Bomber Mascot Crisis
Issue # 4 ~ 07/27/01
Editor's Note:

Two photos of our bomb at its (temporary) location: note
that these links are different from those which were in
Issue # 3:


Richard Anderson (60) -- Editor, Mascot Crisis
Today's comments submitted by:

Ralph Myrick (51), Bob Clowes (54)
John Northover (59), Donna Fredette (65)
David Rivers (65), Lee Bush (68)
Stephen Lewis (69), Rich Crigler (70)
Larry Crouch (71), Patty Sweetin (76)
Carolyn Schneider (81), Jil Lytle (82)

>>From: Ralph Myrick (51)

You know, I agree with all the Bomber alumni.  I was a
Bomber and will always be a Bomber regardless of what
happens.  I don't want to change our name.  I am proud to
wear my Bomber hat and T-shirts wherever I go.  I am
always ready to defend the logo, but no one has ever
challenged me.  I believe, with all my heart, that the
mushroom cloud and bomb should never be forgotten.  What
better way to show the new generations what war can be.
The Japanese admiral was correct when he launched those
planes to hit Pearl, "We have awakened a sleeping
giant!"  I don't want anyone, including the Japanese, to
forget that war, nor the bomb.  War is not a game.  It
kills people.

Another thing that burns my bones: I keep hearing about
how uncivilized we Americans were to drop the bomb, but I
never hear about the tortures that the Japanese placed on
our men in prison camps.  Or, how about the Bataan Death
march?  I had some friends who were made to take that
march; one of them was told to run and the Japanese used
him for machine gun practice.  When he was picked up,
there wasn't one bullet hole in him; he died from
exhaustion.  Tony Bolf, a friend of ours, told us that
story.  He also said that when the lame or sick would
fall or couldn't keep up, the Japanese soldiers would
bayonet them.  Tony was a living survivor.

Let's not let Americans forget.  WAR IS HELL!  KEEP THE

-Ralph Myrick (51)
>>From: Bob Carlson, aka Mike Clowes (54)

For Roy Ballard (63):

Did I understand you correctly that Rich Semler said the
school board could change school and mascot names any
time they wanted to?  Would this be at his bidding?  If
so, perhaps we need send a small delegation to "share our
thinking" with him.

For Terry Warner (65):

I've been by Castle Rock High many times.  I always
thought it interesting that the school would display what
appears to be a Bomarc missile.

Maybe we could all resolve the issue by calling ourselves
the Toledo Mudhens; but then maybe not, as we would have
to answer to Corporal Klinger.

Now as for some muddied thinking about the dropping of
"Fat Man" and "Little Boy"; it was not done willy-nilly
or for spite.  That the two bombs hastened the end of the
war is not in dispute.  What they accomplished was to
save lives.  Remember the Viet Nam briefer who said, "We
had to destroy the village in order to save it."?  It is
the old "sacrifice the few to save the many" gambit.
Casualty estimates for the landing forces were 100,000 in
the first week.  Calculations of Japanese casualties
ranged into the millions.  Just think what this could
have meant to the Class of 1963; some of them would not
be here.

To be sure, war is harmful to children and other growing
things.  Just using "conventional" weapons decimated most
of Germany and Japan.  If the U.S. government stuck to
that policy, most of Japan and Germany would be parking

So, enough of the angst on dropping the Bomb; it was
done, rightly or wrongly, it was done.  And this August
say a prayer for ALL who died during the war.

-Bob Carlson, aka Mike Clowes (54)
>>From: John Northover (59)

Please try and remember that any 'intelligent and
thoughtful person' would be on the only side to be on if
they were on the side that was the correct side.  The
other side only has people that are on the other side --
neither here nor there; just the other side -- and they
should stay there.

I am not sure anyone was "Proud" that we dropped bombs on
Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  I think many [most -- just about
everyone] were justifiably "Proud" of the necessary
effort to be able to build the "BOMB".  People were
"Proud" of being part of the team that participated in
building a device that so decisively ended the war;
saving an uncountable number of lives.  Not only American
lives but Japanese lives as well.

Remember how hard the Japanese fought for the islands
they occupied in the Pacific.  Ask a veteran who
participated in any of the landings.  They took an island
by inches -- an inch at a time.   This land did not even
belong to the Japanese.  Can you imagine the mind-set our
men would have met had they invaded Japan?  There were
estimates of losing hundreds of thousands of American
lives simply to subdue the Japanese with a land invasion.
We may have lost more lives in that effort than all the
lives that had been lost in all the wars we had been
involved in prior to WWII.

If we would have had to invade ..... what would we do
today without ..... SONY, MITSBUSHI, HONDA .....?  Where
would we be if the Japanese had not made the investment
in America they have since the end of WWII?

The cost of ending the war with an invasion may have
bankrupted our country ..... thereby allowing Russia and
China to ..... swoop in!  OHHHhhh NOOOooo Mr. Bill .....
THE RED TIDE is here!!!  OOOOHHhhh NNNOOOooo .....
English as a second language in America -- what will the
neighbors think?

The school board is dealing with a sensitive issue.  It
all depends upon what the 'right thing' is.  The school
board sounds like them thar 'other side people'.  As the
'poem-est' said, "It don't matter what they do.  They can
change the name to the 'Spudnuts', 'Flattops', 'Rose
Bowls' -- what ever -- I will have bombs in my heart
until the end!!"

By the way ..... most of this is written with my cheek
holding my tongue in.

Yours in cosmic confusion
john '59

Second place is at the top of the looser list!!!

-John Northover (59)
>>From: Donna Fredette (65)

To: David Rivers (65)

GO DAVID!  I agree with you and everyone who has taken
the time to write in their opinion about changing the
name of the Bombers.  Well, we just won't recognize it.
Are we going to change the name of Americans to ??
because the whole world lives here now??  Political
correctness has gone too far.  I am proud to be a Bomber
alumna and always will be!  I really wish I could be at
that meeting.

