Bomber Mascot Confrontation
Issue # 20 ~ 08/16/01
Editor's Note:

The initial skirmish has ended.  Now that we know who
stands where it is time to proceed to the next stage of
the confrontation.

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

Larry Christenson (54), Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson (54)
Marla Jo Lowman (55), Irene de la Bretonne (61)
Keith Hunter (63), Gary Behymer (64)
Dena Evans (64WB), Patti Snider (65)
Leona Mari Leahy (65), John Foster (65)
David Rivers (65), Victor Day (65)
Bill Wingfield (67), Brad Wear (71)
Jim Anderson (72WB), Diane Carpenter (72)
Mike Davis (74), Tracey Wood (82)
Jil Lytle (82), Aaron Johnson (82)
Jenny Smart (87), Joel Cline (02)
Frank Trent (Bomber Husband)
>>From: Larry Christenson (54)

Congratulations to those of you who turned out for the
meeting.  Job well done.  Election time is coming.

-Larry Christenson (54)
>>From: Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson (54)

On names and other things.

Ain't research wonderful?  As with the Bible, you can
take any quote to fit your purpose or position.  Who ever
gave rise to renaming the team the Bombers did us a great
favor.  In some way the new name generated a pride that
continues to this day.  It was a fortunate thing: look
what happened to Stanford when they ceased being
"Indians" and became "Cardinals"; took them a long time
to live that one down all in the name of "Political

My memory isn't as good as the research done on the
Bomber name, but I do recall reading that the "Bomb" was
first proposed by scientists "on the lam" from Nazi
Germany (thoughts of getting even?).  Granted, the United
States government did little or nothing to relieve the
oppression of Jews and other minorities (Gypsies, Poles,
Czechs, Slovaks, etc.) that Hitler and his buddies
inflicted.  The U.S. was just as effective against the
Stalin purges of the Thirties and Forties (and he was our

There is one other thing to consider when "lamenting" the
loss of Japanese lives in Hiroshima and Nagasaki:
American prisoners of war lost their lives at the same
time in these same cities.  Isn't "collateral damage" a
wonderful phrase?

On the other hand, there seems to be a world of
difference between the two cities after the war.
Hiroshima has made an industry out of being "Atomic Bomb
Victims".  Nagasaki, on the other hand, has gotten on
with life.  Guess Nagasaki's PR guys weren't too sharp or
they could have also cashed in.  But, as Burt Pierard
mentioned, why are there no monuments in Hamburg,
Dresden, Wurzburg, and other German cities obliterated by
American and British bombing?

On a "brighter" note, remember that laboratories cause
cancer in white rats.

That's my opinion and I'm entitled to it.

Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson (54)
>>From: Marla Jo (Lowman) Kenitzer (55)

How disappointing -- the vote!!  Is it possible to give
us who are out-of-state folks a little of the dialog that
led up to the vote?  I seem to remember reading that one
of the school board members who voted "no" was a former
Bomber.  Is that right?  Must have been someone with a
really big chip on their shoulder.  I have grandchildren
in the Richland School District and I feel sorry for
them.  I used to be pretty proud of the "joint" but not
any more.  However, I am proud to be a Bomber and if I
lived in Richland I would definitely be on the band wagon
to get this decision overturned -- AND I would keep an
eagle eye on the way the board members vote on ALL issues
before them.  I just hope that some of the locals will
have the time and energy it takes to monitor the school
board and publish their decisions.

From a former Richland resident who went thru school
there (1943-1955), and is a PROUD BOMBER.

-Marla Jo (Lowman) Kenitzer (55)
>>From: Irene de la Bretonne Hays (61)

You are correct, Kelly, changing the bomber name and
mascot is not, nor has it ever been, on the agenda of the
upcoming school board meeting.  The entire process of
inventing that threat would make an interesting study.

-Irene de la Bretonne Hays (61)
>>From: Keith Hunter (63)

So what is the next step?!  How do we override?!  And how
do we get those people out of office?!

-Keith Hunter (63)
>>From: Gary Behymer (64)

The power of the vote.  The only way to change this is at
the ballot box next election.

