Lazarus's News & Word Bits

Classmate and Attorney Barry Lazarus has sent in both "good humor" for you to ponder as we think about our distant past, as well as some sobering information.  The News & Bits that impress him he hope will impress you also.

Item #3: (Sent in the spring of 2018)

A little history, most people will never know, of the war that raged in the time of our relative youth.

 Interesting Veterans Statistics off the Vietnam Memorial Wall.


There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010.


The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized. It is hard to believe it is 57 years since the first casualty.


The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth, Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965.


 There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall.


39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger.


 8,283 were just 19 years old.


The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old.


12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old.


5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old.


One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old.


997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam ..


 1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam.

 31 sets of brothers are on the Wall.


Thirty-one sets of parents lost two of their sons.


54 soldiers attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia. I wonder why so many from one school.


8 Women are on the Wall, Nursing the wounded.


244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall.


Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons.

West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation. There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall.


The Marines of Morenci - They led some of the scrappiest high school football and basketball teams that the little Arizona copper town of Morenci (pop. 5,058) had ever known and cheered. They enjoyed roaring beer busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado Trail, stalked deer in the Apache National Forest. And in the patriotic camaraderie typical of Morenci's mining families, the nine graduates of Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. Their service began on Independence Day, 1966. Only 3 returned home.


The Buddies of Midvale - LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood friends and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues. They lived only a few yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent sandlot ball field. And they all went to Vietnam. In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all three would be killed. LeRoy was killed on Wednesday, Nov. 22, the fourth anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. Jimmy died less than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day. Tom was shot dead assaulting the enemy on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.


The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 deaths.

The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 - 2,415 casualties were incurred.


For most Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created. To those of us who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain that these numbers created. We are, until we too pass away, haunted with these numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters. There are no noble wars, just noble warriors.


This is a reminder for those who served during this time, a few of whom may have come from our Class of 1958, and those who care to remember the war in our time. 

Item #2: (Sent in the fall of 2016)

Would you believe the email spell checker did not recognize the word murgatroyd?


Lost Words from our childhood:


Words gone as fast as the buggy whip! Sad really! The other day a not so elderly (65) lady said something to her son about driving a Jalopy and he looked at her quizzically and said what the heck is a Jalopy? OMG (new) phrase!  He never heard of the word jalopy!!  She knew she was old but not that old...


Well, I hope you are Hunky Dory after you read this and chuckle...

by Richard Lederer


About a month ago, I illuminated some old expressions that have become obsolete because of the inexorable march of technology. These phrases included "Don't touch that dial," "Carbon copy," "You sound like a broken record" and "Hung out to dry."

Back in the olden days we had a lot of Moxie. We'd put on our best bib and tucker to straighten up and fly right.

Heavens to Betsy!  Gee whillikers!  Jumping Jehoshaphat!   Holy moly!

We were in like Flynn and living the life of Riley, and even a regular guy couldn't accuse us of being a knucklehead, a nincompoop or a pill. Not for all the tea in China!

Back in the olden days, life used to be swell, but when's the last time anything was swell?

Swell has gone the way of beehives, pageboys and the D.A.; of spats, knickers, fedoras, poodle skirts, saddle shoes and pedal pushers.

Oh, my aching back. Kilroy was here, but he isn't anymore.

We wake up from what surely has been just a short nap, and before we can say, well I'll be a monkey's uncle!, or, This is a fine kettle of fish!  We discover that the words we grew up with,- the words that seemed omnipresent as oxygen have vanished with scarcely a notice from our tongues and our pens and our keyboards.

Poof, go the words of our youth, the words we've left behind. We blink, and they're gone. Where have all those phrases gone?

Long gone: Pshaw, The milkman did it.

Hey! It's your nickel.

Don't forget to pull the chain.   Knee high to a grasshopper.

Well, Fiddlesticks!   Going like sixty.   I'll see you in the funny papers.

Don't take any wooden nickles

Heavens  to  Murgatroyd!    


It turns out there are more of these lost words and expressions than Carter has liver pills.

This can be disturbing stuff !


We of a certain age have been blessed to live in changeful times.

For a child each new word is like a shiny toy, a toy that has no age.


We at the other end of the chronological arc have the advantage of remembering there are words that once did not exist and there were words that once strutted their hour upon the earthly stage and now are heard no more,except in our collective memory. It's one of the greatest advantages of aging. 

See ya later, alligator!


Item #1: (Barry's Aphorisms of 2013)


First: Definition of APHORISM:

     1: a concise statement of a principle, or

2: a terse formulation of a truth or sentiment: an adage
It's not whether you win or lose,
 but how you place the blame.
We have enough "youth"
How about a fountain of "smart"
The original point and click interface 
was a Smith & Wesson.
A Fool and his money
can throw one heck of a party
When blondes have more fun, do they know it?
Five days a week my body is a temple.
The other two it's an amusement park.
Money isn't everything,
but it sure keeps the kids in touch
Don't Drink and Drive!!
You might hit a bump and spill something.
If at first you don't succeed
skydiving is not for you.
Reality is only an illusion
that occurs due to a lack of alcohol.
We are born naked, wet and hungry.
Then things get worse.
Red meat is not bad for you: 
Fuzzy green meat is bad for you.
Ninety-nine percent of all lawyers
give the rest a bad name
Xerox and Wurlitzer will merge
to produce reproductive organs.
The latest survey shows that
three out of four people make
up 75% of the population.
"You know why a banana is like a politician?"
"He comes in and first he is green,
then he turns yellow
and then he's rotten."
"I think Congressmen should wear uniforms,
you know, like NASCAR drivers, so we could
identify their corporate sponsors."
The reason Politicians try so
hard to get re-elected is that they
would 'hate' to have to make a living

under the laws they've passed.