Bomber Mascot Crisis
Issue # 17 ~ 08/13/01
Today's comments submitted by:

Claris Van Dusen (48), Missy Keeney (59)
Larry Mattingly (60), Irene de la Bretonne (61)
Susie Shaver (63), Bill Wingfield (67)
Jim Anderson (72WB), Bomber Spouse (Kennewick '70)

>>From: Claris Van Dusen (48)

Thanks for all your updates on the Bomber Mascot Crisis.
As a 1948 alumna, I STRONGLY support all the great
comments submitted by all Bombers.  We are a proud group,
and rightfully so.  I joined the Richland Bombers as a
sophomore in 1945 and had no idea that they were called
anything else.  Whatever prompted the name and mascot
image was a true dedication to our place and times.
Nothing can change that -- nor any school board.  So
please -- those of you who have the power in these
alterations -- DO NOT CHANGE OUR HERITAGE!  The future
Richland Bombers can be as proud and dedicated as we were
"way back then."

I can only thank Burt Pierard profusely for all his
research efforts.  The reports I have read on the
Sandstorm have been very enlightening -- and now I am
even prouder of my wonderful high school years at
COLUMBIA HIGH SCHOOL in the wonderful town of Richland.
So many great memories.

Take care all -- I shall always treasure my fun years at
Col-Hi, and my stint as one of the Pep Squad.  Stay happy
-- and in good health!


-Claris Van Dusen (Knox) Troutman (48) 
>>From: Missy Keeney (59)

Could I be mistaken?!  Did not the letter and the agenda
appearing in this forum today indicate that the High
School Administration and the School Board have NO plans
to change the name of the mascot??!!  The only thing to
be addressed at the Board Meeting is the gift of the
Bomb??!!  Is there an echo in here or do I have a frog in
my pocket??

How many of you are willing to stay for the entire school
board meeting to see how our elected board members deal
with issues that are really important??

-Missy Keeney (59)
>>From: Larry Mattingly (60)

The debate on using the bomb in WWII will go on
endlessly.  But in my view that has nothing to do with
our nickname/mascot.  We alumni of Columbia/Richland High
School, especially in the first thirty years or so, are
"children of the bomb".  Our parents made it and we grew
up with it.  Some of us even worked on them later in
life.  Many of us spent our childhood in fear that it
would be used on us by others.  I personally can still
remember the ugly nightmares of my early years.  It is of
some comfort in my later years to know I was not alone in
my feelings.  I have seen the tears in the eyes of other
alumni when it was discussed at Bomber gatherings.

Extreme Bomber pride both in academics and athletics, and
the continuing legacy of Hanford has perpetuated it
across the millennium.  While some students and recent
alumni may have misplaced ideas of the origin of the
Bomber name, the pride is nevertheless strong and evident
to this day.  If I may suggest, if the name is to be
voted on in the future, ALL alumni should be able to vote
also.  I don't believe a relatively small number of
students should be able to set aside our history, forever
damaging the pride of the city.

We do fireworks for around 80 schools across the NW.
About 60 of these are high schools, both Homecoming and
Graduations.  The balance are for colleges, universities,
and private institutions at all levels and all kinds of
functions.  In the last 10 years I have spoken to
seemingly endless numbers of student committees about
fireworks.  They have seen my license frame and my R2K
Polo shirt (complete with mushroom).  I have also spoken
to civic groups such as Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, and
countless Chamber Of Commerce luncheons.  My talk is
usually about 20 minutes and I always start at the
beginning of my career, in Richland.

I am amazed at how well-known the Bombers are.  Many,
many times I have heard comments about Bomber pride and
alumni support.  Many have considerable (sometimes
begrudging) respect for "those Bombers".  Recently a
businessperson from Tacoma asked me, "what's with this
Bomber pride stuff?  Everybody I know was so glad to get
out of high school that they never think about it
again."  He said his 20 year reunion of a class of just
over 500 had only about 70 people and nobody seemed glad
to see anybody.  He didn't like the other students 20
years ago and still doesn't.  Ask around, this kind of
thing is not uncommon.  Compare that with Bomber alumni,
many of whom have had many Bomber friends for 30, 40, or
even over 50 years.

