Bomber Mascot Crisis
Issue # 9 ~ 08/02/01
Today's comments submitted by:

Gordon McDonald (56), John Northover (59)
Burt Pierard (59), Judy Willox (61)
Susie Shaver (63), Dave Miller (67)
Pam Pyle (69), Kathie Moore (69)
Carolyn Schneider (81), Jil Lytle (82)
>>From: Gordon McDonald (56)

I have read most of the rhetoric about this 'crisis'.
Much of it shows that there are many alumni who are
intelligent, thinking beings and they make a lot of good
points with regard to history.  However, I think the
'frenzy' has gotten out of hand and it is time for cooler
heads to prevail.

Like several others, I have not seen anything from the
school board that talks about changing the nickname from
Bombers to something else.  We can read into their
statement and actions anything we want to.  But, the
issue for them is simply, "Are we going to accept 'The
Bomb' as an alumni gift to symbolize the school mascot?"
There is no valid reason for them to not accept it.  The
school nickname is Bombers and that is a bomb!  While
placing a green and gold painted B-17 or B-29 on a
pedestal outside the school would be pretty cool also,
that might require a little too much space.  On the other
hand, maybe we could place it in the parking lot where
the reserved parking spaces for the school board
currently are!  Hmmm.

If the school board (or administration) only sees this as
a matter of political correctness and doesn't agree to
give the mascot a prominent place at the school, the
answer is also simple.  The next elected school board
will love the mascot!

-Gordon McDonald (56)
>>From: John Northover (59)

Missy Keeney (59),

NO NAME CHANGE ????  ...  Welllllll....  WHY NOT  ...
Now what will we have to cry about???  Holy mackerel ...
the only issue left is the physical position of the
BOMB???  ...  My life just blew UP!

Actually, when you stop and think about it ...  If this
is the greatest-biggest-most important issue in our
lives...  We are do'n OK!

take care
john '59 

-John Northover (59)
>>From: Burt Pierard (59)

To: Missy Keeney (59)

When you said (BMC #8), "No one -- I repeat, NO ONE -- is
suggesting changing the Bomber name!!," it indicates to
me that you are listening to Aagaard, the Spin Guy, and
not to what Semler, the Superintendent, said to Roy
Ballard (63).

Roy has tried to warn us, TWICE, that Semler has murkier
motives than merely the permitting of our Bomb.  The
first time was in the Alumni Sandstorm, 7/22/01, after he
met personally with Semler, "Just a note that Semler also
told me.  The school board will make the decision to
accept the mascot bomb,or not accept.  Also, that the
school board would also decide whether or not to keep the
name bombers and the plane or bomb."

The second time was in the BMC #2, 7/25/01, when he
wrote, "Steve Aagaard's [RSD Communications Manager]
reply to John Allen's query stated said that he had heard
nothing of the subject, and, since he wasn't in the
meeting with Semler and me, he probably hasn't.  Semler's
statement to me was that the school board would decide
whether or not to accept the bomb gift and the school
board can change the name and mascot if it decides to do
so; but the vote by the students in 1990 and any other
time means zip."

Since none of us knows exactly how the RSB Agenda Item is
going to be worded and whether that wording will exclude
expanding the item at the meeting, it is of utmost
importance that we show up at the meeting, in strength,
to ensure that the permitting is the only issue under

Bomber Cheers,
-Burt Pierard (59) ~ Monroe, WA
>>From: Judy Willox Hodge (61)

To: Aaron Johnson (82)

Boy Aaron, I wish that I had not been so angry and hurt
when I wrote MY response to Carolyn Schneider (81)
(which, of course, did NOT see the light of day as it
should have gone directly to -- nay, BURIED in -- the
Sandbox posthaste!) as you said nearly everything that I
wanted to say to her and SOOOOO much more eloquently and
diplomatically!!  I should have taken the time like you
did BEFORE I answered her and cooled off a LOT before I
put keyboard to computer!!  LOL!!  Thank you for doing
what I set out to do and in such a lovely manner!  You
are to be commended!!  See you at the meeting the 14th of

To: All Bombers

All of this talk of our beautiful new mascot and the
trauma that she has gone through brought about a new
nightmare thought in my mind's eye.  Does anyone know of
the whereabouts of our "old" Bomber mascot -- the little
bomb that I grew up with and that our cheerleaders used
to bring out and cheer around back in the days of
"old"?!!  Has she met with the fate of a storage shed;
or, is she where she belongs: in the Richland High School
gym?  Last time I saw her was at the R2K reunion in June
of 2000.  We tried to borrow her for our Class of '61
reunion, but we never did get her and now I'm not sure
why.  Where is "Little Bomb"?  We all know where "Big
Bomb" is right now!!  NOT where she belongs!!  We MUST
get her back home soon, as God alone knows what the
"termination winds" will do to her if left out to the
elements for long!!  *G*!!  Sorry guys, I KNOW I keep
calling our mascots her -- no offense meant!!  LOL!!

