Footloose sends a powerful message

Letters to the editor

Dear Editor:

Allow me to add to what is surely a wide consensus of people enriched by the recent production by Aurora High School of Footloose: The Musical.
I was blessed to attend the musical on Saturday evening, March 23rd.  My toe was tapping to the familiar songs of my teenage years, when I was a huge fan of the inimitable Casey Kasem and our nation’s best pop music as played on American Top 40 over the radio air waves. Especially dear to me from the Aurora production were the songs Almost Paradise, Let’s Hear It for the Boy, and, of course, Footloose.  
While I listened to pop music (a lot) in those days, I never saw Footloose at the theater nor have I ever watched it on cable TV or via a streaming service. Yet, I heard enough about the movie to know the general story line. I was appreciative of the directors of the Aurora High School production for staying true to the Footloose plot, and its acting and dancing, while not offending with dance moves which movies of the 1980’s made famous. In my estimation, none of the choreography on the Aurora stage would have made my parents blush nor require embarrassing explanations to young children.  
I was drawn in a totally unexpected way into the heart of the Rev. Shaw Moore and his realization for the healing needed from suffering the tragic loss of his son in a traffic accident. The reverend wrestled with these past wounds when confronted by the distinct, but similar, woundedness of the new student at Bomont High School, Ren McCormack. This was impactful to me. It brought to my mind a theme distinctive to this season of Lent, namely, of a loving Father who loved the world so much as to send his only son, a son to whom Isaiah the prophet pointed and which Peter’s First Epistle succinctly described: “by his [Christ’s] wounds, you have been healed” (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24).
My fervent prayer is that all who toe-tapped and sang along with me in the Aurora auditorium will realize that Jesus Our Lord is capable of healing any and all wounds in our lives. No wound is too great for him to heal; no wound is too small for him to care about.  
Thank you to all who contributed in any way to Footloose: The Musical, especially the wonderful high school youth (both on stage and off) who used their God-given talents so convincingly as to share with us all a great message. I, who am privileged to carry the title reverend, learned from Aurora High’s fictitious Rev. Moore as he learned from Ren McCormack a valuable lesson so needed in our world today -- namely, that all wounds can and will be healed when placed at the foot of the Cross.
Rev. Loras K. Grell
St. Mary Church,

A thanks to Darla Svoboda long
after she retires
Dear Editor:
Darla, I want to thank you for giving us 30 plus years of the best county roads in the state of Nebraska as well as a county gravel pumping operation that produced quality gravel at a fraction of the cost of what we are now spending for commercially pumped gravel.
You also provided an equipment rotation program with Caterpillar and Bobcat that was the envy of all the surrounding counties. And still, you did this on one of the smallest county road budgets in our area. You were underpaid because you were a woman and still you took on planning and zoning and became one of the state’s most respected administrators in that field. You were the flood plain administrator, you worked on the budgets for some of the villages in the county and for the Hamilton County budget as well.
I don’t know of anyone who could have endured the harassment you went through and kept their Christian attitude. There have been a number of people employed to take your place, but they can’t come close to the job you did for Hamilton County. You are an inspiration to so many of us and a good friend.
Duane A. Katt

Declaring county emergency not necessary
Dear Editor:
The paper says, “Hamilton County ‘dodged bullet’ of area flooding.” Yet the county is declaring an emergency to get disaster aid.
This will take money from the pool and decrease the aid to counties and communities truly hit hard by the flooding. But of course, everyone is out to get a hand of the free money, even if they need it or not, regardless that it will hurt others.
Kent Goertzen,
A veteran’s
opinion on GI
Soldiers Home
Dear Editor:
Have the commissioners, city council, or planners (in Grand Island) become part of the lame brain racial far left in wanting to erase history with regards to the Nebraska Soldiers and Sailors Home? What a blow in the gut to all who have memories of those who fought their last battle on what is now hallowed ground when thinking that it may be destroyed.
Grand Island was a loser when they did not fight to keep the home in Grand Island. Look at all the people who came to Grand Island to visit veterans, thus adding to the economy of Grand Island while they where in town. This home is a state historical marker and should not be destroyed.
The Anderson Building could be used for homeless veterans who just might want to ride a lawn mower, helping maintain the grounds or a paint brush in hand to help for their keep, etc. What about developing a PTSD Treatment Center here along with a service dog training company? Veterans have many needs.
Part of the grounds could be used for a Memorial Military Museum. Having a president in the White House who is pro-veteran, I am sure there would be grants and many military armaments of the past donated to a museum that are now in moth balls somewhere, waiting to be put on display.
I come from a military heritage family having had two uncles in World War II, one of which was killed in New Guinea, and one came home and later I helped him be admitted to the Soldiers and Sailors Home in Grand Island. He enjoyed living there until his last battle with death. His funeral was there and he was laid to rest in the cemetery to the west of the home. Today I have his burial flag, which I would gladly donate to a museum if a Veteran Memorial Wall were to be built, that would bear all the names of the veterans who died on this hallowed ground.
I also am a Navy veteran who honorably served my country unlike some who fled to Canada or got married so as to avoid the draft.
I knew that when the Selective Service was abolished we would become a nation in decline and look where are here today, statues being removed, our freedoms being challenged, and socialism on the horizon. Grand Island cannot look for any funds from the state because of all the shortfalls they have.
The governor, really does not listen to the people, as I know when I recently called his office to suggest taxing easements that big companies like AT&T, Verizon, CF Industries, Black Hills, NPPD and others have on our farmers’ land, and they pay nothing for that privilege to the farmer. I did not get a response back. I also did not get a response to a call to my representative either (Curt Friesen), so again do not look for any help from the state.
How neat it would be if the young could see history as it was made. If one loses the past so goes the future. We have the Pledge of Allegiance, prayer in many places, the Ten Commandments tablets in government buildings all have been erased from history. What next our National Anthem?
I write this article not in disrespect but as a wake-up call, but know it will be met with a deaf ear. Will our wonderful VA Medical Center be the next to exit Grand Island? I believe that the Old Soldiers and Sailors Home should remain for veteran uses out of respect to all veterans.
Douglas Lee McHenry
U.S. Navy Veteran, Aurora

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