My point here is that we alumni, now and in the future,
must be prepared to aid in the perpetuation of the Bomber
image and name.  I think it is our duty to our heritage.
We all hope that things will go well at the coming
meeting and by retracing the proper footsteps of
bureaucracy we will get this matter settled.  If not ....
I think most of us feel it is worth a fight.  We need to
be calm, rational, insistent, and firm in our resolve.

Previous commitments will have me nearly 1000 miles from
Richland that night but I will be with you in spirit.  I
will anxiously await the arrival of the Alumni Sandstorm
the next morning.

Bomber cheers!  (However, I too like "Nuke 'em".)
-J Larry Mattingly (60)
"Happiness is the sky in bloom."
>>From: Irene de la Bretonne Hays (61)

Well said, Kathleen Ryals!!

-Irene de la Bretonne Hays (61), and teacher (74-80)
>>From: Susie Shaver Caldwell (63)

I hope that someone will be taping or recording the
meeting for all or us that live out of the area.  PLEASE
do for me!!!!  See you in Sept!!!

-Susie Shaver Caldwell (63)
>>From: Bill Wingfield (67)

To: Judy Willox Hodge (61) and Rachel Peters (95)

I couldn't have said it better.  I wish I could be there
in Richland for Tuesday's school board meeting.  Judy, if
you  do tape it, I will be in Richland in Sept, and I
would sure like to come over and borrow it for a couple
of hours.

To: All Bombers Attending The School Board Meeting

I only have one suggestion for those who do stand up and
talk.  Every time you do refer to the Bomb, I would
suggest you call it a bombshell vs. a Bomb.  It is only a
shell, and it is our mascot, so let us have our mascot
back.  I can't believe this even happened.

To: All Bombers 

What other school has such tight alumni?  Maybe what Rich
Semler has done has actually backfired on him.  This is
unbelievable how this Bomb issue has brought us all

Green and Gold veined, and Proud of the Cloud
-Bill Wingfield (67) - Augusta, GA, 
>>From: Jim Anderson (72WB)

I just got a copy of the REAL upcoming school board
meeting agenda.  I'm sure it comes as no surprise that
there are two different agendas; there's one they give to
the public, and there's the real one.

Well, I can't show you the whole thing, because then I'd
give away my source inside the district, but let me tell
you how it reads.  The first item on the agenda is:
"Getting rid of nickname", and our boy Semler's gonna
make 'em do it.

Also on the secret agenda is: "Discussion of how to
infiltrate the Alumni Sandstorm and the Mascot Crisis web
pages".  Apparently they've set up "moles" to try and
take over and make us be "PC".  Well, they ain't gonna do
that to me, nohow!

Third on the agenda is: "Adding fluoride to the water at
the schools".  I guess what they're gonna do is try to
put "fluoride" in all the water, so's we can have better
teeth, but I ain't got no teeth, and it's good enough for
me!  I've heard they put other stuff in the water too,
and it makes the kids start getting liberal thoughts and
start wanting to dance to that new music and the like.

Just thought I should let you all know.  And if they try
and get any other work done at that meeting that has
anything to do with the education of our children; well,
we won't let 'em -- will we? -- cuz we know that they is
just trying to change our nickname!  Heck, some of 'em
ain't even FROM here!  I think there oughta be a rule
that if you ain't born here, then you cain't be on our
school board.  Come to think of it, there oughta be a
rule that if you ain't born here, then you cain't live

Nuke 'em!

-Jim Anderson (72WB)
>>From: Bomber Spouse (Kennewick '70)

Keep the Bombers name and the mascot.  It may be
politically incorrect, but it's cool.  There are many
friends of ours in Western Washington that beg for Bomber

Don't kowtow to the PC'ers.

-Alexandra Olson (Kennewick '70)

PS -- Hello, my wife wrote the message.  She is a Bomber
by marriage (graduated Kennewick HS '70).  Keep the
-Richard (Rick) Olson (69)
That's it for today.  Keep the faith?  Nuke 'em?
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