My, oh my, how time has flown for 50 years

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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!
I recalled when as a youngster Tom won local and state Ford Punt, Pass and Kick contests and competed on the national level. The multi-sport high school athlete continued by leaving his marks in Aurora football, basketball, track and baseball records.  He was Nebraska’s first athlete to be inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame. All-America honors came his way in college football and basketball and he played pro basketball for the Washington Bullets and Chicago Bulls, as well as in Europe. Talk about having fun! What a joy it was as a news reporter to cover and/or watch Tom Kropp’s accomplishments through those years.
Now again time has flown fast for the betterhalf and myself since we arrived in this community 50 years ago. Actually, it was in November of 1964 when my father and I worked out the details of an agreement with Gerald and Bertha Bremer for the purchase of the Aurora News-Register.
 I had been business manager of an Iowa newspaper for several years. My dad, after selling his newspaper years earlier, still had printer’s ink in his veins and a hankering to get back in the newspaper business. We had searched for several years for just the right newspaper town. Both of us had Nebraska roots that we found were hard to give up. We formed a partnership that worked well, but unfortunately it ended seven years later when died.
 Things in Aurora changed fast, too. The community was one of Nebraska’s most progressive and continues on that pace..
The first time we came to look at the Aurora newspaper property we drove the square and under dimmed street lights I can recall two outdoor neon signs were illuminated. One was Mitchell Recreation and the other sign lighting the northside of the square marked Weller Jewelry. On the south side I smiled when we drove by a small single front building with a lone lightbulb shining through the window. Later I learned that was John Quinn’s store where liquor could be confidentially delivered to the home of special customers.
Over the years Aurora followed its slogan of a “Friendly Town Full of Friendly People.” The community has expanded from roughly 2,500 citizens to its present 4,500-plus population while more industries and businesses prospered   
Things changed fast for the betterhalf and me, too. We grew with the community, but not quite as fast. Our family consisting of a 4-year-old son and a four-month-old soon expanded with the addition of another son in 1968.
Yes, we’ve been fortunate living in this community for 50 years and hope there are many more years ahead. Good times have outweighed the bad times. Our hope today is may the good years go just a little slower so we can enjoy our blessings.

RL Furse  is publisher emeritus of the News-Register

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