Eric Scott, Proprietor of Christopher's Italian Restaurant, presented a very timely presentation about the social times that we are confronted with and equated to a good stew and reminded us about our national motto of E Pluribus Unum.
 his presentation follows.

Remembering E Pluribus Unum

By: Eric Scott


I grew up years ago in the heartland of America and walked to school. Eastside Elementary was a stone’s throw away. Jarman Junior High was a mile from my house, cutting through yards that weren’t fenced. Midwest City High School was a little over a three mile trek. I started throwing newspapers when I was in the eighth grade. Since I got up at 5:30AM to get my papers on porches in my neighborhood before people left for work, getting to junior high school on time wasn’t a problem.


That changed in high school where I picked up a lot of tardy slips and drew dependable sympathy from Mrs. Sutton in the front office. I was always late to school on rainy days because I had to bag-and-band my papers. A bus ran on my street, but for jocks like me busses only existed to get students to away games, band camp, and extracurricular events. Nobody that I wanted to know rode a bicycle to high school so in the middle of my sophomore year I bought a small Honda motorcycle. The summer before my junior year I saved enough to buy a good used car for $200 that got about ten miles per gallon of gas.


School is different four decades later. Bussing is prominent, attendance policies are stringent, but academics have plummeted. I was expected to memorize the periodic chart of chemical elements, master calculus, know past presidents and the years they served, type 40 words per minute, and produce essays that equipped me to write this article. Tardiness, absence and conduct were hurtful or helpful for borderline students. As long as we did our work, behaved, and kept our grades up, we didn’t catch grief. Students who achieved were rewarded and those who failed … failed.


Mr. Graves was a teacher who significantly impacted me. Recently I surprised some business associates, and myself, when I was still able to recite much of the Declaration of Independence that I memorized in his eleventh grade civics class. Graves endorsed our national motto that you still see on currency, though it’s virtually meaningless now. “E Pluribus Unum” is Latin for “From many, one”.


Coach Graves used to say that the USA is like a flavorful stew made up of various cuts of beef, potatoes, and assorted vegetables. Everybody that jumps in the bowl adds to it. Some are sweet and some are sour. Some are bland, others are tart. Everybody gets to retain his basic form as long as he’s willing to get stirred into the mix, take the heat, soften up, and absorb the two hundred year old broth that makes us a unified lot.


The kids I went to school with understood that, filtered it, and took it at face value. Today, he’d have to write it on a poster in Spanish and Vietnamese, give formal notice if it would be on his next test, pass students who didn’t comprehend it, and exempt those who stated that they preferred to maintain the cultural heritage of their countries of origin. If you’re offended, take your grievance up with the administration.