Year 12 is about to commence


Another milestone is looking us in the face this week as we begin our 12th year of publishing the Free Press. What amazes me is that I have written this column for 572 straight weeks without a miss. So here goes 573.

When I worked at the Wichita Sun, the free KAKE-TV newspaper in Wichita, more than 30 years ago, a letter to the editor stated “the more you write the less it means.” I’m beginning to wonder if there might be a little truth to that.

I do get a lot of comments about what appears in this column, so it’s affirming that a few people enjoy it—or at least say they do. Thanks.

If it was hard to do I probably would have quit years ago, but it doesn’t seem to take a lot of effort. Even when I don’t have any idea of what to write I seem to have more than fits in the designated space most of the time.

I do make notes during the week of things that might fit for the column, but this week I had no notes because I was too busy to jot them down. And my memory isn’t so great anymore.

As I’ve said before, I’ve already forgot what I couldn’t remember.

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My church, First Mennonite in Hillsboro, is celebrating its 125th birthday this Sunday. I am helping with a slide presentation that will be shown then, and have been scanning a lot of old photos for it.

The most interesting ones to me are the ones with people in them. Some shots of the congregation taken from the front of the church show everyone who was in attendance on those Sundays—one in 1964 in the old church and one in 1967 at the dedication of the current building.

I spotted my Grandpa Dick in the 1967 photo. He is seated with other family members who were here that day. There is a story about all of the boys who sat in the balcony in the old church and the grease spots on the wall behind the back pew where they leaned back with their hair-creamed hairdos. One of the photos shows the grease spots very clearly.

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When we first moved here in 1955, I remember sitting in the service when there was no air conditioning—just a big set of vents up high with blowers putting out lots of warm air. As a 9-year-old, I used to pretend I was rubbing my teeth over a chipped cup just to get the shivers and try to stay cool that way.

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If you think your job has a lot of pressure consider the folks in charge of building the new stadium. The first football game is about a month away and it appears there’s a lot left to do. It’s taking shape, though, and progress is very noticeable.

As for the field itself, it looks like all they would need to do is erect the goal posts and play ball. The lights have been ready for months.

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With all of the tech-savvy younger generation at the Free Press, our newspaper is now on Facebook. We were amazed at how quickly “fans” showed up—whatever that means.

I immediately became a fan and announced that I would be an idiot not to be a fan of our own company. Sounds like Twitter will be next on our list.

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I was reading in the Bath­room Reader book that a guy was arrested for raising chickens in town. He appeared in court with a rooster under his arm. When the judge said the poultry had to go, the man said it was the only counsel he could afford.


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