-Donna Fredette (65)
>>From: David Rivers (65)

How many of you remember when Richland got its charter?
Remember what we did to celebrate?  That's right -- we
set off a huge faux BOMB in the lot north of Uptown. Gee!
I wonder why we did that?

-David Rivers (65)
>>From: Lee Bush (68)

Verbatim transcript of Lee's letter:


RE: Return the Bombshell

Mr. Semler:
Would you please share this letter with all members of
the Richland School Board plus enter it into the minutes
of the August 14, 2001 meeting, where the agenda contains
discussion of either accepting or refusing the bombshell
gift.  Due to other committements, I will be unable to

I am a 1968 graduate of Columbia High School (now known
as Richland High School).  I participated in the sports
program as a manager for the Sophomore Baseball Team,
J.V.Basketball Team and two Varsity Basketball Teams.  I
was proud to serve my school in this capacity.  All the
schools had mascots.  With pride, I remember our physical
mascot which was a green and gold painted bombshell that
stood about 3 feet high.  This bombshell was placed on
the sidelines of all sporting events and at half time
taken out onto the middle of the basketball court and/or
football field. Cheers were lead with this as the
centerpiece. It meant or means different things to
everyone, but to me one thing it symbolized was the
potential power to be unleashed on our opponents.  Just
as: a bulldog symbolized power and strength; a lion
symbolized ferociousness; a pirate symbolized braveness
and fierceness; a chieftain  symbolized leadership and
braveness; a panther symbolized strength and cunningness;
a cadet symbolized loyalty and strength; and a bluedevil
symbolized strength.  Over the years, some people evolved
into being "politically correct" entities. Afraid that
someone might be offended over an object that had no
meaning to them.  Therefore, elimination of the object
had to be accomplished at the expense of those that it
"meant" something to. I feel that if you are not from
Columbia or Richland High School, you have no input into
what its' mascot should be.  Only graduates and current
student body members have this input right.
Ask yourselves, if we accept this bombshell who are we
hurting?  No one.  My, God, it is just a bombshell that
represents our heritage.  Heritage means a lot to people.
If you don't think it does, then why do the Yakama
Indians raise such a roar when construction is proposed
on land long ago vacated by them?  Are they the only ones
allowed "heritage".

Do the right thing and return the bombshell gift and
display it proudly near all the trophies won by the teams
that unleashed their power, in the form of sports
competition, with the support of their fellow students
and community members.

Respectfully submitted,
Lee Bush 68'
[omitted --ed]
Richland, WA  99352

-Lee Bush (68)
>>From: Stephen Lewis (69)

Why wasn't the RHS bomb made to look more like the real
Fat Man bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki with Hanford
plutonium?  The shape is all wrong.  If we are to beat
our breasts about Bomber heritage, threaten to remove the
superintendent, etc., we should at least get it right.
People worked so hard to get all the information right
about the name change to Bombers, we should put the right
bomb in our alma mater.

-Stephen Lewis (69) -- Bothell WA
>>From: Rich Crigler (70)

Some of you have taken on the attitude that the school
board had to do this and we should be easy on them and
work this through the proper way.  You are wrong.  It is
the way they did it.  Did the bomb have to be cut out?
Did property and the bomb get damaged in the emergency
removal?  Could the bomb have stayed while it was going
through the proper gifting process?  Here's a guy who
built the Wall of Fame, numerous trophy cases, taping
tables for the trainers, and endless other items.  Do you
think he had to go through the gifting process for any of
that?  You have no idea how hard it is to be a volunteer
for the Richland School District.  The board and
superintendent made Roy Ballard look bad.  He has done
more for Richland Schools than all of them combined ever
have or will.  Do not feel sorry for them; we would be
better off if they all went CHOW CHASING.

-Rich Crigler (70)
>>From: Larry Crouch (71)

Hello all,

What the heck is going on?  I have not been paying
attention.  Is somebody thinking of changing the BOMBER

-Larry Crouch (71)
>>From: Patty Sweetin (76)

Having bombed Japan.  Tragic?  Yes.

Not having bombed Japan.  Tragic?  Yes, and likely many
more times so.

The bomb is part of human history.  It is the choosing of
a less destructive option over a more destructive option.
Not an ideal selection of choices but likely the correct

Political correctness is political bull crap in most
cases.  People can put their heads into the sand, like an
ostrich does, and pretend to deny reality.  However,
pretending is what they're doing.  If they know what
reality is, they can't fool even themselves.

-Patty Sweetin (76) -- Master of Science (Psychology),
                       Western Washington University
>>From: Carolyn Schneider (81)

I'm amazed that this mascot issue has even been an issue!
I think I recall, "What is in a name?  A rose by any
other name would still smell as sweet."  (Not sure if
that's exact; I was never really into Shakespeare.) Would
changing the mascot to something a little less
controversial change your memories?  Do you think it
would change (for the worse) the future at RHS?  Come on!
Many of you seem to have a death grip on an unimportant
part of the past and not moving forward.  Move on!  Move

-Carolyn Schneider (81)
>>From: Jil Lytle Smith (82)

Saw the Bomber Band semi with the bomb displayed today.
How awesome!  Hope all who saw is knows the history
behind that bomb and what we all can do to preserve it.

I too have heard many negative things being said about
the school board and some of the actions being taken by
others regarding this current issue.  But someone just
reminded me of a little phrase they learned while growing
up: "You can catch more flies with honey than with

Just a thought!!

Always a BOMBER!

-Jil Lytle Smith (82)
That's it for today.  Keep the faith!  Nuke 'em!
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