World War II veteran Clyde Pidcock shakes hands with Third District Rep. Mike Turner at the World War II Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.(Photo courtesy of Andy Bloom)
World War II veteran Clyde Pidcock shakes hands with Third District Rep. Mike Turner at the World War II Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
(Photo courtesy of Andy Bloom)

World War II Navy veteran and former Highland County resident Clyde Pidcock turned 94 years old today.

"I've got six more years to go to make 100," Clyde told me this morning.

In addition to being a World War II veteran, Clyde also is a former independent business owner. He is a hunter, a fisherman, an author and a gentleman.

Three years ago, Clyde was inducted into the Ohio State Trappers Association Hall of Fame.

As we reported in The Highland County Press, Nick Bower, chairman of the Awards Committee from the Ohio State Trappers Association, notified Clyde of his Hall of Fame status.

"He made my life complete," Clyde said. "I'm happy that at the age of 91, I still have my memories and my love of trapping."

The induction was a culmination of Clyde's long history of trapping in southwest Ohio.

Clyde is the author of "A Half-Century of Mink Trapping," (a copy of which he signed for my son). He has written numerous newspaper editorials and letters through the past 40+ years. He was born in Carbine Hill, Ohio in 1918, and lived in the Rocky Fork Lake community for many years.

In 1925, at the age of 7, he lost his mother. With the Great Depression on the horizon, Clyde did what he needed to do. He went to work. He carried coal, collected scrap metal, sold newspapers, anything and everything to help his family – including trapping.

Clyde's love for trapping began in 1923 and lasted for 75 years. He retired from trapping at the age of 80. Through all of his writings and public speaking, Clyde was given the name of "The Ole Trapper."

He says he doesn't remember when the nickname started, "just that it stuck."

Clyde and I talk for a few minutes every year on Sept. 17. Lord willing and the creeks don't rise, I'll take him to breakfast for his 100th birthday.

Clyde and his lovely wife, Helen, now reside in Springfield. Highland County's loss is Clark County's gain. Happy Birthday, Clyde. We miss you.

* * *

Reverend Obama

After listening to President Obama speak in Cincinnati today, I couldn't resist a "Google search."

As I typed in the words "Obama sounds like…" the search engine automatically completed the sentence with the words "a preacher."

(To be honest, I was going to type in Elmer Gantry.)

Nonetheless, I let the Google search engine do what it does and selected "Obama sounds like a preacher."

That search brought me to the website In fact, it took me to this link:

In a story by Dan Kazan from earlier this year, I read: "While there is, technically, a separation between church and state in our country, it doesn’t feel like a very large separation at times. And President Barack Obama is getting into the mix, trying to sound like a religious revivalist.

"At a recent event at the University of North Carolina, the president tried to rally the crowd with a classic religious tactic. As he said, 'The fact is that since most of you were born, tuition and fees at America’s colleges have more than doubled, and that forces students like you to take out a lot more loans, there are fewer grants, you rack up more debt. Can I get an ‘amen’?”

"Really? Do we need our current president acting like a revivalist preacher, rousing audiences across America to act like they’re in a Christian tent revival meeting?"

Mr. Kazan, who according to his brief bio, "has had years of experience writing for some of the largest newspapers and magazines in the United States," brings up a valid point.

And if it's fine with liberals for Obama to disregard any "church and state separation" pretenses, surely the so-called "Mormon issue" ought to be similarly disregarded in this presidential election.

Frankly, I'd prefer the sermonizing be left to the theologians.

The search between now and Nov. 6 isn't for another "amen" to a teleprompter sermon. It's for good government. My guess is that the search will continue well past Nov. 6.

* * *

No time for U.S. ally;
late-night TV more important

President Obama has time for David Letterman's TV show, but he doesn't have time for America's only real ally in the Mideast.

Last week, the White House said that President Obama would not meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his U.S. visit this month.

The administration cited scheduling conflicts. (Probably the Letterman show.)

U.S. Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham said in a joint statement: "It is puzzling that the president can't make time to see the head of state of one of America's closest allies in the world."

Ya think?

Some think Obama may be seeking "plausible deniability" should tensions escalate between Israel and Iran. That makes about as much sense as blaming recent attacks on U.S. ambassadors and Marines on a film that no more than a half-dozen people have even seen. The Mideast alibi just doesn't hold sand.

* * *

One more topic

Having seen a few college students (almost always female) walk around in their Che Guevara T-shirts, I'm always pleased when intelligent writers explain that this butcher was no more a humanitarian than Hitler or Stalin.

Writing this week for, in an article entitled "Re-branding Guevara: Che the Butcher, Violent hatred is not something to emulate — or wear on a T-shirt," John Fund says: "Violence was at the core of Che’s philosophy."

"After Fidel Castro seized power in 1959, Che was instrumental in setting up forced-labor camps for dissidents, gays, and Catholics. He was put in charge of La Cabaña Fortress prison for five months. There are varying accounts of how many people were executed under his command during that time, but some sources say that more than 100 journalists, businessmen, and followers of the previous regime faced death by firing squad at La Cabaña, under Che’s jurisdiction. …

"During the 2008 campaign, a Houston TV station taped the inside of an Obama get-out-the-vote office that featured a large Cuban flag on the wall, with the image of Che stamped onto it."

Nice. Naturally, the mainstream media gave the campaign a free pass four years ago. Would they have given McCain a free pass if he had a Hitler photo and swastika on the back door at one of his campaign offices? Of course not.

"Che-style thinking is ascendant in the anti-American authoritarians who today rule Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Nicaragua," Fund said. "Che is much more than an image on a T-shirt to leaders in those countries: He is an inspiration on how to seize and maintain power. It’s for that reason that we should push back whenever and wherever Che’s image surfaces. If people wore T-shirts with images of Nazi butchers, most of us wouldn’t let them pass by without comment. The same should be the case with Che."

History has had more than enough tyrants and murderers. And more than enough distortions about them. Ernesto Guevara de la Serna belongs in the same category as a Hitler or Stalin wannabe.

But it's your T-shirt. Looks good in the mirror, doesn't it?

Rory Ryan is publisher of The Highland County Press.