Dad says: ‘The devil is having a ball’

This weekend, I worked on getting the Dad portion of a family scrapbook completed. I’m not necessarily the scrapbooking type, but I wanted to make sure some of the more fragile documents and photos from my dad’s life had a safe home.

I also wanted to have all of my dad’s published letters to the editor in one collection. I ended up finding more than 40 letters, and I finally found the rant against cats that had cat lovers all over Los Angeles writing nasty replies to my dad! It even prompted one of the newspaper’s columnists to write an entire column about the ruckus Dad’s letter caused, bemoaning the fact that people get upset over the silliest things, and ignore the real problems of the world.

Dad devil ball letter

Does that sound familiar? Not much has changed since 1986.

I’ll post the cat debacle soon, but this letter about the “devil having a ball” struck me also because things have not changed. I’m not sure of the date, but because of the town name on it, it would have had to have been written in the late 1970’s to 1980’s time frame.

My dad was the pessimistic type, but I think he genuinely wanted to see good triumph over evil, but was having a hard time imagining that when he wrote this letter. He had his Catholic faith to help him sort things out, but you can substitute out more current wars and areas of strife with some of the ones my dad mentions in his letter and see that things haven’t changed much.

Dad says “man hasn’t progressed much since his cave-dwelling days.” While man has invented and conquered much, as far as human nature goes, Dad may have a point. Perhaps there is comfort in knowing that hard times filled with hopelessness have happened before and will happen again, but peace and prosperity (not just financial) have also come and gone. For those who like to believe that life moves in cycles, the devil is bound to stop having so much fun at some point.

At least we can hope.

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