-Gary Behymer (64)
>>From: Dena Evans (64WB)

That smile on my face is no longer there.  I feel sad
about the mascot but I'm positive that it will not be
tossed aside and left to rust away.  The alumni are too
strong and creative to ever let that happen.

A kudos to all that worked so very hard and diligently.
There are still a lot of items that I look forward to
reading about: alumni ring, alumni jacket, reunions, etc.

The Alumni Sandstorm is a wonderful forum for the
multitude of readers keep in touch with old friends and
to make new ones.  I for one, truly miss my "family" in
Richland and I look forward to waking up each morning and
turning on my computer to see what they are up to and how
they are feeling about the world in general. (NO, I don't
need to get a life thank you).

To: John Northover (59)

I think that you owe Maren bundles.  Talk about yatta,
yatta, yatta!  You need to wear a hat when you go out in
that San Diego sun. LOL!!   Seriously, people write what
they feel to be true, and who can fault them for that?

-Dena Evans (64WB)     
>>From: Patti Snider Miller (65)

Re: Save the Bomb

I was at the school meeting last night.  I was appalled
how the board handles the meetings.  They just let the
people speak, each board member says their speech.  (Meg
Weiss called it a discussion among themselves -- right.)
Keeping in mind that the microphones are on.  They each
said their speech and then said if they were for or
against.  These people listen, but don't hear what the
majority wants.  The community elects them and they are
to be our representatives who listen to us and vote how
the community wants ... wrong!!!!!!!!  Peterson,
Stricker, and Weiss voted how they personally felt ...
not what the community wanted.  There was no rebuttal
that could been made.  They voted and that was it.

Now, I don't feel that the audience should have been
'scolded' for having so many show up for 'the Bomb'.  It
was said that he was embarrassed that more showed last
night then at last levy meeting.  Number one, we the
community read the paper, hear speeches, get phone calls
to vote, receive the district's paper called 'Focus' with
information, etc.  We are not 'dummies' before we vote.
Last night was our one and only chance to be heard; there
was no voting from the community at the polls at a later
date.  So, of course there is going to be more showing
up.  I personally think that was a slam to us alumni and
I don't need anyone telling me he was embarrassed to see
the 120 alumni who showed up last night -- 119 for and 1
against.  All and all it was a decision the board made
outside of the meeting and they just went through the
motion to "follow procedure".  Does anyone know when we
vote on a new school board again?  I commend all alumni
who got up and said how they felt; I was very proud of
all of you.  I would also like to give a special thank
you to Roy Ballard and crew for trying to do a good thing

-Patti Snider Miller (65) ~ (102 degrees at 4:30pm in
                          Richland where it is still
                          hot; in more ways then one!!)
>>From: Leona (Mari Leahy) Eckert (65)

Needless to say, but, what a shame the gift of the
bombshell was rejected!

-Leona (Mari Leahy) Eckert (65)
>>From: John Foster (65)

It is a shame that some people can't pull their head out!

-John Foster (65)
>>From: David Rivers (65)

can you say: RECALL?

-David Rivers (65)
>>From: Victor M Day (65)

Director Guay      -- yes
Director Peterson  -- no
Director Steach    -- yes
Director Strickler -- no
President Weiss    -- no

I suggest that the above also be our vote when these
people are up for re-election!

-Victor M Day (65)
>>From: Bill Wingfield (67)

Unbelievable.  I was so looking forward to reading this
morning's newsletter, and the fact that the bomb would go
back in its rightful place.  I just can't believe it.  It
is obvious that they are going to slowly change history
and eventually the mascot of the school.  I can't believe
it.  Please do everything possible to see that Peterson,
Strickler, and Weiss are not reelected.

-Bill Wingfield (67) ~ Augusta, GA, where it will be a
                       grey day for sure.

