By RIchard K. Munro

THOMAS MUNRO, JR relaxing in the patio of his garden circa 1980

HW BRANDS: “As a rule, people don’t change their beliefs by being insulted or demeaned. They don’t become angels by being yelled at…”

I would say this is axiomatic.

Rule #1 in a civil society is to treat people civilly and with respect. This is one of the reasons why we are polite and why we learn other languages. Insisting that everyone ONLY speaks YOUR language and showing no interest in the language and cultures of others is not a way to make friends and influence people. If you REALLY want to change people it is usually best to shut up and pray for that person. That does more go than attacking and arguing with people. After all, you are not perfect either.

Rule #2 don’t go out of your way to insult people and their pastimes.

I don’t like bizarre hair or tattoos or profane language. Some sports don’t appeal to me. I certainly have zero interest in fantasy leagues and sports betting. But I don’t fight with people or argue with them. I avoid their company, yes, or ignore them. (It’s easy I am nearsighted). I don’t like golf but agree it has great charm and beauty. I have enjoyed miniature golf and have even played a few rounds myself, but I decided long ago I did not want to spend so much time and money away from home and family. I glance at the sports page for about 5 minutes. I am aware there are championships and leagues out there somewhere, but I am not obsessed with every team sport that there is.

I enjoy other pastimes more.

Rule#3 society and its norms have changed drastically, and I am not always happy about that but I live and let live.

I cultivate my own garden and turn off shows and spectacles I do not like. I used to love to go to the movies but now have almost completely fallen out of the habit. For one thing, they don’t make movies for mature adults it seems. For another, if they make a film that might prove to be entertaining (TOP GUN MAVERICK) I can watch it on pay per view for a few dollars.. I recently saw DEVOTION (it was ok I would say 2 1/2 stars). It was pro-Navy and patriotic BUT completely banal and predictable including racists Southerners bullying and taunting black man character. They called him aJackie Robinson. Most films do not do a good job at handling racism. DEVOTION went out of its way to show SOME SOUTHERNERS and MOST AMERICANS were friendly even warm to African American characters. But all the interactions with neighbors and police were negative. The film did a reasonable job showing the camaraderie and purpose of the US military. The main character (rather unbelievably) spoke fluent French. I enjoyed DEVOTION but would not recommend it to anyone really and would never watch this film again. I primarily paid for it because I wanted to support a film that was (I was told )pro-American and patriotic.) But I am trying to be completely truthful about the film. DEVOTION was harmless and of minor interest to people interested in military history.


I don’t like LAX airport or JFK so I don’t ever go there.. There are cities and states that scunner me so if I can I avoid them completely. I buy books from authors I like and yes, still buy music from my favorite musicians and yes, still subscribe to a few periodicals and a daily newspaper WSJ in part because I want to support artists and authors I like. I read a lot of book reviews and at my age decide if it is worth my time and money to buy a book I might not even finish. Most ephemeral books I read via e-books now. I no longer buy paperbacks and have given most of my paperbacks away because the print is too small to read. If a book has lasting appeal, I will buy a hardback or even a deluxe leather-bound edition. But all my books are meant to be read. I hope most are passed on and cherished. I have books that date back to the 19th century and early 20th century and many from circa 1933-1980. From 1942-1948 there is a big gap due to military services. I have quite a number of books from 1940.