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As a child, Pamela Loxley Drake was fooled by a couple of staged photos. We should all do our own research, she says now.

COURTESY PHOTO: PAMELA LOXLEY DRAKE - As a child, Pamela Loxley Drake believed this photo really depicted her father as a young man riding on an ostrich. To her chagrin, she later learned that the scene was faked. As it turns out, ostriches cannot support the weight of a human rider.A man astride an ostrich. The man? My father.

A man sitting on a bucking bronco. My Uncle Bob.

Two postcards of young men having a rip-roaring time long before my time.

You can't always believe what you see with your own eyes.

Most of our lives, the Loxley girls believed the pictures. As a young man, Dad was sitting astride a large ostrich. We saw it with our own eyes — a picture tucked away among many other cards from the 1930s and '40s.

Uncle Bob was not afraid to try something new. With an arm raised into the air and his body thrown back, he rides the bucking bronco. Go, Uncle Bob, go!

Nobody informed us of anything to the contrary. Our own eyes. We saw it clearly. It is captured on film! Why would we not believe these pieces of our history?

Yes, we were surprised to find out that both pictures were set up. Neither the bird nor the horse was real. They were fake. Pay the price and have your picture taken.

We live in a time when truth is in question. Where what you see displayed is not true and what you have been told is not true. Conflicts all over the place.

When did we become such a mixed-up nation? Dad used to have a saying: My way or the highway. Sound familiar?

Perhaps it is the writing mind in me that sparks curiosity and investigation. Even when young, I search for truth. What is left if we do not strive for and demand truth.

These so-called truths are as brazenly absurd as a posed picture on a prop. The naive mind, the one that does not want to be wrong propagates such truths.

My father sat upon the back of a large ostrich. The note on the picture now reads "not real." If I had the same resources when I as a child as I do now, I would have researched these animals that showed up with these men sitting on them. Truly, I would have more informed.

Question the source and investigate from a source that is reliable.

I could have asked Dad, but he would have just "pulled my leg." I could have asked Mom. She would just laugh. I could have asked my sister June. She would have lied to me and told me it wasn't an ostrich.

Some false truths are just as ridiculous.

Truth. We all want it. Unbiased truth. Isn't that why we have checks and balances in life?

I will not be a woman with her head in the sand.

Pamela Loxley Drake is a Beaverton resident and self-described lifelong "farm girl." You can contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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