I'm still green and gold veined, and proud of the cloud.
>>From: Brad Wear (71)

David Rivers was right, the Richland School Board should
be ashamed of themselves, but the Richland voters should
be even more ashamed for having voted several of the
existing board members onto the board.  I was actually
embarrassed by two of the board members at tonight's
meeting.  Jim Peterson and Phyllis Strickler were an
absolute embarrassment due to their incoherent, and
emotional ramblings as they tried to justify their vote
against accepting the bomb as a donated gift.  Meg Weiss,
although voting against the gift issue, was at least
lucid and coherent in her thought processes as to why she
didn't accept the gift.

As elected officials I was under the impression that they
were there to do the bidding of their constituents and
not vote their own views on issues.  Silly me.  It was
obvious with these two that they are inept politicians,
and had a preconceived opinion prior to the meeting.  It
was a foregone conclusion before the meeting even
started.  What is even worse, is that they did not even
consider the wishes of the community after hearing their
pleas to accept the bomb as a gift.

Let there be no doubt, the issue tonight was more than
accepting the Bomb as a mascot.  It is a prelude to
dropping the name "Bomber" as a proud mascot.  After
seeing the actions of the board tonight, it is only a
matter of time before the word "Bomber" is in their
politically correct gun sights.

-Brad Wear (71) ~ Semper Fi, Semper Bomberous
>>From: Jim Anderson (72WB)

RE: defacing our bomb

Tears are just a'pourin down my face as I writes this, I
can barely see the keyboard and my shirt is soaked, and I
is just so HORRIFIED that they would do this to our BOMB!
I bet it was ol' Semler!  I bet he went out there and
just sprayed that communist red paint of his all over our
BOMB!  Cuz he ain't even from here.  I know, I know, some
of ya are gonna accuse me of bein ignorant and of caring
more about a stupid piece of metal than people, but gol-
ly, America was built on war and destruction, and we
gotta just keep showing our pride in our ability to blow
things up and create giant explosions!

Now I know, there are homeless people EVEN IN OUR CITY,
and lots of kids will go to bed tonight without eating,
and migrant workers sleep on dirt so we can eat cheap
fruit, but who cares about any of that, because they
defaced our precious bomb!  If hope they find out who
done that and give them a good ol' spankin!

-Jim Anderson (72WB)
>>From: Diane Carpenter Kipp (72)

If anyone should care to read yet one more opinion, I'm
offering mine, totally personal, totally non-expert,
possibly containing misconceptions.

World War II and the events that finally brought it to a
close are an important part of the world's history,
possibly the most important of the last century.  I
believe the bombs dropped on Japan were necessary.
Tragically necessary.  To bring to pass a greater good,
destruction, mayhem, and horror were unleashed on
hopefully a few of those guilty, and sadly, many

Anyone involved in the United States's (or our Allies')
war effort should feel proud of their contribution.
Those of us who came after should remember and honor the
sacrifices made so that we can live as we do.  I believe
that the remembrance and honoring should be done in an
attitude of respect, dignity, and even reverence.  I
would think we would also extend that respect, dignity,
and reverence to the memory of all who died because of
the brutality and unimaginable selfishness of the
instigators of the war.

The bomb was tragically necessary.  Equal emphasis put on
both those words.  I cannot comprehend the need to
glorify, to all-but-worship, the symbols of that tragedy:
a bomb, a mushroom cloud.  The reveling, the boasting,
the spit-in-your eye attitude -- it only brings us to the
level of those who started the war.  We did what had to
be done, but we should be sorry it had to be done, not
act as if the dropping of the bombs was what made us
great.  What made us great was doing what had to be done,
and then making peace as quickly and as well as we could.

To all of you, male and female: this macho attitude of
"you'll get my bomb away from me when you pry it from my
cold dead fingers" -- do you have nothing better in your
lives to value, nothing more to bring tears of pride to
your eyes?  Our heritage is not the bomb itself, it is
the work and sacrifice and devotion to a sad cause that
is our history, and it is our relationships and our
education and experience that is our heritage, and the
development of peaceful uses for something that
originally was so destructive.

Do you not realize the irony in the phrase, the "bomb
resided peacefully in the foyer" of the school?

