A.C. Snow

Snow: Wicked winter, lack of ‘good news’

Over the long haul of my life at newspapering, from time to time readers have complained, “Why don’t you print just the good news?”

A typical lament is one I received from Delyle Evans, an Eden attorney.

“Benefits for the unemployed continue to decrease. Three local men between the age of 19 and 21 are accused of beating and choking to death a dog.

“A 34-year-old Winterville man is robbed and assaulted by a 14-year-old boy with a machete. More and more adults want to acquire guns, although more and more children are dying from guns. Every day we see in the newspaper pictures and stories of people charged with selling drugs, breaking into homes, assaulting others and having sex with minors. Is there any good news?”

In view of the spate of violence, here at home and throughout the Middle East this winter, Delyle’s question, “Is there any good news?” was never more timely.

The recent Chapel Hill slaying of three young Muslim students is tragic evidence.

They were among those I think of as the “beautiful people,” not in the way the term was coined in the mid-’60s to describe the wealthy, fashionable and famous.

These three were beautiful people in the bloom of life, beautiful in the living of their lives, in their youth, beautiful in their conduct and their mission to minister to refugees whose lives have been torn apart in the Middle East wars.

Amid the seemingly ceaseless violence, Canadian vocalist Ann Murray’s classic 1980s hit, “A Little Good News,” comes to mind.

Nobody was assassinated in the whole Third World today

And in the streets of Ireland, all the children had to do was play

And everybody loves everybody in the good old USA

We sure could use a little good news today.

Nobody robbed a liquor store on the lower part of town

Nobody O.D.’ed, nobody burned a single building down

Nobody fired a shot in anger, nobody had to die in vain

We sure could use a little good news today.

Unfortunately, life is not just about who makes Eagle Scout, who wins national basketball championships or the junior high spelling bees.

Life also has an ugly side.

Lately, at home and abroad, the news has been as bleak and violent as this winter itself.

But we do print good news, although you may sometimes have to look for it on the inside pages and under small headlines.

The good news is out there: in the gift of every waking dawn, in a baby’s first cry, in the warm feel of a friend’s hug, in the uncountable gestures of unselfish sacrifice and caring, in the heart’s ability to heal our hurts and disappointments, in the presence of 17 robins on the back lawn on a day of record-breaking cold.

Napping nationally

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and I have something in common: We both dozed off during President Obama’s State of the Union speech.

Political rhetoric is even more effective than a sleeping pill.

I was fascinated by the TV shots of the dozing justice. For some reason, I was reminded of the famous painting, “Whistler’s Mother.” Ginsberg’s highly publicized nap humanized the high court’s image.

Also, her 40+ winks should serve as a reminder to those who stand behind a lectern not to run on too long.

Graceful gesture

Even in death, Dean Smith brings out the best in people.

On a recent Wednesday, the Carolina Tar Heels met the Duke Blue Devils in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

ACC teams and fans know that playing before Duke fans at home is like walking through an inferno of noise and taunting unlike that at any other venue.

The Dukies’ support of their team is like having a sixth man on the court.

Yet during the teams’ Feb. 18 clash, the Duke student section was dotted with fans wearing T-shirts reading “DEAN.” A moment of silence also was observed in Smith’s memory.

It was a graceful gesture to a man whose life was lived so gracefully.