Vol. 12, No. 2,856W - The American Reporter - March 18, 2006

Hominy & Hash

by Constance Daley
American Reporter Correspondent
St. Simons Island, Ga.

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It's really very simple: Hoosiers never=

change their clocks. Never. But to the rest of the country, they always= seem to be an hour off for at least half the year.

Since they never change, most of the state is in the Eastern TimeZo= ne, so they are the same as New York, for instance.

But, part of the state is pretty much a bedroom community for Chicago= , which goes on CentralDaylight time -- which is the same as Eastern Standa= rd Time -- so most ofIndiana is in sync with Chicago half the year and New = York the other half,while New York and Chicago are always an hour apart. = Daylight Savings Time has always been inconsistent and most of usjust = "Spring forward and Fall back" at the appointed hour. It's one ofthose "j= ust do it" times in our lives. But the inconvenienced ones among us have h= ad the strength to fight City Hall on this issue. For example, some of the= time changes took place within neighboring counties on different nights. = Because there was no time uniformity, it had to be pointed out in a New = York Times front page article that on one 35-mile stretch between Mound= sville, West Virginia, and Steubenville, Ohio (Route 2) there were seven ti= me zones, therefore time changes.

"Set your watches, ladies and gent= lemen," the bus driver announced,"we're on Daylight Savings Time again, wh= oops, just crossed over the line, it's still Standard Time."

When te= levision started touting the benefits of the extra hour ofdaylight, we saw = Dads coming home on Summer nights, briefcase tossed in thehall, sleeves rol= led up, plenty of time for swinging a bat with Junior andSissy before dinne= r.

Early on, states could observe Daylight Savings Time, or not,acco= rding to local custom. Congress stepped in to end the confusion andestabli= shed the Uniform Time Act throughout the United States and itspossessions. = There are exceptions, of course. Some states are in two timezones. So, th= e state can allow one part of it to remain on Standard Time aslong as the o= ther part goes on Daylight. It's as if Father Congress wrote:"You can do t= his, as long as you do that." And it makes no sense andcreates a lot of bo= ther.

Indiana will remain as it is without change because more farme= rsvote than the executives living in Indiana but working in Chicago. Andt= hose farmers won't mollycoddle a clock that goes cockadoodledoo instead oft= ick tock.

I thought Daylight Savings Time was a new idea when it was= re-instated in September of 1945. I was too young before the war to knowab= out it and since it was left in place permanently from February 1942 until = after the war, it wasn't part of my childhood. Even since then, the rules = have been tweaked to suit the times.

In the recent past, conserving = energy is the main reason. Save thePlanet, the rallying call. In 1973, Mid= dle East members of OPEC issued anembargo against the sale of crude oil to= Israeli's allies. This caused ourgasoline prices to jump more than 40 per= cent and really hurt our economy.So, Daylight Savings Time came to the resc= ue. It was prolonged for twoyears and we saved 10,000 barrels of oil a day= .

The experiment worked but after 1975, there was enough demand fr= omthe farming states to discontinue taking an hour away from the morning an= dgiving it to the night.

In 1986, President Reagan pondered ways to = put his stamp on thingsjust as we turn off our collective lights. "Well," = he thought, "let'sstart the first of April instead of the last." And we no= w do, and we save300,000 barrels of oil a year just adding the month. = I don't like Daylights Savings Time. Prime Time television startsat 8:00= p.m. I don't like sunshine hitting the screen at an annoying angle. I don= 't get used to the time change for two weeks after it starts and two weeks = after it ends. I don't want to die between April and October and lose a pe= rfectly good hour taken from me by an act of Congress.

Believe it or= not, children are not all that entranced with latedaylight in the summer. = They want to play "Release" and "Ring-a-levio" andthey want to catch firef= lies. All this sweaty, summer night time fun isover when it stays light un= til after 9:00. There's beauty in the night butby the time the stars are t= winkling in the late evening sky, it's bath andbedtime.

Benjamin Fra= nklin toyed with saving daylight. It was tried inEngland at times when can= dles were lit at 4:00 p.m. and probably all day inthe foggy, rainy clime. = Saving candles was important considering they werehand dipped, one by one -= - surely a tedious chore. Some way to get moredaylight would be on any inv= entor's agenda.

When arguing the issue, a supposition was put forth:= A woman givesbirth at 1:59 a.m. the second twin is born in 10 minutes, bu= t the clock hasbeen moved back and the birth is recorded as 1:09 a.m. "Exa= ctly whom is the heir; exactly whom gets the title?" they argued endlessly.= Not a common problem here, we can work those things out, but it was an i= ssue on record in Her Majesty's Realm. Moving the hour from one place= to another apparently saved oil whenwe needed it most. But, we love a goo= d campaign to conserve what we haveand it would have worked as well. Star= ting next week, I'll be waking up at 4:00 a.m. instead of the 5:00 a.m. I'm= used to. I'll turn on lights, watch television, and wait for my day to be= gin. And in two weeks I'll be used to it again. But, was all this necessar= y? "Crime happens more often at night," is probably true, as they say= in supporting time changes. But the major crimes of the last decade were = notonly in daylight but deliberately in broad daylight. I'm referring to th= efirst World Trade Center bombing, the Oklahoma Federal Building bombing an= dlast month's World Trade Center bombing.

When criminals are hell-be= nt -- hmmm, interesting turn of phrase,especially when terrorists go to the= ir deaths satisfied they're destroying a way of life so precious to us we d= eliberately force an extra hour out of it half the year.

I do suspec= t evening play with the kids, conserving oil, conservingenergy are all just= excuses to explain what lies so deeply within us wedon't admit it's there.= It's the Puritan ethic, words to live by: "Earlyto bed, early to rise, m= akes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." And whatis the American dream? W=

Copyright 2006 Joe Shea The American Reporter. All Rights Reserved.

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