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Catholic Northwest Progress
Seattle, Washington
November 8, 1963     Catholic Northwest Progress
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November 8, 1963
 

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b--THE PROGRESS Fr;day, Nov. 8, 1963 d Christian Culture Series (Chapter IV) ] By ED DOHOHOE F EVERYONE in the Uni.ted States were suddenly to quit driving, the naton would enter a period of complete economic collapse. No less an authority for this statement is Robert Moses, plan- ner, builder, civic leader, and the synthesis of Joe Gandy and Ewen C. Dingwall for New York's coming World's Fair. Moses is a man who spurns the tablet form; he is of positive opinion and relishes his own best of all. His statement was in argu- ment for superhighways ringing the city of New York, and if they mean cutting out the picture portion of a park, obli.terating the restive view of a river, and bringing to a metropolis odors better left to a garbage scow in the middle of nowhere, that's the price one must pay for progress. Without a nation on wheels,.the automotive industry would go belly up. Steel would fall, followed by mines and petroleum, spare parts, sales, service, lending institutions, highway construction and maintenance. The whole ball of wax would melt right before our very eyes... Omnia Detroitus Delenda Est was not spoken only of Tigers and Lions. It's not a pretty picture Mr. Moses paints and he needn't fear that such would come to pass. Even the Kennedys couldn't afford thks--politically or fiscally. ET, we often wonder what would happen if a smaller segment of our society--those lovable and unpredictable teenagers--was to declare against driving. What end results could we expect here from such an impossible switch? For starters, there would be: 1. Less anxiety in the home. 2. Better grades in school. 3. A cut in youth mortality rates. 4. Happiness, sheer happiness. Not being one to bore a reader with statistics compounded by more statistics proving only that the writer can be shifty with figures, we will merely cop a plea for more restraint on the teenagers' hellbent desire to drJ.ve. This over-rated necessity (they say right, and I say privilege) has gotten completely out of hand. Owning a car, or having the use of one, is a status symbol in the tenderest years, out of whack with anything slightly resembling common sense. Yet, who is to blame? Consider this tableau in today's living room. It makes the best of families a little worse for exposure. The father is heavily engrossed in the business section of the evening newspaper. He muses to himself one of those little mind bets we all entertain. (For passing up Chrysler last year, today I still have to work for a living.) In shuffles the gangling teenage son, jeans two sizes too tight, managing to mumble an audible: "Dad, can I have the keys to the car?" "Huh, what? Don't bother me, boy. Take your mother's car." At least, the father returns to his muse, he didn't buy a Chry- sler to improve some other boob's life e Ed Donohoe Ed|tor, Washington Teamster Member of St. Patrick's Parish, Seattle 'EEN-AGERS NEED PARENTS HE HOME today sn't restricted to a single family car. Two, three or even more are often making the exception part of the rule: It means something to have a fleet of Detroit-iron balanced by either compacts or sports numbers poised in the carport like a suburban agency's display room, or standing at the curb like something is going on ha the house 24 hours a day. What the Jones have, we've got to double. After all, it beats being an unpaid chauffeur when you're tired after a hard day's work. A school or church is required by law to provide parking space almost equal to the number of participants. These institutions today resemble a supermarket on the busiest afternoon. The selection of a school is predicated on its accessibility by car--junior doing the driv- ing, of course. There's no use for Dad to recite his tiresome litany of privations describing how HE made it to school through rain, sleet or slush on a belly of mush via shanks mare--who is there to believe him? Why waste your breath, you'll need it climbing upstairs tonight. As long as our lawmakers, with an eye to the future voter if he lives that long, provide the 16-year-old with a statute to drive, it now behooves our seats of secondary learning to teach the student to drive safely. Generally the kid who wrote the book on the funda- mentals, is way ahead of the class. And another function of the home is conveniently usurped by an outskie agency to make life easier for the parents. Is it all for the best? Not to hear Nard Jones, chief editorial writer for the Post- IT COULD be a supermarket or a suburban industrial plant. But it is, instead, a bird's-eye view of the Bellevue High School parking lot and tTpical of the "wheel-ized" high school. Intelligencer, tell it. In a moving column recently he concocted a col- loquy with his daughter, Lawrie Anne, not quite 16, but the pos- sessor of a little piece of paper worth its weight in gold called a learner's permit. His