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Probe: May 21, 2002

May 21, 2002

QUESTION: I am a professional singer and guitar player, 67 years old but still active in music. My husband died 10 years ago and I am now living in Oklahoma, 65 miles east of Oklahoma City.

I am still singing. Every summer I perform at the Treasure Lake Resort in Branson.

In 1956 my group, just three people, appeared in the Flamingo Club in Imperial. In our group was a tall guy who played a four-neck steel guitar. I can't remember his name. The other guy, George "Dallas" Wilson, played a guitar and sang.

We were booked for three nights. Do you know who owned the Flamingo at that time? — Still Singing, Paden, Okla.

In a town that had about five beer joints in two city blocks, the Flamingo was a bit more than a joint, according to a patron at The Drifters Saloon on Monday in Imperial.

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It served drinks made with hard liquor and once in awhile it brought in live music. That's where you came in. The Flamingo was on Imperial Avenue close to the intersection of Imperial and Seventh Street.

"It was a real nice little place," recalled the patron. The owner was "Robinson, nice guy… I don't know his first name."

That was the best we could do but don't give up. Some PROBE readers are experts on the Valley's 1950s beer joint culture. We'll let you know after we hear from our ‘experts.'"

QUESTION: Did you get Snoop Doggy's teeth checked? Did you know 85 percent of dogs over 4 years old have some form of periodontal disease and that gum infections can affect his health and shorten his life? — Dog Owner, Brawley

Leave us alone! Snoop is only 7 months old. We can't worry about his teeth and the carpet at the same time.

QUESTION (more or less): This is in response to a question about priest abuse of minors on your Web page.

I have never admitted to anyone for decades the misdirected sexual attention from an alcoholic priest and some of the older altar boys toward the younger boys more than 30 years ago.

I entered the altar boy program in Calexico enthusiastically. Within months I left organized religion and have never returned. The reason was I witnessed homosexual abuse of the younger boys.

Luckily I reacted quickly enough after being warned by another boy…. Yet, I regret the void left in my life when I left the church. — Witness, Calexico

Your account leaves us queasy. Without knowing your name or having any corroborating evidence, we don't know how to judge its truth.

From accounts surfacing all over the country, we have to believe a lot of stomach-churning events happened. We just don't know how many or how many priests were involved or how many children.

As we think about the issue, we wonder how the church should have reacted. The Christian faith is a faith of redemption and forgiveness. Christians believe one has only to ask for forgiveness and it will be forthcoming.

It was Jesus who said, "Go and sin no more."

Is it any wonder church leaders would believe a penitent who asked for forgiveness could go and sin no more? In retrospect, that faith may seem naive. But take away the belief that a Christian who has sinned can be washed as pure as the "driven snow" by the blood of Jesus, and there's not much left of the faith.

But we may be mixing Baptist doctrine with Catholic theology.

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