Newspaper: The Evening Sentinel
Date: April 5, 1979
Title: Focus on Crisis, but Life Went On.
The big game for Cumberland County this week was the nuclear engineers vs. the Three Mile Island reactor.
And it hardly seemed like spring with the weather getting cold and rainy.
But, almost unnoticed here, major league baseball opened Wednesday for its 1979 season.
Baseball isn’t nearly as significant as the fate of the power plant or of the thousands of area residents who may be affected by it. But through the worry and fear and the relief, it is comforting to know that other things are still happening in the world.
Elsewhere, people may have paused to look at us as we dealt with the problems of radiation and threats of catastrophe, but they didn’t entirely stop what they were doing.
The Teamsters’ union went on strike, Three Mile Island or not. So did the United Air Lines mechanics.
Chicago had an election and picked its first woman mayor.
Patty Hearst got married to her former body guard.
Conductor Eugene Ormandy announced that he was retiring from the Philadelphia Orchestra.
“Aunt Jemima” and Emmett Kelley died.
Former U.S. Rep. Otto Passman was acquitted in Monroe, La., of tax evasion charges. Former U.S. Rep. Joshua Eilberg was disbarred in Philadelphia after pleading guilty to federal conflict of interest charges.
Hustler owner Larry Flynt, convicted in Georgia on obscenity charges, said he would continue to distribute his magazine there.
The Pentagon announced plans for sharp cutbacks at the New Cumberland Army Depot and at Fort Indiantown Gap.
And, Wednesday afternoon, the San Francisco Giants whipped the Cincinnati Reds, 11 to 5, in the National League opener. Later in the day, the Seattle Mariners beat the California Angels, 5 to 4, to get the American League started.
Once again grown men will act like boys, indulging in the most American of pastimes.
And once again two teams will act out on the baseball field tragedy and crisis that, with time, may replace for many the tension endured by all of us in the shadow of Three Mile Island.
Baseball is a fantasy of the powerful and the underdogs, a game played as much in the mud as on the field. It is fraught with its own emergencies and disasters, always resolved in the end, a substitute for the tidy endings that don’t always occur in real life.
The danger at Three Mile Island seems to be passing now: we gradually can turn our attention to those things we may have recently missed.
Like baseball, which began on the day the nuclear crisis appeared to be over.