And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that it is said that a person’s attitude toward something is often based on past experiences with that something. Which may explain why I do not understand nor appreciate the increasing attention being given Halloween. It seems to me that it has gone from a religious observance (All Hallows Eve) to a national holiday with all the accompanying celebrations, merchandising, and, worst of all “beggar’s night.”

I can only recall two experiences with trick or treating. The first was when we lived in west Waukon and my playmate Larry Joe and I went, about six or seven, accompanied by our mothers. It was cold with alternating rain and snow, and was cut short because we were all miserable. The second was after we moved to south Waukon, and “treats” included popcorn balls and wrinkled apples.

When did the bigger deal begin and why has it grown?

My feeling is it coincided with many folks starting to rely on the federal government for sustenance. If you can convince someone to give you something just by threatening blackmail, there are those who will do that.

I copied a thought from a book I was reading a while back, but forgot to note who said it, so I cannot attribute it, but it went like this: “When government handouts become a way of life in a society, the recipients create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it, and a moral code that glorifies it!”

If jeremiads in newspapers and electronic media are not immediately responded to, many think violence and looting are appropriate. That, too, may be traced back to the acceptance of government largesse.

A recent survey showed that, in their ignorance, fully 40% of college students believe hate speech is legal! But news stories prove it is only their hate speech that is protected on their campus. Other speech is not welcome.

On a lighter note, I am in awe of the success at the state level of the girls’ cross country team given their young ages. To quote another Yogi Berra saying, “their future is ahead of them!”

And I have been told the reason that Waukon’s highly successful football team won’t have any home games is because that’s determined by alphabetical listing, Clear Lake and New Hampton start with letters ahead of the “W” in Waukon.

That makes about as much sense as Congress and the National Football League’s actions.

Don’t suppose we could call ourselves Allamakee Community High School, or DWW (Dorchester, Waterville, Waukon) and rank among the alphabet soup school names.

But I’m told next year, “W” will be gold in determination.”

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