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Monday, May 17, 1999

Study club hears constitution program

The Modern Study Club met on April 14, at Calvary Baptist Church, at 3:30 p.m., for an Americanism Department program. The thought-quote for the meeting was, "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Prosperity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." - The Constitution for the United States of America.

Margie Williamson, Americanism Department chairman, introduced Ken Garlitz Texas History teacher at Zavala 7th Grade Middle School. Garlitz a long-time Pecos teacher and former tennis coach, is a native of Balmorhea where he graduated from Balmorhea High School Valedictorian. His college degree was earned at the University of Texas and he is a Vietnam veteran.

Garlitz entitled his presentation the "Miracle of America," which is the way both George Washington and Benjamim Franklin referred to the final product of the constitution of the United States of America. This handout was given to those present.

He stated that the Constitution is a living document created to provide six fundamental purposes: 1. to form a more perfect union, 2. to establish justice, 3. to ensure domestic tranquility, 4. to provide for a common defense, 5. to promote the general welfare, and 6. to secure (make safe) the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our prosperity. Garlitz continued "Kept in a "golden-mean" (centered) by the three branches of government and their intricate checks and balances, our Constitution created a federal republic with political power resting in all voting citizens, but exercised through elected representatives."

He also said that our founding fathers felt "too little" government would result in anarchy, leading to chaos, and eventually mob rule. Today we call this the "right wing." They also blieved "too much" government would result in tyranny, leading to oppression and ultimately, one-man rule. This is presently better known as the "left wing." As long as both wings function effectively and simultaneously, the American Eagle (our government) is able to fly higher and straighter than any other society in existence.

In his final comments Garlitz told this story. As the last members were signing the Constitution, Benjamin Franklin looked toward President Washington's chair, on the back of which was painted a sun on the horizon, and observed, "During our long discussion I have often wondered whether that painted sun was rising or setting. But now, at length, I have the happiness to know that it is a rising, and not a setting sun."

Then he closed with these thoughts - A nation passes from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from librty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency, and from dependency back to bondage. Do you ever wonder where we are as a nation today?

President Lena Harpham conducted the business meeting. The Club Collect was led by Doris Moorman and the Pledges to the United States of America Flag and the Texas Flag were led by Catherine Travland. Members repeated all three in unison.

The minutes of the previous meeting was read by Bobbi Lang, secretary, and Pearl Gustafson, treasurer, presented a report of club finances.

Joyce Morton, TFWC Western District Arts and Crafts chairman, encouraged Club members to have their arts and crafts items ready to enter at the 39th Annual Spring Convention of the Western District of Federation of Women's Clubs to be held on April 16-17, in Monahans.

Roll call was answered with the names of two of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Hostesses Hazel Barmore and Juracy McCall used a spring centerpiece to decorate the serving table. Italian Cream Cake, punch and coffee were served to guest Ken Garlitz and members Mary Barfield, Pearl Gustafson, Bobbie Lang, Doris Moorman, Joyce Morton, Iris Reddick, Etta Sullivan, Laura Teal, Catherine Travland, and Margie Williamson.

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