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Letters to the Editor

An opinion on opinions

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I often think of analogies because they help me relate. When I read some of the politically charged opinion pieces published and notice escalating hostilities when opinions are made on another’s opinions, I am reminded of an analogy my mentor once wrote about. It involves three blind men trying to describe an enormous thing. One man described it as snake-like, thick and moving. Another man described it as trunk-like and solidly anchored to the ground, reminding him of a tree. The third man described it as rope like, braids to many strands. When they met to describe their experience, they fought and fought. Each would not budge on their description, nor would they accept the descriptions of the others. Maybe if they realized their experience only gave them one particular perspective, they could share their information and learn they were all talking about the same elephant.

I like this analogy because I think of the men (sometimes I picture them as women) and how each would attest to the end of the Earth to what they described because they were sure what they experienced. It helps me understand why people have different opinions and beliefs; our perceptions are altered by our previous experiences and everyone’s experience is unique. It also helps me understand some of the conditions under which people will react to someone else’s opinion; when descriptions don’t match and experiences are genuine. However, this happens all the time. Sometimes we both might be looking at or hearing the exact same thing as someone else at the same time and it will somehow be different. Some recent examples come to mind; a white/gold or blue/black dress and an audio clip with the word “laurel” (or is it “yanny”?). Sometimes the examples even swap, but for the most part, we will see or hear one version or the other, not both at the same time. Those who hear “laurel” do not hear “yanny” and vice versa. You would not describe the dress as black and blue if it looks gold and white. Likewise, one would not accept a “yanny” description after hearing “Laurel” and vice versa. We don’t argue about “laurel” and “yanny” because we know there can be two experiences to the same event.

Whether you are a high school student, a minister, director of legal services or you’re commenting on their opinions of others’ opinions, everyone’s opinion is valid and none should exclude the other because we know there can be multiple experiences to the same event. We can’t see what the others see, so when our description don’t match, we react and seek to change what the other person says. But if we were successful in doing so, we would have a description from only one perspective and we would be ignorant of the rest of the beast. So instead of changing what someone says, we should seek to understand and change the things that made them say that. People are going to have different points of view because we’re all approaching this animal from different directions. It’s important for everyone to express their point of view, even if it sounds like it’s coming from a rear end. If we’re going to deal with the elephant in the room, we need to listen to all perspectives. Otherwise, we’ll never make heads or tails of things.

Scott A. O’Donnell

Fox Chase

Happy retirement, Marianne Bucci

Hello, I am the Head of the Children’s Department of the Northeast Regional Library, located at 2228 Cottman Ave. It is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to you. I am retiring from my post on Friday, April 1. This is not an April Fools’ Day prank, but a reality that all of us must face in the working world. After 26 years  of service as Head of the Children’s Department and approximately 47 years of service as a Children’s Services Librarian for the Free Library of Philadelphia, it is time for me to step aside from the work I truly love.

The Northeast Regional Library has been open for service. Many of you do not realize that we have been open. COVID-19 created closures and separations. I wanted to wish you all well. I have not seen many of you, and I did not want you to visit one day and find me gone.

I have loved every minute working with the schools, the parents, the children and all the adults who advocate for children’s services. I have enjoyed bringing books and children together, encouraging all of you to read and expand your world through using the Free Library. I have delighted in your discovery of the larger world outside the one you inhabit and your wonder as you experience the adventures of children like you in the fiction and nonfiction books that live on our shelves. You have kept me young at heart.

Although you won’t see me working in the Children’s Department, you will see me using the Northeast Regional Library. Although I will be retired, I will not be without the books I love from the library I love. I hope to see you using the library. You might just bump into me among the shelves. Please keep reading. Continue using your library card, which is your passport to adventure, knowledge and an open door to personal advancement. Develop your sense of wonder. Remember to welcome the new Head of the Children’s Department as you have welcomed me. Finally, honor and cherish your life. I carry you all in my heart.

Marianne Bucci

Missed opportunity

I was very disappointed in President Biden’s visit to Philadelphia. I thought he would have met with Gov. Wolf or Mayor Kenney to discuss the crime problems here in our city.

My heart goes out to the families and friends of all of our young and innocent citizens who have been killed.

I understand that President Biden has many important problems on his plate, too, but a little bit of time spent to discuss our city’s terrible condition and maybe to have offered some solutions would have meant a lot.

I love my Philadelphia and pray for a way to stop the killings.

Patti Wirsz


Great experience at Tano’s

I grew up in Burholme, now living in Rhawnhurst. My mom asked for a sandwich for lunch, and I happened to be down Cottman Avenue by 5 Points so I stopped at Tano’s Deli at 7401 Bingham St. It is on the corner of Bleigh and Bingham.

Wow, what a great experience. I went in for a sandwich and I came out making a friend. Tano is a wonderful man. I was treated like family in there by Tano. It’s a great atmosphere, friendly, personal service is awesome, conversation was super and everyone smiling so nice.

So I get home, I noticed the sandwich when I gave it to my mom. The sandwich looked fantastic and so fresh. I had to get it to her quick before I ate it, haha. I asked her later about the sandwich and she said she loved it and even thanked me. I thought right then, yep, I need to share what a great experience at Tano’s Deli. Mom is happy. Thank you, Tano.

I will certainly go back for Mom again soon, as well as for me next time.

Tano’s has great variety of sandwiches and hoagies as well as candy, juice, milk and teas. I was happy with the price of my order, too. As mentioned, I grew up in the area on Tabor Avenue. Being in Tano’s kind of takes you back with the nostalgic appearance of the store, and the warmth and friendliness from Tano adds on immensely. I could easily see the other customers were very relaxed, happy and satisfied with their service inside the deli.

Kevin J. McTaggart


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