I’m not much for getting into politics, but it seems the number of people who want to be in a national presidential race increases each election year. I believe a kid sometime during his/her young naive years expresses the wish to become U.S. president. Based on the candidates announcing intent to enter the presidential race thus far, a once childhood desire now, more than ever, has continued on into adulthood more than ever. As I said, I’m not for getting into politics, but I do enjoy the humor that comes with it. Again, political humor has started early and gives no indication of subsiding. A campaign slogan has been suggested for Jeb Bush according to one comedian: “Buy two bushes and get one free.” *** A political advisor said the trick in political campaigning is to give them platitudes without fear or favor and straight-from-the-shoulder generalities. ***
I tipped my hat to an honored journalist Friday night, the first woman ever to receive the Nebraska Press Association’s coveted Master Editor-Publisher Award. This is a very big deal in our association, seen as somewhat of a lifetime achievement award for service above and beyond the call of duty. This woman was a deserving recipient, by every measure, having devoted her professional life to the newspaper industry. She wore many hats and titles, including co-owner, co-publisher, chief financial officer, mentor, volunteer and friend. I know her best as “Mom.”
Congratulations, Aurora and Hamilton County. You made the news again in a most positive way. Paula and I were proud and humbled this weekend to represent this newspaper, its staff and the community we cover in a memorable gathering of Nebraska newspaper colleagues. I have always believed that a good newspaper is a reflection of the community it covers, and for that reason all of you share the credit for a solid showing in this year’s annual better newspaper contest.
Time has sprouted when garden conversations seem to be centered on getting potatoes planted; or how many hills of taters are already in; or worrying about if that just-right tomato plant will be available at the garden store. As for me, I’m concerned where the nearest farmer’s market will be and when it opens. It’s pretty obvious I’m not much of a gardener. My green thumb doesn’t go beyond the set of green work gloves I slip on. I’ve resigned myself to the fact I’m best at growing weeds. Our garden disappeared several years ago into weedom. The rabbits are now thinner since there are no rows of sprouting green beans to nibble on. That once garden spot can now only be identified with a rectangular border of rotting railroad ties. I should also mention inside that rectangle are not only four peonies, but blotches of drought-resistant grass that’s dotted with emerging dandelions.
It never gets old. No matter how many times you’ve lived through it, spring fever and all that comes with it is such an invigorating phenomenon. It represents new life, a season of hope and a palpable explosion of energy that spreads smiles as wide as the morning horizon. Signs of the season were everywhere this past week. The older I get, the more I notice those little seasonal mile markers, both individually and as a collective whole. Farmers are chomping at the bit to get fields ready for planting. The soil looks so good, with a deep brown hue and decent moisture readings hinting of a promising season ahead. There’s an almost giddy sense of opportunity in the air as producers wait for the calendar’s green light to pluck those seeds deep in the soil.
Remember when you were a true American if you liked apple pie and baseball. Well, it appears we might have been invaded and with that our American theme of apple pie and baseball has been kidnapped. It was reported this past week Louisville Slugger, the 120-year-old baseball bat-maker that equipped Hall of Famers such as Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle, has been sold to Wilson Sporting Goods. Unfortunately for those who support 100 percent American business Wilson Sporting Goods now is represented by a Finnish sporting goods company, Amer Sports’ Wilson brand. There is some consolation in the transaction. The parent company of the Louisville Slugger bats, Hillerich & Bradsby Co., will become AmerWilson’s exclusive manufacturing partner for wooden bats and continue to produce them at its downtown Louisville, Kentucky factory.
The tone of debate hit a disturbing level recently in Lincoln, where the Unicameral’s most controversial figure went too far in making a point. Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha has long been known for his emotional outbursts and frequent angry rants. It’s part of his demeanor, colleagues learned long ago, as well as an intimidation factor for anyone who dares go toe to toe on a given issue. That’s all fine and good, and in fact most would admit that Chambers has raised the bar on legislative debate over the years. Anyone who questions his logic, whether it be a fellow senator, lobbyist, or member of the media, better do their homework before questioning his facts, figures or logic. He’s a brilliant lawyer and lawmaker, not doubt about it, who brings passion to his work on behalf of his north Omaha constituents.
Time flies when you’re having fun and also when you become a senior citizen. Well, I’ve done both. Although I think I may have had more fun before I became a senior citizen. What got me “looking back” was a news article this past week announcing the retirement of a former Aurora athlete, Tom Kropp, who has served 25 years as Kearney State College basketball coach. That’s when I realized time had really flown and dog-gone it, I am old!
Amazing! How else can you describe the musical magic brought to life this week by the Aurora High School music department. Three sell-out crowds for the Beauty & the Beast performances saw an amazing combination of musical talent, choreography and high energy, capping off weeks of hard work by a whole lot of folks who should be giving themselves a round of applause for a job well done. Disney’s animated classic tells a timeless tale about looking for and finding the beauty within us all. This production echoed that sentiment, letting a talented group of young people shine on center stage with a performance they’ll cherish and remember for the rest of their lives, as they should! I even spotted a few young girls dressed up in “Belle” attire in the audience, which made me smile, realizing they had found a bit of Disney magic right here in Aurora. That’s pretty incredible when you think about it.
What does a tricycle, garbage can and a plumber’s truck all have in common? The items have all been victims of my carelessness when backing a car out of our garage. Actually, I forgot those little incidents until recently. That’s when the betterhalf – who seemingly never forgets my little miscues – repeated each of them in detail just after I told her I had a little incident exiting her car from the garage. I put my misdeed bluntly to her. “I backed over your bike with your car when coming out of the garage,” I said.