Do you think the men that developed the bombs, that
transported and dropped the bombs, that actually saw the
mushroom clouds, the people who later helped those who
suffered the physical effects of the bombs -- do they
consider our use of the representation of a bomb and a
mushroom cloud, a fitting, respectful memorial of their
work?  A crowd of teenagers screaming for the next score
-- how does that honor anyone involved in this tragedy?
Adults ranting about how this bomb made our town, and us,
great.  What a sad degradation of the reality of our

When our fellow Americans, a few of whom contributed to
the war effort also (no, Richland did not win WWII
singlehandedly), react to our school mascot and nickname
with astonishment -- maybe, just maybe, it's we who are
nuts, not all of them.

(On the off chance that anyone is still reading this, I
want to say that I really regret disagreeing so strongly
with someone who I like and respect so much -- Roy
Ballard.  He and his wife Nancy were probably the best
neighbors anyone in my family ever had.  And their boys
were the cutest babies/toddlers my sisters and I ever

So, unleash the indignant tirades, tell me that I've
misunderstood everything, am a traitor, etc.  I haven't
fallen into the lock-step of blind loyalty to a watered-
down over-simplification of a misunderstood history.
Silly me, thinking that one of the reasons for the
sacrifice of so many was to allow us to continue to have
freedom of speech.  In Richland, that seems to be only if
we don't disagree with anyone who supports the holy bomb,
and as long as we don't appear in any way to be (gasp!)
PC.  By the way, PC stands for "politically correct" and
it's clear which politics are allowed in Richland.  Only
the party line.

-Diane Carpenter Kipp (72)
>>From: Mike Davis (74)

Just got home from the School Board meeting. 

Points of Concern:
1. Aren't elected officials elected to represent the
masses?  I clearly see a majority of this community in
support of the Bomb gift.  I commend John Steach for
doing his job.  He stated that he did not support the
gift but voted to accept it because that is what the
people wanted.  Also, thank you Mary Guay for your
support.  The other three, simply put, you did not do
your job.  You felt your opinion outweighed the masses.
That does not constitute an elected official.

2. Two of the board members, I believe Ms. Weiss and Ms.
Strickler, stated that they had a difficult time
supporting the gift because of its size.  Well, Roy, you
should have donated a smaller bomb.  That's so

3. Thank you Roy Ballard for all you do.  I find it
confusing that a school board that stresses the financial
dire straits of a school district would refuse a gift
from the community.  That'll sure drum up a lot of

-Mike Davis (74)
>>From: Tracey Wood Peloquin (82)

Crisis?  Yes!

I am happy to see that our Class of '82 John Steach voted
for the Bombshell Gift.  What is the next step?  Can we
take it back to the Board for a re-vote?  What an

Bomber for life,
-Tracey Wood Peloquin (82)
>>From: Jil Lytle-Smith (82)

It's a sad day.  To Roy Ballard a BIG thank you for all
your time and effort on this project (and thanks also to
everyone else who rallied so hard for the bomb).  Maybe
the government class should take on the issue of "the
bomb" and have a student body vote to install it?

Nuke 'em!  (Sorry if I've offended you.)
-Jil Lytle-Smith (82)
>>From: Aaron Johnson (82)

Has anyone considered that, in light of the overwhelming
majority (am I mistaken, or did only one person
testifying say to reject the gift?) of the audience
speaking in favor of the gift's acceptance, and the
subsequent vote by the Board rejecting the wishes of
their constituents, perhaps we find that we have elected
representatives who don't give a rat's ..... well, what
their constituents want?  That perhaps we have elected
representatives who don't feel responsible to their
electorate?  I admittedly have had no prior experience
with this body, but a hot button for me is an elected
"representative" who doesn't represent the majority.
When a person in this position allows personal feelings
and animosity to overwhelm their judgement on an issue
which, quite obviously, is of no small importance to
their constituents and uses this personal preconception
to make a decision in spite of the wishes of their
constituents, I tend to get a bit irate.  I expect my
representatives to take their responsibility more
seriously to the wishes of the majority.  But I digress.

