LETTERS

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN
Who will prosper because of a casino?

Are the county commissioners interested in lowering my taxes, or building more revenue for themselves?

Is a casino going to make the people prosperous or is it going to make more prosperity for our local government and the bureaucracy that exists and grows and takes away more and more of my responsibility in providing for myself and making a living?

Consider these things. What does the evidence show? What is the record? Is it not to make us fools? Can gambling ever produce a permanent prosperity?

They are saying, whether I am poor or whether I am rich, a sure way to build economic wealth, prosperity and security is to set up a gambling business. That is wealth!

So, they’re also saying if a man out there works and invests to generate new wealth and works with his hands, his labor is foolishness. Rather, he should take that and go into gambling.

Yet, we think we are going to build prosperity and wealth out of that. We’re going to have a casino, and we’re going to take somebody’s smart moves to throw money away.

Does a casino exist to benefit the people or its own interests? Are we the fools or is the casino industry the fool? Have we ever considered what a casino would do out here in the county?

As farmers out here in the country, would it be our prosperity, would we pay less taxes, would we have better service?

Or would we rather be driven out for the fact that we would be criticized for smell, for dust, for destroying the natural habitat?

Haven’t we seen this happen in a number of places where urbanization has sprawled out and found justification to destroy the farmer?

Gambling is like government- it’s set up to take my earned money to enrich itself, money I should use to take care of myself. How can a casino afford to pay big wages unless it makes millions of dollars off of people who are gambling? Casino employees are living off of the foolishness of others.

You throw your money away when you gamble. Gambling destroys, it doesn’t build up, it doesn’t create. You don’t get anything for it.

The whole idea of establishing a casino is to make a killing. The thing is so rigged that they will make millions of dollars off of us.

Will people in our community be so foolish to take the money we’ve earned and gamble-and think we will make a pocketful in that casino? And then to think we will build prosperity out of that? Do we want to get restaurants, motels, etc., out of gambling money?

Why not rather build our wealth in this county by building up a solid, sound base of individual prosperity through working and earning?

Jerry Plett

Lincolnville

Buffalo Gulch owners ending its ‘blessing’

We are writing this email with very heavy hearts. Buffalo Gulch Ranchhouse will be closing its doors at 8 p.m., Dec. 31.

In April, when Bill had what we thought was a heart attack, we wondered and waited. Since then, the exhaustion and stress of the extra hours and travel have been adding. A lot of the stress comes from the fuel and heating costs, and the continuous rise in beef prices.

The bright spot? We have been talking about all of the friends that we have made, the fun, the parties, the pranks and the wonderful feeling that each of you have brought to us, and to the Gulch.

There is no better feeling in the world than to be Bill and Laurie in the kitchen or bar listening to everyone laugh and have a grand time.

Many of you felt comfortable enough to bus tables or even enter the kitchen and help, get your own coffee or tea. Those feelings of friends and comfort will never leave our hearts.

The other good side we have found to this heart-breaking news, is we will not be tied down every Friday and Saturday night.

Bill can get back to the race horses and back to the track to see if any of our babies have the need for speed. We can join our friends for dinner, or parties, see our families on weekends, and go to the sporting events that we enjoy.

The Gulch was an opportunity that presented itself three times and we turned it down twice. The Gulch became a magical place on more than one occasion and we are truly honored that we accepted and experienced the wonder. It became a blessing for us to meet the people we now call friends.

It just became a little much for us to keep. We are going to move into the next stage of our lives.

We both truly appreciate your patronage, your friendship and your laughter. We are truly blessed to have had this opportunity with the Gulch and to meet all of you.

There is a saying: “Don’t be sad that it ended, be excited that it happened.”

Thank you for being there while it happened.

Bill and Laurie Mann

Burns

Past immigrant says ‘thanks’ for assistance

In these times of uncontrolled, illegal immigration into this country, and as its great “melting pot” is increasingly transformed into a divisive, dichotomized (English- and Spanish-speaking) society, I wish to express appreciation to members of the Hillsboro community who helped my family immigrate 54 years ago.

They (or their ancestors) did it correctly-legally and bravely.

In December 1951, my late parents, Heinrich and Helene (nee Priebe) Treu, and their three youngest sons, Willi, Benno and I, arrived by ship in the United States from West Germany.

From New Orleans we traveled to Hillsboro, where we started out living with William and Sarah Priebe. (“Uncle” Bill was a cousin of my mother.) We had never met them before.

Nevertheless, these truly wonderful, kindhearted people had agreed to be “sponsors” for four of us; also, Uncle Bill’s sister, Adelgunde Priebe, separately sponsored my brother Willi.

Such sponsorship back then meant they were willing to risk having to support us for however long it might have taken for us to achieve independence, if ever.

Since they really did not know us and our work ethic, this was quite a responsibility for them to take on.

To our delight, other relatives in Hillsboro subsequently agreed to sponsor the immigration of the rest of our family.

About a year after our arrival, the Ed Winters sponsored my sister, Betty (nee Treu) Fuhrmann, her husband Eduard, and their four children; and the Henry Cornelsens (owners then of the Hillsboro Ford dealership) sponsored my oldest brother Heinz, his wife Ruth, and their two sons.

For a time, we all lived in Hillsboro, but soon we moved on to other pastures.

While we Treus were undoubtedly viewed as somewhat “different” (e.g. in appearance, behavior, taste in food, etc.) and we did encounter some difficulties (e.g. in finding good jobs), the Priebes, their children and the other sponsors were very kind and helpful to us.

This was also true of our other relatives and the friends we made in the Hillsboro area, including various members of the Mennonite Brethren Church.

My teachers and classmates in sixth and seventh grades, who probably thought I was rather strange, made me feel welcome.

What has happened to our entire Heinrich Treu family? Suffice it to say its size has grown to nearly 100 persons. The children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even great-great-grandchildren reside in a variety of states, including Wisconsin, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Arizona and Florida.

We are all doing well, we can tell lots of success stories (we immigrants all learned to speak English!), and we feel truly blessed to have been privileged to live in this great country.

And, we thank God for the wonderful people of Hillsboro, who took the risks and showed the kindnesses that made it all possible for us. They and/or their descendants can and should be very proud.

Siegfried Treu

Murraysville, Pa.

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