Bomber Cheers and Pride with no Fear to Fight!! (My new
fight chant!  *G*! -- anyone care to join in?) :)

-Judy Willox Hodge (61)
>>From: Susie Shaver Caldwell (63)

Do you realize that the day of the MEETING, August 14th,
is actually on the anniversary of V.J. Day?!!!!!  How
appropriate!   We need to uphold the mascot on the very
day that the Japanese surrendered to the USA!  GO
BOMBERS!  I wish I could be there!

Love ya, 

-Susie Shaver Caldwell (63)
>>From: Dave Miller (67)

Well, I wonder what these people who do not like the name
Bombers or the Warriors would think if they had lived in
that time?  My father (Robert Miller) was on Luzon,
Philippines and contracted a malarial/viral infection
while protecting a mountain (Presidential Unit Citation
-- lost 50% casualties) and then went on to be stationed
as part of the occupying forces in Nagasaki.

After taking the family to Richland from Longview Wa. in
1958 he worked for Huck's floor covering until about 1968
when he went to work at the N reactor, then my folks
moved back to Illinois in 1970.  I don't think he
realized that where he worked could affect his health and
that the plutonium from Hanford was part of the bombs for
Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but something came back, a viral
infection called Shy-Drager Syndrome and it is mis-
diagnosed almost all the time.

My dad was proud of the name Bombers and of my class
ring, although when I try to explain to other people
they don't understand.  I still have the graduation
announcement from 1967 which explains what each symbol
stands for and if I could scan it I would for Maren.

For the old people including me I always remember the
words of Chief Joseph (he would have been proud that we
named our team the Warriors after him), "I am tired of
fighting.  Our chiefs are killed....  It is cold and we
have no blankets.  The little children are freezing to
death.  My people, some of them, have away to the hills
and have no blankets, no food. (A hundred or so, mostly
wounded, reached Sitting Bull's camp in Canada; they were
only one mile short of the border) ...  My heart is sick
and sad.  From where the sun now stands, I will fight no
more, forever."  There is a great festival every year (I
think still) in Joseph, Oregon near Lake Wallowa, also
the place where Walter Breenen (sp) is buried (I heard
once).  (Oh shoot .....  who the hey was he?  Good movie
about Chief Jo "I will cry no more forever".)

Put the bomb back; it was in a good place; let the kids
remember or find out what to remember about their town
and what built it.

"Good night Mrs. Kalibash wherever you are?" --Jimmy
Durante.  (Whippersnappers are saying, "who the hey was

-Dave Miller (67)

Sorry, Rick Maddy (67); got laid off; am not going to
Maui this year; see you next year unless we go during
whale season.  Bombers Rule!
>>From: Pam Jewett-Bullock (nee Pyle '69)

Reply to Chuck Monasmith (65):

Chuck, for the record, I did not intend to draw any
symbolic comparison between the Bomber mascot (bombshell)
and the Confederate Flag in a recent missive.  Rather, I
meant to compare or focus on the behavior of those who
prefer to revise history by censuring, retiring, or
otherwise removing from public display and study many
symbols of our nation's history.  And, no matter what
your personal opinion of these symbols, they are just
that -- artifacts of another time in our great nation.
Furthermore, no matter what else it may be, retiring
things from public view is also censure.  (By the way,
Chuck, based upon your comment about the Confederate
Flag, I'd surely enjoy being a "mouse in the corner"
while you debate public display of that particular
historic symbol with a couple of the citizens of the
"great Commonwealth of Virginia."  :-) )  I apologize if
my choice and use of one historic symbol over another in
the original missive was a source of personal "irk" for
you.  I could have used others, to be sure, but that one
is so often "front and center" back here in Virginia that
it was the most readily accessible at the time in the
"recesses of my mind."

Since I don't want to stray off the point any further,
I'll repeat here that I am absolutely and emphatically
against any move to change either the name of the team or
its historic mascots, the bombshell and mushroom cloud.
(I'd suggest hanging a beaver tail on the nose of the
bombshell, but I'm just sure somebody would accuse me of
something between a mildly warped sense of humor and a
sadistic psychosis.)

