We had a thin set of nominees for this year’s Al Copeland Humanitarian Award. I nominated Chad Kroeger and JT Parr, who speak during public input periods during local government meetings to reveal the impotence of public input — whether as part of government fora or on social media. Greg nominated Bob Fletcher, who heroically saved farms for Japanese Americans who had been sent to internment camps during World War II. Sensing that the field was small, Greg added at the last minute Mildred Day, the inventor of the Rice Krispie Treat.
Perhaps our shortage of Al Award nominees is a reflection of a glum mood that has gripped public discourse of late, making it difficult to think of how the human condition is being improved. This is precisely why Mildred Day is the person we need to recognize with this year’s Al Copeland Humanitarian Award. In the fine tradition of Al Copeland himself, Day made the human condition better by giving us a delicious treat, the Rice Krispie Treat. Those treats aren’t just wonderful because of their gooey while also crunchy sweetness. Rice Krispie Treats are also so easy to make that they are often among the first cooking projects that parents do with their children. Parents connecting with their children over something yummy is just about the best thing.
Chad and JT are amusing in the fine tradition of Al honorees Ken M, Fasi Zaka, and Lazlo Toth. But their goal is to mock, which while necessary, may contribute further to the sour popular mood. Bob Fletcher is certainly admirable in the fine tradition of Al recipient, Wim Nottroth. But right now we could use more of a sweet reward than a harsh reminder of the need to stand up to evil, as important as that reminder is.
So thank you, Mildred Day. As you celebrate her selection as the Al Copeland Humanitarian, I hope you are enjoying some candy from yesterday’s haul and perhaps adding a Rice Krispie Treat or two.