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Richardson-Taylor Reunion News

March 26, 1993

Pete called me with the latest update on the reunion. As he claimed before, it is being held at the Merced River Resort which, he further goes on to claim, is a luxurious private resort and park with numerous amenities such as a swimming pool, spa, enormous club house, and neighboring nudist camp. They have breakfast in the morning for a nominal fee and kids can eat for half price. He says that it is so good that they guarantee good weather. He also says that there are lots of things in the area such as the Museum at Castle Air Base, the Musuem of Merced County, some sort of Pioneer Exhibit, and the Yosemite Wildlife Area.

Doug Leard wrote to commend me on my "internecine approbation." (Douglas is sometimes excessively sesquipedalian.) He went on to say that I should spread some more of that condemnation on other people in the family, besides the lower-grade Ohio member, such as Robert and Richard Morris, whose combined attendance record is nil and seldom. Robert is now living in Florida and I am of the belief that it is not good policy to encourage any Morris to come out of a swamp. Richard last attended at one of the Santa Cruz reunions where he got too close to the campfire and burned his fur pretty badly. I hear that he still has a large bald spot on his back and is still shaken up by the experience.

Bud wrote to say that he has a new great-grandson named (of all things) James Richardson, born January 23, 1993, weighing in at seven pounds, eleven ounces, and 21.5 inches long. As usual, Bud took more credit for this event than any three people would have deserved, and says that one of his grandchildren played some minor role in helping to bring this about. We certainly congratulate him but I think that, in view of the historical record, his parents might have been more judicious in their choice of a name.

I have heard that Edna took a nasty fall and broke her leg pretty badly. She did not explain why she chose to do this, I would think that she would have wanted to avoid it. Anyway, I also heard that she seems to be recovering pretty well now but may still have a slight limp when she gets to the reunion. I was sorry to hear about her getting hurt but I have to admit that I am glad of any advantage I can get whenever she starts chasing me (her favorite nephew) around the table with a butcher knife.

Alyssa, our eldest, appeared on the television game show, Scattergories, at the end of February, and will soon be appearing again on April 19 or 20 because they screwed up the scoring the first time. She has completed her schooling to become a real estate appraiser and will soon be taking the licensing test. If she passes the test, she will probably become the youngest certified real estate appraiser in the state of California.

Melissa took some career aptitude tests for high school and, overall, scored higher than the school administrators had ever seen before. In fact, they said that she was probably qualified to become a research scientist, if she chose. (This is the same girl whose head whistles when the wind blows.) They said she scored off the top of the scale on one particular aptitude -- the ability to talk. That was a great surprise to all of us.

Now to raise the hackles of a good number of you. The years of Fascist dictatorship under Reagan and Bush has finally overcome my political apathy and I have resolved to do something about it. I had hoped that Bill Clinton would make some major changes on some issues but he appears to be wimping out, so he will probably have to be pushed.

I am opposed to abortion, for example, but feel that there are better ways than criminal laws to prevent or dissuade people from having them. As in many other areas, the use of the police to enforce essentially private behavior does not add any real benefit to the equation.

Clinton appears to have wimped out on the issue of gays in the military, too. The fact is that there have been gays in the military since the days of Achilles and Patrocles. There were gay guys in my Army Intelligence unit in Korea and they did not seem to be a disruptive influence, except to those people that I thought were a disruptive influence. They had the same kind of hysterical talk about disorder in the barracks when they were going to racially integrate the armed services. It was balderdash then and it is balderdash now.

As I told you, I have been involved in a campaign to decriminalize drugs. I don't want to get too political here, but we have people in this family who have suffered greatly, and continue to suffer, because of a terribly misguided war against drugs. Aside from the political aspects, this is an issue which has directly affected this family. Because of some recent events in the family, a few more of you have come around to my way of thinking and specifically asked to hear more of what I had to say about the issue. Therefore, I have enclosed some of the literature I have put together on the issue. I encourage you all to go to the library and read the evidence. No rational person can support our current drug policy once they have read the evidence.

Things seem to be coming to a head on this issue. I have had a pretty fair number of speeches and debates, including some on the radio. The most interesting thing was a meeting we held at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University on February 26. The meeting was held at the offices of Dr. Milton Friedman, the Nobel-prize winning economist, and included some of the most prominent medical authorities on drugs in the world. Together, we drafted a resolution calling for immediate public hearings to form a new drug policy. I have enclosed a copy of the resolution and a partial list of the people who have signed it.

