By Dennis L. Morgan
Saturdays have been busy days lately for many of us here in Elgin.
On the first Saturday in May the Elgin Community Club, with the assistance of the City of Elgin, held its annual Community Cleanup Day. One day earlier, students at Elgin Public School, did their part, cleaning up school grounds and walking around the community picking up what needed to be picked up.
As for the community club, Gary Arehart, Greg Tharnish, Lynell and I met at One Stop early Saturday morning to continue what has become a yearly event which, from my viewpoint, is one of the most-welcomed activities the club does every year.
Citizens have taken good advantage of the opportunity to clear their homes and property of items no longer needed. For those unable to haul items away, we were glad to lend assistance. In fact, we had a sheet full of stops to make.
If you can imagine it, we have probably picked it up since starting cleanup day several years ago. Pickup covers, worn out mattresses and box springs, carpet, and so much more. Perhaps the thing that amazes me even more than what people dispose of, is what other people salvage from the dumpsters. What is worth nothing to someone, is a prize find to someone else. Case in point, the Bank of Elgin disposed of some old 1960s-vintage chairs. After hauling them to the dumpster, they were set up along the edge because we had a funny feeling someone might want those chairs. Sure enough, later in the afternoon we came back to find those chairs were gone. They have found a new home somewhere in Elgin. Or, maybe, they’ll be sold on Ebay. Maybe, just maybe, someday those chairs will again see the light of day on somebody’s estate auction.
So, is there anything to be learned from the tale of the eight chairs? If you’re in to sorting through dumpsters to own what was once your neighbors, then you need to check back early and often.
Saturday night we joined several other couples for a road trip. Every now and then, you just need to get away. Hop in the van, relax among friends and talk about what happened during the past week. A good meal, good conversation and some good stories can end the week on a high note.
We ended up in Niobrara at a popular eatery, enjoyed the prime rib special and all that went with it.
The drive home was another story. There’s no shortage of deer around Niobrara as our headlights clearly pointed out.
Fortunately, none chose to visit us “up close and personal.”
Dodging deer is not my idea of having a good time. Some people are just deer magnets. I’m just glad I wasn’t driving home.
Then, this past Saturday night was graduation night at Elgin High School. Three speakers instead of two was a nice touch since the ‘race’ for valedictorian and salutatorian was so close. We reported last week, from information provided by Principal Jimmy Feeney III that the valedictorian would be Nathan Anderson and the salutatorian would be Anthony Hemenway. After the paper had been printed, the principal called to say that information might not have been correct.
All we could do was wait, the paper had been printed with correct information at that time.
Then, with all the grades recorded, it was learned that Jessica Heithoff was the salutatorian.
What must have been an ackward situation to be in, Feeney handled it in a way fair to all, allowing each of the three students to speak Saturday night.
All three gave great speeches, each claiming the moment as uniquely their own.
One of my favorite contributors to this newspaper is a former college classmate at Kearney. Jayne, now a doctor’s wife living in Virginia, regularly sends me items to ponder. A Conservative at heart, she says she is stuck ‘behind enemy lines’ on the East Coast. Yet, she stands her ground, injecting common sense values onto people who are not ‘common.’
She sent this ode to ‘old farts’ to me last week. Enjoy…
Old Farts Pride
Old Farts are easy to spot at sporting events; during the playing of the National Anthem.
Old Farts remove their caps and stand at attention and sing without embarrassment. They know the words and believe in them.
Old Farts remember World War II, Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Normandy and Hitler. They remember the Atomic Age, the Korean War, The Cold War, the Jet Age and the Moon Landing. They remember the 50 plus Peacekeeping Missions from 1945 to 2005, not to mention Vietnam.
If you bump into an Old Fart on the sidewalk he will apologize. If you pass an Old Fart on the street, he will nod or tip his cap to a lady. Old Farts trust strangers and are courtly to women.
Old Farts hold the door for the next person and always, when walking, make certain the lady is on the inside for protection.
Old Farts get embarrassed if someone curses in front of women and children and they don’ t like any filth or dirty language on TV or in movies.
Old Farts have moral courage and personal integrity. They seldom brag unless it’s about their children or grandchildren.
It’s the Old Farts who know our great country is protected, not by politicians, but by the young men and women in the military serving their country.
This country needs Old Farts with their work ethic, sense of responsibility, pride in their country and decent values.
Thank God for Old Farts!