Letter To The Editor: Things I’m Going To Miss… Or Not
Editors Note: The views and opinions expressed in this editorial are not necessarily the views or opinions of Oskaloosa News.
My wife and I are moving out of town soon and I was thinking about what I’m going to miss when I’m gone.
I’m going to miss my family a lot. They are, after all, my family and we get along really well and love each other tons. Michelle and Tom and Jeff and Spencer and Laney…I love you! I’m going to miss my friends. I have friends here I have known since grade school and junior high…that’s a really long time and they still like me…which hasn’t always been easy. Chad and Julie…thanks for always being my champions!
I’m going to miss the many many many fine people it was my privilege to serve and work with at The Peppertree! I’ve been honored to be the front man for that great establishment off and on for these past 15 years. I’ve come to know a lot of those people personally and it has been a pleasure. Thanks, Steve!
I’ll miss the people I met and worked with during my time with CRI and the Musco team. What an amazing 5 years that was!! I got to know many of the smart, brave, driven people who keep moving this town forward and vital. Karen and Jon and Beth…you are rock stars!!
I’ll miss the Wm. Penn community I was blessed to be part of while I directed plays and taught there. Thanks, Randy and Joe. These are some of the people, places, and things I’m going to miss…there are more…lots more…believe me.
There are also some things I’m NOT going to miss…I’m not going to miss the scared people…the folks who fear change. Those people who, according to one of our town leaders, “just like their old stuff.” That’s code for a lot of things. It’s code for being afraid of things like stadiums or airports or transportation hubs or Wi-Fi or same-sex marriage or gun control or curbside recycling or heck, probably a facelift for the Iowa Building or the town square.
I’m really not going to miss the folks who are suspicious of those who look and act and believe differently than they do. They also speak in code. One example is, “those Penn kids” which is a phrase I’ve heard all my life but only recently came to understand as code. It really has very little to do with where they go to school. It’s all about where they came from and how they look. I know a lot of “those Penn kids” and they deserve better than being followed while shopping at our local stores and randomly stopped walking down the street or driving at night. That is fear. I’m not going to miss that.
I’m also not going to miss those scared people who believe their church is the only church and their god is the only god and their way is the only way and if you don’t believe the way they believe you’re likely to get spit at while you are trying to cover a news event or get a call, as my wife did, from one of the less enlightened town leaders inviting you to leave town. REALLY not going to miss that!!
But…for the most part, by and large, this town is peopled more by enlightened, smart, compassionate, engaged, brave, forward thinkers than not, and it is my sincere hope that they continue to raise this community up. Those people embrace difference and diversity and growth and those people are going to move this community out of fear and into tomorrow. Those people I’m going to miss.