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Bell Curve

By Joseph N. Bell | June 16, 2010
A weekend of contrasts, if anyone was listening, or watching. Just for starters, the humility of John Wooden opposite the arrogance of Mike Garrett -- with politicians gearing up for the next round of half-truths and slander from the sidelines. The composed self-assurance of Abby Sunderland against the rage of the elements. Russian science superimposed on major league baseball--with prayer as an interested observer. The death of John Wooden, of course, dominated the news.
Joseph N. Bell | June 4, 2010
Editor's note: Due to an editing error, The Bell Curve failed to appear in Thursday's Daily Pilot. It appears in full below. Memorial Day — we called it Decoration Day when I was growing up in Indiana — has come and gone, and seemed more full of urgent memories and intensity this year than ever before. Maybe that's because I feel closer to the Civil War as I grow older. There is an increasing awareness as I distance myself from it that I was only two generations away from the violent remnants of slavery in this country, a sobering thought whenever I allow it in. My grandfather, Robert Patterson, was a colonel in Gen. William Rosecrans' Army of the Cumberland.
Joseph N. Bell | May 27, 2010
J ohn Dean called the other day to share a memory. He's an old friend who retired nine years ago as superintendent of Orange County schools. He now holds the title of emeritus, from which he draws on his long experience to serve as a consultant. As evidenced by his phone call, it is clear he reads the Pilot. He was reacting to an exchange of views between Pilot columnist James Gray and reader David Pearse. It started with Gray's editorial page piece in which the retired judge wrote, "I am deeply proud to say that I have voted in every election since I became eligible," and Pearse countered that "I'm proud to say I've never voted in my life."
By Joseph N. Bell | May 19, 2010
I went to the theater Sunday afternoon, and, as is my custom, took the Playbill to my office afterward and added it to a shelf in my bookcase that has been housing a steadily growing family of Playbills for the past 50-some years. They pretty much chart my cultural life for all those years and, I guess, also define the parameters of my soul. When I added Sunday’s Playbill to my collection — also as is my custom — I lingered over the shelf. That was both a mistake and a joy. It shot my evening plans, but it also transported me back to the treasures that are still almost as vivid to me as they were at the time I experienced them.
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