Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Commie Plot To Kill Us All

My friend Pat Simms wrote an article in the State Journal about the big fluoride debate in Poynette, and it brought back a flood of childhood memories not only about fluoridating water, but polio, the red menace, fallout shelters, and the like.

Some dweeb who’s a village trustee in Poynette has “researched” fluoridation on the internet and has determined to his satisfaction that it’s poison. Well, it is, Mr. Dweeb, and so is water, if you drink too much of it. Apparently, he and his little committee just shut off the fluoridation equipment and didn’t tell anybody about it, and when the locals finally found out, they got mad, and are now engaged.

I remember the big debates in my small home town of Hortonville, up in the Fox Valley, about fluoridation back in the 50’s. Joe McCarthy, the man from a few miles away in Appleton who saw commies everywhere, had the public’s eyes and ears. This fluoridation thing was just another commie plot to kill all the capitalists, said Senator Joe. Since I palled around with the village dentist’s kids, at least I had another perspective on putting fluoride in the water. Long story short, the village board went ahead with the commie plot and never looked back.

The article also made me recall something from the same time-frame: memories of standing in line with the rest of the village folks to get the Salk vaccine against polio. We trekked to the high school and stood in line to get the vaccine. The postmaster’s son had polio. He was my age, and struggled to get around with his braces and crutches. The vaccine came too late for him.
I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just our proximity to Tail-Gunner Joe’s home base that led to the “atom-bomb attack drills” we had in grade school. We knew so little about the affects of radiation at the time that it was widely assumed that if we could survive the explosion - by ducking under our desks when CONELRAD warned us - we’d emerge unscathed to rise up and fight the commies. For those who didn’t happen to be in school when the commies struck, the basement of the village hall was the officially-designated fallout shelter. We knew fallout was dangerous, but had no clue as to how dangerous until the 60’s.

It’s interesting how the cycles of history work. Growing up in the 50’s, most kids were worried by the prospect of dying in an A-Bomb attack by the commies. First, my kids were concerned they’d become victims of a Columbine-style attack on their school….now, it’s terrorists with “dirty bombs”. What goes around, comes around.


  1. Ah, hilarity! The Poynette dweebster should spend his time researching how to get the village's name spelled correctly. It was supposed to be named after a 19th century fur trader named Pierre Paquette but the locals somehow contrived to spell it wrong. Blame it on a paucity of fluoride in the water, maybe?

    Whatever Tail-Gunner Joe drank (probably not a lot of water - fluoridated or no), he was good at preparing Appleton to fend off the Red Menace. He helped the local Civil Defense brownies acquire an impressive fleet of military-surplus vehlcles - mostly worn-out trucks and buses, as I recall. They sat parked and, one suspects, generally inoperative, beside the railroad tracks along West College Avenue for years.

    During many of those years an elite band of civil defenders, fueled by the same sort of overheated patriotic hyperbole we've seen in recent years, stood vigilant, high above the city atop the Aid Association for Lutherans building, scanning the horizon for Russian bombers. Or so everyone thought. It turned out they were in the rooftop security shack playing pinochle a good bit of the time.

    I'd like to think it ended when folks finally realized that if Russian bombers were over Appleton, that would be a problem far beyond anything the binocular-armed spotters had prepared to deal with.

  2. Hey Tim . This is the Dweeb from Poynette. I can't say I have seen you at any of our meetings. It's nice of you to offer your uneducated comments to our debate down here though. I'd be happy to see all of the scientific evidence you have that fluoride is 100% safe and effective. Why don't you go have a 64oz. prime rib at the Black Otter and see if you can't educate some of their patrons on the health benefits of overeating. I'm sure your comments would be appreciated as much there as the comments you made here are.

  3. By the way, for the record. We informed the public ahead of time, held a public hearing on the issue(which noone attended), and have seen opposition by less than 10 people. I suppose you recieved all of your information from Patt? She must know all, I spoke to her for....gosh ...almost 5 minutes on the phone.LOL!