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It only takes 30 days

Dear editor:

Somewhere around 50, I began comparing my potential longevity with that of my grandfather, who lived to be 72. It seemed like a long way off. It wasn't till I retired two years ago, at 70, that I revised my endurance hopes.

At the same time, I started to, as they say, get things in order. Even then, and throughout my life, I have measured my life in decades to my demise. I think that is sort of normal. That all changed with COVID-19. I noticed, after learning that even very healthy people can contract and possibly die within 20 to 30 days, that I am now measuring my expectancy in 30-day increments. I never saw my life potentially ending like this, but it sure could in the next 30 days.

Please ... wear a mask.

Phil Mariage

Hot Springs

Waging viral warfare

Dear editor:

"Give me liberty, or give me death!" is a quote by Patrick Henry.

The flu magically disappeared, liberals blame Trump, Uncle Joe wants us in the basement, and every patriot is suffering deeply from this pandemic.

What shall we do? If we hide in the basement, then Hitler would have won World War II. We must survive. Afterward, we will need new weapons and strategies to combat viral warfare. It looks like China found a way to kill Americans without bombs and no retaliation from their enemy.

Storming the beaches of Normandy is the price Americans paid for freedom. As much as it rips our souls and our nation apart, we will pay the same price with COVID. God have mercy!

P.S. This is not Trump's fault! That is how we heal as a nation while moving forward as united people.

Michael P. Lucas

Hot Springs

Spooky memories

Dear editor:

Reading about Maxwell Blade's encounter with so-called haunts in the Malco Theater (Oct. 30) brought back an experience of my own. My brother and I were employees there in the mid-1950s until he became assistant manager at the Paramount Theater.

I was an usher whose added responsibilities were to change the movie posters and stills when a film had ended its run, package them to be mailed along with the very heavy cans of film, make sure the theater was empty of patrons at closing time and lock all doors before going home. I also changed the lettering on the outside marquee (photo of Mr. Blade holding the "M" letter).

One particular October night I had just finished changing the marquee for the next day's film and had stored the 12-foot ladder and large cardboard box of plastic letters in the theater basement. Then I went into a workroom to complete the packaging of movie stills and posters when I was startled by a loud noise and what seemed to be a sound of movement.

I turned to look into the hallway and saw an ominous shadow on the floor which appeared to move the longer I stared at it. My mind was flooded with some horrid monster ready to devour me. I felt the blood leave my head; my heart was beating in my chest so loud; I broke out in a cold sweat; and my legs were so solid that I knew I wasn't going anywhere soon because I wouldn't escape "the thing!"

Finally, I got enough courage to edge my way to the door ... to discover that the shadow of the monster was the corner flap of the ragged cardboard box of marquee letters backed by the single basement ceiling light.

Every time I had to work in that basement I would remember what Dr. Morbius on Altair Four ("Forbidden Planet") said about the specter of the Krell: "I've always felt the presence of some incomprehensible force, sly and irresistible, and always ready for murder." Needless to say, I limited my time spent in that foreboding basement.

Donald Cunningham

Hot Springs

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