No one who has seen me bite a piece of our City Council's
collective posteriors off would question how I feel on
this issue.  So, to live up to this reputation, I
recommend the collective (alumni, as present students for
the most part do not vote these people into office) do
something about this.  Most would say "oh, come next
election we'll deal with them!", but unfortunately by
that time damage has already been done.  So, to the

What say someone consider a recall?  (At least of three
of the five!)  Is this a radical approach?  Ya sure, ya
betcha!  I respect the opinions of others greatly, but
when those opinions are carried into their positions
where they make representative decisions, and do not meet
the responsibility to answer to, and follow the wishes of
the majority, it's time to take a more concerted effort
to make them do so.

Is there a legal remedy here?  Up to this point, in all
my years of business, I've only rarely had to resort to
arbitration or litigation, but perhaps the legal
grounding of the issue should be, at least, explored.
Perhaps an alumnus could perform this research for
his/her fellow alumni.

Just a thought, radical though it may be.  And I fully
expect I'll hear from people who will call me a rabble
rouser (and now I can say how proud I am to be a BOMBER
rabble rouser!), and other more colorful descriptions. In
the lexicon of the "X" and "Y" generation, "Whatever,

-Aaron Johnson (82)
>>From: Jenny Smart Page (87)

A couple thoughts on what to do with the bomb shell that
was rejected by the school board tonight:

1) Let's attach it to the top of an old car (painted
green & gold, of course), and then park it in a front-row
spot of the parking lot at every football & basketball
game.  Assuming that it was driven there by someone who
was attending the game, I can't see how anyone could
complain ..... "Gee, it's just my mode of transportation
tonight!"  Additionally, it could then travel to away
games, to reunions, to state tournaments (can you imagine
the reaction you'd get driving that through downtown
Seattle???), etc.  This might actually be a better option
than placing it on school grounds, where it undoubtedly
would continue to be vandalized and/or stolen.  By
keeping it mobile, it could safely be tucked away at
night out of the reach of those who are less of fond of
it than we.

2) Wait until after the November election, and submit it
again for acceptance.  Assuming that someone pro-bomb
shell is elected (Richard?), and assuming that Mary Guay
holds her seat and that she and John Steach vote as they
did tonight, there would then be a 3-2 vote in favor of

3) Anybody know any of the people who live across the
street from the school there on Thayer or Long?  And do
you think you could talk them into planting a 10' bomb
shell in their front yard?  (Heck, I'll even buy flowers
to plant around the base of it.)

Anyone else have an idea?

Jenny Smart Page (87) ~ West Richland
>>From: Joel M Cline (02)

I am all for the mascot and the symbol that was donated
by the alumni.  If it stands for our town, why not leave
it as is?  Instead, I drive by the bomb each and every
morning now when I go out to work at the Hanford Site for
my on the job training.  It gives me great pride when I
get to see that bomb and even when I look around to see
everyone else on their way to work early in the morning
staring at the bomb.  Sometimes there are a few honks
here and there, which just brighten up my spirits even
more!  For us students this bomb would have stood for a
lot more than just pride.

I don't quite understand the whole situation -- sometimes
I think I am just too young -- but as of this last year
we still had the smaller bomb mascot in the back of the
ASB office.  What makes this smaller bomb any different
than this large one?  If we are allowed to keep this
small one from the early 60's around school, why not
allow this new one?  What makes me wonder more is that
Mr Qualheim is the one who keeps this smaller bomb in the
activities office.  Yet, he seems to be changing his mind
over and over again now after he has visited Japan.  He
was for the bomb and the mascot, but now after he has
seen some of the effects, he seems to change his mind.
Why can't school officials just let it go?


-Joel M Cline (02)
>>From: Frank Trent (Bomber Husband)

I think the people who are on the board should be
reminded that if not for the bomb they would either be
dead or speaking in another language.  They just don't
get it.

They are trying to bury something that all the world
should never forget.  The school's mascot stands for
Pride in the School, and in this country.  They should be
teaching our kids history and what could happen if idiots
like Hitler get turned loose.


-Frank Trent ~ Husband of a Bomber and Three
               kids that was a bomber.
That's it for today.  On to the next stage.
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