Bonner Day: Kindness and common sense in the valley

Bonner Day

A local kindness was brought to my attention the other day. I’m sure many readers can cite similar stories, but I want to share this one for those who might be unfamiliar with the valley’s big heart.

An elderly lady in the hospital emergency room called a casual friend for a temporary place to stay. The hospitalized lady felt she had no place to go when she was discharged. Her home was deemed unsuitable for a patient in her severe condition.

The person she called, a friend of mine, was a casual acquaintance at best. They shared a fondness for cats, and the patient had been invited to a few Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners in the past. The patient, like too many old timers, had outlived all her close friends and relatives. She was reaching out to the only friend she could think of.

The Good Samaritan readily agreed to take care of her acquaintance until other arrangements were made. The patient stayed for six days, the host acting as nurse, before being admitted to a hospice facility. The patient then lived 10 more days before she died.

To the desperate patient the Good Samaritan must have seemed a miracle. But her act, though more significant than most, is the sort of good works you find in a community-spirited place like the valley.

It is nice to know we live in a community where people see a need and reach out to help, without thought of the cost or repayment. Instead they place the interests of others first.

There are, however, problems where a government is uniquely appropriate. Such a situation is occurring in various states, including Virginia, where transgenders want to use improper public restrooms – improper as far as the general public is concerned. The dictionary states a transgender is a person who identifies with or expresses a gender identity that differs from the one which corresponds to the person’s sex at birth.

In plain language, men want to use women’s restrooms though they are physically equipped to use urinals. As a teenager would say, “Duh.”

North Carolina, the legislature and governor, passed a new law. So girls, mothers and grandmothers do not have to fight for their traditional privacy. But the question of transgender has been made a political issue.

So strong is the political power of the transgenders and their supporters, say some observers, that big city politicians are predicting North Carolina will cave to the boycotts of furniture manufacturers and other businesses. The speculation is that when sales and taxes are affected, North Carolina will reverse itself.

It’s an issue that brings laughter to my valley friends in and out of the cattle business. The valley has more cows than people. And when local cattle growers find a bull that does not want to be a bull, or a cow that fails to bring calves, they are sent off to the slaughterhouse. Traditionally, there has been no room – and no sympathy – on a cattle ranch for the transgender or barren cow.

But what seems simple to the country person becomes much more complicated to the city dweller. I ran across one woman who became a vegetarian after learning the chicken she had been eating came from the squawking birds she saw riding in a truck. “Duh.”

But could big city thinking spill over to traditional cattle practices? To the tender hearted who are already vegetarians, the culling that is routine for cattle might be considered a hate crime or worse.

I remember the unreasonable fly control demands of residents whose subdivision was built next to a dairy. Unfortunately the farmer, who was there first, was outnumbered by the residents.

I have no suggestion that would satisfy both polite society and transgenders. North Carolina, to my thinking, has come up with the best workable solution so far: Trangenders go to the bathrooms that God equipped them for. That placates the ladies without seriously inconveniencing the transgenders.

Perhaps also transgenders and their defenders could follow the example of the valley Good Samaritan. She gave up her own bed so the patient could sleep on the first floor. Our own problems would not grow so big if we thought of others first.

Bonner Day has lived in the valley for14 years. He grows cattle and dandelions with mixed results.