reluctance and outright fears of handing over the keys to the car are bundled in these few chosen words: "I am turning over to you a ton missile that can kill and maim, and I am turning over to you a target for other ton missiles that can kill and maim. "The pure physics of a ton of steel and glass striking another ton of steel and glass at only 30 miles an hour is horrible to con- template. It is my observation that few girls and almost no boys con- sider a car as a deadly projectile, which it is... "But why go on? This thing has to be. There has to come the time when you pass the tests, get the first license, and solo. "But stay alert, and we'll pray." OU CAN SEE the resignation of Nard Jones to the inevitable. Even Sheriff Jack D. Porter, after citing every reason imaginable against parents granting unlimited car privileges (not rights, mind you) to their children, was moved to write: "I' think grades andcar can .mix--providing we parents con- trol the mix." Ask any educator at the junior or senior high school level what effect unlimited use of a car by the student has on his or her grades. Out of 20,000 tested recently, the downward bend of the grade point average was accentuated by the times the car was used. It was shocking. What probably couldn't be recorded in the study was the neglect of concentration on the part of the student, and the substitu- tion of a "place in the sun" through ownership of, or priority to, a car for a better than passing grade. No matter how we contr,ve to avoid the responsibility of supervision, again and again the problem is laid at the doorstep of the home. Is there a way out short of a depression which no one in their right mind wants? We think so, at the risk of being called a senseless dreamer. ACH YEAR all Catholics- which include those teenagers -- are urged to observe the holy season of Lent through penance, sacrifice and self-reflection. The Church is not harsh in the outward sign de- partment, and recommends that we abstain from such small luxuries as sweets, meats or movies. Ski jumping, far from the distinction of a universal participant sport, is excluded from the list. The fellow who says he gave it up for Lent may well also be the livest coward in the block. We have sometimes wondered, when movies were the favorite indoor pastime, what good came from giving them up in one short period, if a fan went hogwild on a chaema binge starting Easter Sun- day. This twister now seems answerd by the perfection of television, Chapter V Will Be "Going Steady" By Mrs. John Wiegenstein If Will Be Published November 22 something we could give up without the slightest hint of remorse. But what would happen if every Catholic teenager in the Arch- diocese were to give up driving---other than an extreme emergency-- for the 40-day Lenten season? The nation, nor the Northwest for that matter, wouldn't be prostrate, that's for sure. There would be less dis- traction in school and happiness would at least temporarily engulf anxiety in the home. Our Catholic high schools could run up a special flag on the pole signifying that all the students of THIS school have taken the "no driviaag pledge" during Lent, and are observing!that pledge. I might take some monitoring on the part of the Lettennen's Club, they would be better occupied on this kind of project than around combing that hirsute which could pass for t scouring Cards could be handed out at the Sunday Ma;s prior to Wednesday to be signed by the teenager with a driver's license, countersigned by at least one of the parents. It woukl be a affair (where this problem belongs); something to talc over in confines of the home. There would be no law to guide you, no torial writer to chide you, no police offizer to ride you. This Catholic Action idea is so simple it just might work Any volunteers to pass out the cards? Something To Talk About... 1. Do most teenagers consider ownership or use of an automobile as a right oe a privilege? How would you go about impressing upon them that driving is first of all a responsibility? 2. Should teenagers have to earn insurance and gas money before ey can drive? 3. To what degree are parents responsible for the physical, mental aid moral harm that results from misuse of the family automobile? 4. What do you think of Mr. Donohoe's idea of encouraging teemgers to give up driving for Lent? Do you have any other practical suggestons for linking supernatural motivation with driving? 6. How about your own driving habits- are your own driving hal:its as parent above reproach? 7. What have the teenagers to say in rebuttal to your arguments in favor of limited use of the family car? --SPONSORS--THIS SERIES OF CCD ARTICLES ARE PUBLISHED THROUGH THE KIND COOPERATION OF THE BALLARD BLOSSOM SHOP 2001 N.W. Market St. Seattle SU 2-4213 SUNNY JIM FOOD PRODUCTS 815 S. Adams St. Seattle. MA 3.8276 L. G. MASSART PLUMBING & HEATING CO. 4501 9th Ave. N.W. Seattle SU 3.6850 FIRMS LISTED BELOW BONNEY.WATSON FUNERAL DIRECTORS 1732 Broadway Snaffle EA 2-0013 JOHN SCHILLER WOOLEN CLEANERS AND LAUNDRY Maln Plant: 120S So. 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