handled my first day in court very well — and here is hoping it will also be my last. % GRAVEYARD OF THE ELEPHANTS By Rodger Skidmore Contributing Writer These films, which had not been too hard for us to take when we and our children watched them in the theaters, had proved their value as diversions. Their titles had been imprinted on our memories, so when the films were released on VHS cassettes (not Betamax), we bought them without hesitation. (Or was it without too much whining from our chilNo, I am not referring to the (us) old folks as dren?) being useless, but to some of the stuff that Anyway, we bought them. And when they had we brought along when we packed everything grown old from hours of viewing, we knew up and trucked it all down here when we re- exactly what to do: We threw them out and tired to Sarasota. Specifically, the VHS video bought the Deluxe Limited Edition versions cassettes that, back in the day, we bought for of them, as we knew they would be played our children — Bambi, Mary Poppins, Peter Pan, Fantasia. Even The Lion King. Yes, old each day — or, at least, each weekend — until the end of time. and useless. COMMENTARY When elephants grow old and useless and have no value to anyone in the elephant community, they wander off into the jungle to die alone. That is a sad tale and one that is mirrored in Sarasota with all the old folks who retire here from elsewhere in the nation. Sure, they brought great pleasure to our children, who entertained themselves hour after hour watching these bright stars of the entertainment industry. And when the cassettes grew too grainy to watch, that just showed us they were achieving their intended purpose — keeping our kids out of our way while we got dinner ready, mowed the lawn, did the laundry or painted the garage doors. But then basketball or ballet lessons or hanging out with friends at the mall became more popular pastimes for our children. Even, can you imagine, homework interfered (sometimes, anyway) with our kids' viewing schedules. Thus, these new reincarnations of old favorites sat lonely on the shelf — yes, sort of like those toys in the Disney Toy Story franchise.

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