The biggest shopping season of the year by far begins this week and topping the list for many local retailers will be a wish that local patrons pay them a visit on Small Business Saturday. Somewhere along the line, the Christmas holiday rush became a strategic shopping phenomenon, seemingly pushing the starting date back sooner and sooner every year while also expanding consumers’ buying options. What hasn’t changed is that late November and December are crunch time for the retail industry, no matter how big the bottom line. Black Friday has long been the big kickoff for holiday sales, though I have noticed messages from several large retailers proudly touting the fact that they’ll be staying home on Thanksgiving day, urging others to do the same. I second that motion, frankly, and hope that’s a growing trend.
In the eyes of many sports fans one young man who is an avid Husker fan displayed his love for his fiancé. The story goes something like this: He had attended 103 consecutive Husker games and the Michigan State game was next on his schedule. That’s when his fiancé approached him with the request asking him to accompany her to a wedding on the same date Michigan State faced Nebraska. We’re sure there was some thought before he confirmed he would go to the wedding instead of the game. To me his acceptance was a great example of true love and would be a forerunner to many years of a compatible marriage for the two. Late in the day I retold this story and conveyed my “true love” thoughts to my listener, who incidentally was a gentlemen with several decades of married life. He listened intently to me and agreed with the true love theory, but then added, “That young man was also pretty smart!” ***
What a week it’s been for area sports fans. A fall season full of emotion and pride reached a crescendo with postseason competition that brought schools, communities and alumni from past generations together as one. Hearts have been working overtime to keep pace with the added adrenaline rush. The Aurora football team has indeed had a season to remember under first-year coach Kyle Peterson, and they’re not done yet. The Huskies have shown tremendous heart in putting together a string of 12 straight wins, never more than during Friday’s come-from-behind victory over McCook. Down 14 points on the road to a formidable foe, the Huskies simply “found a way” to grind out a semi-final victory, setting up Monday’s state championship game against Elkhorn South for all the marbles. Husky Nation knows this team, this season, is truly something special. High Plains and Giltner also made postseason football runs, with the Storm making it three rounds deep in Class D1.
Over the years we have seen job titles change. The biggest changes came when more women entered the workforce. We found many jobs that once were dominated by a particular gender ceased to exist. Just to name a few, terms such as salesman, postmaster, carryout boys all have gone by the wayside and now jobs are filled by either sex. Salesman or sales woman now go under the newer descriptive heading of “sales associate.” Postmaster has expanded to also include Postmistresses. Grocery carryout boys have become carryout servers. Mechanics are now technicians, and our list can go on and on. Along with gender changes in jobs, title verbiage also has advanced into more sophisticated titles. A janitor title that originally advanced to the title of custodian now has gone a step further by being known in help wanted advertisements as a facility technician. Rental agents are now being tagged in many agencies as “Apartment Leasing Consultants.”
Thank you, veterans. That simple, heartfelt message rings throughout America this week as we honor the men and women who are now serving our nation, as well as all those who have ever worn the uniform on our behalf. We, as a nation, simply can’t thank you enough for the sacrifices you and your families have made. Respect and admiration for our troops, past and present, has grown noticeably stronger in recent years. Whether you are at a sporting event, community parade or smaller family gathering, when veterans are recognized there is a sincere sense of oneness permeating the scene. It’s a powerful emotion, as it should be, reminding us all that we are proud to be Americans.
The other morning having coffee with a group it was apparent age was important after one mentioned he had a birthday coming up. It appeared to me after the honoree stated his age, the conversation around the table centered on who was the oldest. Prior to become president, Ronald Reagan once made the comment, “Middle age is when you are faced with two temptations and you take the one that gets you home before 10 p.m.” There are other ways you can know when you’re getting old. I’ve been told you are getting old if . . • Your train of thought derails regularly. • It takes two attempts to get off the couch. • Rather than simply walk over and change the channel you spend 10 minutes looking for the remote control instead. • You tell someone the same joke he told you the day before. • You start reading the newspaper obituaries. • You hear a telephone ringing on TV and you get up to answer yours.
Harold “Doc” Edgerton would be so proud. The small-town science center which bears his name was recognized as the outstanding tourism attraction last week by the Nebraska Tourism Commission. That’s a giant feather in the cap for this unique facility and its host community, reflecting the passion Edgerton had for science as well as his genuine desire to inspire the next generation of scientists with hands-on learning. When Doc Edgerton died, he left a legacy as a pioneering scientist whose curiosity led to inventions that impacted the world. He truly loved to teach science, and believed that by touching and feeling different aspects of the scientific realm, young minds could be inspired.
A man’s trade often puts a mark on him, according to a professor who spent considerable time studying for the signs. You’ve heard of trumpet player’s lip and some even have found violinist acne, which creates a lump under the neck near the jaw. He noted boxers are marked with cauliflower ears while a worker will have callus on a hand from repeated manual labor. Handling rough bricks has claimed to scrape the fingerprints off the left hand of some bricklayers. Stained fingers are the mark of other tradesmen. Bakers, fry cooks and fish dealers carry the odors of their trades. But, the professor said when applying the last rule of odor relating to a trade, you’ve got to be careful. The smell of a barroom does not necessarily denote a bartender. ***
Long ago I heard the theory that “location, location, location” is what makes or breaks many businesses, but the older I get the more I’m convinced that “people, people, people” have more to do with the bottom line than any other single factor. The hard-working men and women who turn the soil, manage the store, fix our vehicles and in various ways keep the economic engine of Hamilton County humming along are the backbone of our community. It’s fitting and oh so important to tip the hat once in a while to the local workforce, which we’re proud to do with a special section in this week’s News-Register.
A comment from a female acquaintance told me, “When men reach their sixties and retire, they go to pieces; however women go right on cooking.’’ I’m long past the sixties and by what I have observed over the past decades, she has a point. I recently helped at a church festival luncheon and I can attest the women who were there, or at least who provided food, have gone right on cooking . . . and darn good cooking. I saw no males in the kitchen. We males were humbled to picking up food trays, pouring tea, coffee, or water; and basically shuttled out of the way of those who knew what cooking was all about. And judging from the number of pies, salads and the aroma of yum-burgers, those gals in attendance knew exactly what cooking was all about.