While traveling to Lafayette in 2002 I noticed a sign off the interstate containing 2 pictures with the captions “Then” and “Now”. “Then” showed a picture of 5 mediocre, lack luster, basketball players enjoying a game of basketball in the high school gym (a portrait of sportsmanship, team play and competition to build character). “Now” displayed a picture of a huge, savvy, basketball player slam dunking the goal while letting out a loud roar in triumph (a display of raw, defiant, in-your-face power for money, status and sponsorships). Now, winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing. That billboard took me down memory lane. I would like to expound on the “Then” and “Now”. “Then”: The stores were closed on Sunday and after church everyone went to grandma’s house for supper (aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, children, grandchildren, etc.). They talked and laughed while the babies, children and grandchildren played. “Now”: Grandma is in the nursing home, everyone else is out shopping, partying, and sports worshiping on Sunday. Due to adultery and divorce the children are often thrown into 4 or 5 different families. “Then” we enjoyed shows like “Andy Griffith”, “Father Knows Best” and “Leave it to Beaver”. “Now”: Children and adults are perverted with the “Simpsons”, “Victoria’s Secret”, MTV, and movies filled with sexual perversion and murder. The most common question that I receive from people after they discover that my wife and I have 11 children is “what does your wife do, where does she work?” My reply is “She is a wife and mother”. Astonished that such an archaic lifestyle still exists, they ponder on those golden years of “IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE”. In wake of the infamous anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, we should reminisce of the good old days when our mothers would never have thought of killing us!

Richard Mahoney

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