Michele Grgas Thomas The Triplicate

On this night of the warmest day of the year, it's hard to keep my mind focused on writing a column. The sunset over my left shoulder is such a distraction. As I stare out the window at that bright orange glow, I think I must be living in the best place in the world.

The weather today has been as close to perfect as I could wish for. If only we had more of these days! But if we did we'd never find a stretch of beach to walk the dogs or enough unbroken sand dollars to fill the basket in the guest room. If our weather were like this all the time, Del Norte County would be so crowded with people and congested with traffic that we'd never be able to hear the foghorn.

I have to disagree with the woman who finds the foghorn noise offensive. It's one of the reasons I choose to live near the ocean. I love the soundtrack of foghorns and buoy bells. At my last home in Brookings I had to really strain to hear the foghorn. Where we live now the foghorn sometimes is drowned out by the barking of the sea lions.

On this balmy evening as I try to concentrate on writing this column I keep thinking about things that bug me like someone complaining about the foghorn. Here's another one: Three women, all of them younger than me, called me "Hon" last Saturday. "Hon!" Where did that come from?

Remember when a young Triplicate reandshy;porter used the term "elderly"

to describe a woman in her fifties? Most of us ladies in that

demographic came unglued and let him know it. I wonder if I'm the only

woman who thinks being called "Hon" is demeaning? The only person who

could ever call me "Hon" and get away with it is Rick, and he knows


And while we're talking about people who get under your skin, let's

talk about what I call "the great divide." You know what I'm talking

about: left and right; blue and red; D and R. Personally, I'm sick of

it. I'm tired of the bickering, the name-calling, the radio and TV

cacophony, and the overreaction to cartoons.

If I had my way, we wouldn't have a political cartoon in The

Triplicate. I've never cared much for cartoons andndash; political or

otherwise. But since the editorial cartoon is an anticipated element of

every editorial page, challenging the reader to see the irony, the

satire, the ridiculous or the obvious, I think it's more important to

defend keeping it than to even consider removing it. The editorial or

opinion page is just that andndash; a place where opinions are stated and

different voices can be heard.

As passionate as we each may be about our beliefs, values, fears,

dreams, hopes or government, there is no reason to spew hatred at each


My mind wanders again to various events last weekend where we

demonstrated that we have more in common as a community than not. I am

reassured because people of all sizes, shapes and political

affiliations gathered at the soccer fields in Beachfront Park to play

together; in a big blue hangar in Brookings to support the Wild Rivers

Community Foundation and its good work; at the Hampton Inn to honor

Rick Bennett's tribute to Ruby Van Deventer; and in St. Joseph Church

to pray with the family of Bruno de Solenni on the anniversary of his

death. Last weekend Del Norte County exploded with examples of finding

common ground.

And as long as we can do that, as long as we can be civil and

respectful and generous and supportive of each other and our community,

then I know I am living in the best place in the world.

Reach Michele Thomas, The Daily Triplicate's publisher, at 464-2141, or stop by 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.