Written by Jerry Engler Tuesday, 02 December 2008 14:23
I lost my box.
But there’s nothing too lost about thinking outside a box when you can sit on a rock on the lot behind the Free Press office dreaming of daffodils. Sometimes losing something is good, and sometimes it’s bad.
It keeps Todd Jost wondering about what you might do next, and the fear of being put in another one of my columns led Andy Kraus to consider leaving town to build a bridge in Greenwood County.
So, nothing is too lost except for poor Lost Springs. A community building advisory team came through from Kansas State University a couple of weeks ago. They recommended tearing down half the buildings in Lost Springs as eyesores, and severely dressing up of those that are left. That would make it the nearly lost Lost Springs—at least until the Santa Fe Trail tourist trade booms just a little more.
Yes, I know there were local people recruited for the K-State team, too. They were interested in keeping our small towns functioning.
We want other people’s money to keep our towns going. That’s why we employ folks to get grants and aid to save us, and expand us.
Yes, we’ve paid our fair share, too. And we want our fair share, which is everything we can get. As a matter of fact, we would be quite comfortable with more than our fair share.
We’re not going to buy it that deep in the dungeons below the White House, the fellow who dreamed up Roosevelt plans for getting rid of small farmers is in phase two of getting rid of the small towns that were their trade centers.
No, he couldn’t help it if automobiles made it possible for fewer farmers to drive 50 miles for goods and services instead of plentiful farmers driving horses needing a town every 10 miles.
We want to save nearly lost Lost Springs, and every other town like it. Let’s even find outside financing for a return of the former grandeur of the Pilsen dance hall.
That’s the problem with daffodils—they lead to such convoluted ways to get to a subject while skipping remodeling of the bank at Aulne.
Since the K-State guys said Hillsboro does best in the county, let’s quit picking on poor almost lost, nearly lost Lost Springs, and move on to highly hoped for Hillsboro.
I’d like to see Michelle Abbott-Becker or Teresa Huffman, as two of the best other people’s money getters we’ve ever seen, find a pink tutu grant for Hillsboro. If you don’t know these ladies, they are Marion County’s communications and emergency management, and economic development director, respectively.
Abbott-Becker gets us lots of Homeland Security money, and Huffman shows high promise for the agri-tourism business. We need them because we seem so truly inept and unperceiving when it comes to pink tutu money ourselves.
You see, Hillsboro lost a major industry when Miss Vicky’s School of Dance closed—although I’m sure many of you would rather see Brenda in her bloomers than me with a pink tutu—no, it’s my grandchildren who would need the tutus.
Hundreds and perhaps thousands of small children to whom pink tutus symbolized the dance with its amazing enhancements of coordination and music appreciation are lost to Hillsboro.
No longer do they take their lessons while their mothers cross the street for groceries, clothing, hardware or browsing through the Et Cetera Shop. No longer do their extended families make the annual trips into Hillsboro for recitals.
They have taken away with them a portion of the economic gains the town expects to get from Tabor College expansion and the addition of the welding school.
Surely Vicky Mohn left a former student who will step to the forefront to restart the program, even if takes a little help from friends or a pink tutu grant, using, dare I say it, other people’s money.
We want young families to live here which was proven with the aquatic park. Surely a pink tutu program is a choice for quality of life over money that will pay.
What else can there be in highly hoped for Hillsboro worth saving for quality? The town got Wendy’s, which everybody’s happy with, including me. But, however welcome Wendy’s is, other towns have its clones. It’s a chain.
What makes a town unique is a local restaurant like Olde Towne. Yes, there are chances my favorite cultural cuisine station may close, the same that all our visitors from elsewhere preferred.
Surely if we could come up with pink tutu money, we could come up with a way to keep quality of life by somehow saving Olde Towne.
Or, are Olde Towne and Lost Springs both to be lost because they lose money, or because nobody can come up with money to save them?
It seems we have to make choices, and sometimes they have to be made in the awkward moments when we can’t get access to other people’s money. Quality of life versus financial decisions of life, and the insight to tell when they’re different objectives, that’s what we need.
Who will care? Who will lose Lost Springs, pink tutus and Old Towne? Who will lose a quality of life?
Wasn’t there a community fund created for some of this? Or, was that for things we don’t have so we can have back the things we used to have, but we lost them? Now that would be quality.
Just don’t bother me about it. I’m walking down to Wendy’s because I’ve heard there’s a guy down there eating from a box that looks a lot like mine.