Always a Bomber,
-Pam Jewett-Bullock (nee Pyle '69)   
>>From: Kathie Moore(69)

To: Missy Keeney (59)

From the 7-22-01 Alumni Sandstorm:
    Just a note that Semler also told me.  The school
board will make the decision to accept the mascot bomb,
or not accept.  Also, that the school board would also
decide whether or not to keep the name bombers and the
plane or bomb.
    Did I hear the word    RECALL IN THE FUTURE??????

-Roy Ballard (63)

So YES, Missy -- Mr. Semler is "threatening" to remove
the name of the Bombers.  There are a few very out-spoken
teachers at Richland High School, some of whom;are
Bombers, that do not like the Bomb and they wanted it out
of there (they were actually overheard by a Bomber
parent).  That is their choice, the teachers that are
against the Bomb have nothing to lose in speaking out.
Whereas the teachers that are for the Bomb would have a
hard time going against the school board.  The kids are
out for the summer and they can't be there to know what
is going on, which is the saddest part.

Gifts to the Richland School District are nothing new.
They have accepted thousands of dollars in equipment and
even whole cars, with no "proper" paper work; true facts.
We even gave a love seat to our school so that the kids
could sit next to an adult to read.  I also volunteered
enough of my time to our school to win the Golden Acorn
Award, is that not a gift -- and, believe me, no one
asked me to fill out any paper work.

I am a "Union Puke," always have been, was raised by one
and married one.  The Richland district union maintenance
had no problem with our PTA painting the inside of our
school -- they even gave us the paint.  And I helped --
'cause it was either paint it for our kids or they kept
the ugly walls.  So, evidently the district's rules are
only ones of convenience.  This was and is a political
move; this has nothing to do with quality of education.

My son is to graduate in 2008, and he wants to be a
Bomber.  He has had first-hand experience in seeing how
Bombers come together to be there for each other.  He
already knows that Bombers help each other.  Everyone is
entitled to their opinion but you only get three minutes
to talk at a school board meeting and letters to the
editor [of the TCH] can only be 200 words, so write to
them, be there if you can, let them know your opinion.
Yes, we will all be Bombers no matter what happens but
what of future classes?  The kids have voted in the past
to be Bombers and to have the Bomb, I think that's the
way it should be.

This Bomb wasn't made to resemble any other bomb, it was
never meant to offend anyone.  It was never meant to
glorify war.  It was just a bunch of nice guys trying to
do a nice thing for their old school.  The school already
had Bombs, so why not one more?  Who would've guessed,

Went to the 1966 35th reunion this last weekend; it was
wonderful.  They had the small Bomb there.  Made me glad;
I'm still proud to be a Bomber.

Jimmie and Steven agree, so sign us:
Kathie Moore (69) and Jim Adair (66) and Steven Adair (08)
Proud Bombers in West Richland

-Kathie Moore (69)
>>From: Carolyn Schneider (81)

To: Aaron Johnson (82)

First of all, according to one alumni-poster it appears
there is no threat of losing the "beloved" Bomber name.
Where did this whole issue come from, anyway?  Did
someone once upon a time suggest it might be a good idea
and then the reaction of it got all out of hand?

Second, I believe this issue has nothing to do with
history itself but merely a school name.  You can make it
a historical issue, though, and rave on and on about the
significance all you want, which you all seem to be
doing.  Knock yourselves out!  History wouldn't be
changed because a school mascot name was changed.
Memories wouldn't be changed, either.  However, if the
Bomber mascot WERE to be changed (which it apparently IS
NOT), I would have no attachment to it and would most
certainly be OK with it.  The name of my high school
mascot also has nothing to do with who I am.  It would
have no effect on me if they changed it.  I hear they
changed my junior high school mascot from the Chief Jo
Warriors to the Eagles.  That's fine; it doesn't affect
me a bit and it didn't hurt my memories or the future of
the kids attending the school.  You can call it lack of
pride or loyalty or whatever you want, but I call it
having the discernment to be able to let go and move on,
as I've had to do that with many many MANY things and
people in my life.  But they're apparently not changing

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

Re: Aaron Johnson's (82) letter

You said it Aaron!

Your letter was very informative and to the point.  It
would help if we all would take a moment to review just
what this issue is all about.  Our local history needs to
be preserved for those who were directly a part of the
making and for those who are responsible for keeping the
history and memories alive.

Nuke 'em!

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