The resolution was published across the nation. It immediately received the endorsement of Dr. Dean Edell, and the San Jose Mercury, and made front-page news in Baltimore and other cities. In addition, the California Medical Association adopted a resolution which went even further and openly called for decriminalization. We are now trying to sign up as many major prominent people or organizations as we can and, in another ninety days or so, we will carry the resolution to Bill Clinton to try to get him to act on it. We have already received a tremendous response to our announcement and we are anticipating much more. We believe that, in addition to Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke, we will soon have the signatures of several more mayors of major cities.

I have to say that the meeting was intensely interesting. There were nine doctors in attendance, including the American doctor who formed Britain's drug treatment plan in 1947, and the doctor who was appointed by the state legislature to head California's Research Advisory Panel on Drugs. All of the doctors agreed that medical patients are suffering unnecessarily because the war on drugs has limited doctors' ability to provide pain relief. Dr. Harvey Rose spent three years and more than $100,000 fighting charges that he gave too much Darvon to a woman who was in her 80's and had crippling arthritis. The war against drugs has gone so far overboard that doctors cannot prescribe adequate pain relief, even for people who are desperately ill.

I described to them the medical problems of a few members of the family and they all agreed on the one thing that they would prescribe for severe pain -- heroin. They said it was a highly desireable analgesic because it was safe, powerful, and short-acting. They all agreed that, for severe medical pain, heroin is the drug of choice. What was most surprising to me was that they consistently used the same word to describe all of the illegal drugs in general, and heroin in particular. The word they used was "harmless." Doctors are now coming to understand that drugs such as marijuana, heroin, and morphine have very important medical benefits which are not provided by any other type of drug. Marijuana is the treatment of choice for conditions such as glaucoma and nausea from chemotherapy. Heroin and morphine help people heal much faster after severe injuries or surgery because, by reducing pain, they reduce the stress on the nervous system.

It is with great regret that I must report that Wilma Taylor has died. We will miss her.

Reunion Details

Where:                Merced River Resort.                               
                      Take the Blass Road exit from Highway 99.  See     
                      the enclosed map for details.                      
                      7765 N. Parallel Road                              

When:                 June 26 and 27, 1993                               
                      Pete says that the party will really start Friday  
                      night, June 25, for all the really hard-core       
                      family members with a campfire, marshmallow        
                      roast, and the traditional Lewd, Obnoxious         
                      Behavior Contest. Pete said that he wanted to      
                      hold the contest on Friday night because there     
                      was a chance that Bill Henry might show up on      
                      Saturday and he wanted other people to have a      
                      fair chance.  He says that ten families are        
                      already signed up for Friday night.                

                      Saturday will be the big day with hot dogs and     
                      hamburgers at noon, the Bill Henry Cursing         
                      Contest at two o'clock, and the main meal about    

                      Sunday will be Alka-Seltzer, hotdogs, hamburgers,  
                      and scraps from the carnage of the previous        
                      night, starting at about 11 AM. Some of the truly  
                      hard-core will stay until Monday.                  

Contribution:         $8.00 per household.                               
Pete says that larger contributions will be        
                      gratefully accepted and will be used to install    
                      an underground beer vat at his home.               
                      Contributions must be in by June 1 and the money   
                      will be all spent by June 21.  As usual, let us    
                      know if money is a problem.                        

Bring:                Salads (for the grazing members of the family),    
beans (here we go again)                           
good desserts (as if anyone in this family would   
                      notice what they were inhaling)                    
charcoal -- at least ten pounds per family.        
                      (Pete did not explain what he wanted to do with a  
                      fire that big.)                                    
drinks (to keep the taylors out of the local       
bathing suits (don't use those same old excuses    
                      There will be plastic silverware and plates        
                      provided.  If you need stronger stuff, bring your  

Important:            Pete says he needs to know who wants camp sites    
right away.  He said that there were two trailers  
left and they are a fantastic deal.  He says the   
camp sites can have more than one tent, with a     
limit of 8 people per site, so families can share  
a site if they want.  Money for camp sites and     
trailers is not refundable after April 20.         


          Name and Address                         Details                

Almond Tree Inn                      Good, clean good with two            
209-668-3400                         queen-size beds in every room        
8 miles away at the Lander Ave.      $40- $44 per night                   
exit                                 $36 per room plus $4.00 dollars per  
                                     person over one                      

Motel 6                              Standard Motel 6                     
209-667-4100                         $24 for one person plus $6 per       
9 miles away                         additional adult                     
                                     Children up to 17 free               

Call Pete for details on more expensive motels.

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