Tough decision, but still
a fun night
This is written in response to the "controversial Halloween" and the vast publicity Eudora gained on television, radio and newspaper because of it.
It seems that this was not just about the postponement of Halloween. The bad press was also about the vast support that Eudora citizens lend to their sports teams. This support is evident as parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles fill the stand and line the fields to watch contestants as young as 4-years-old participate. Support of sports continues to take direct hits. This is not new and surely not exclusive to Eudora.
If one has every stopped to notice, academic achievement is also encouraged and rewarded in our schools and community. Thank goodness no one ever complains about this. Teachers in our children's classrooms are academic coaches. I guess the difference is learning is not a spectator sport. Parents do not show up in classrooms to watch their children take tests or watch them do assignments that will eventually lead to their good grades. That does not mean these efforts are any less important or applauded.
I cannot speak for Nottingham, but I know the schools in this community have clubs, organizations, teams and contests for the academic achiever. Assemblies are held in the schools of this community to recognize those who have achieved academic excellence. Many have traveled to neighboring schools to watch the youth of this community participate in math relays and league band performances. The auditorium is filled for band and vocal concerts.
In our community, banquets are held to honor those who have made great strides in Scouts, 4-H, and other organizations. What I have concluded about Eudora is that its citizens support the youth in all their endeavors. Aren't we as a community proud when any of our citizens, young or old, performs or achieves an honor?
As for Halloween, I do not applaud the mayor's declaration. However, I do understand that some have the burden of making one decision for the masses. A decision, while being popular for some, will be contested by others. It was a no-win situation. I understand that there exists an over-emphasis in anything that one is not directly involved or interested in. Maybe in light of a football game, Halloween could have been proclaimed to be on both Thursday and Friday nights. This would allow the residents of Eudora to turn their light on the night of their choice. The children could have trick-or-treated on either Thursday or Friday night, or both. Tears are replaced with smiles and Mayor Ron Conner would be a hero to all our children. Problem solved. It was all about the children, wasn't it?
As for my children, they enjoyed watching the band, adorned in Halloween costumes, march at halftime at the game. They each received a bag of candy from the cheerleaders, and like every other year, got too much candy while trick-or-treating Friday night. Sometimes you just have to make the best out of a less-than-perfect situation.
However, I didn't have any trouble making it to the voting booth in time to get to the football game Tuesday.
I am sitting here reading the Letters to the Editor section of The Eudora News (Oct. 31, 2002) and I cannot believe what I see. Holy Cow! You would think a crime was committed when the decree went out to change the celebration of Halloween from Thursday to Friday night. Never mind what the reason was. I'm also thinking, I surely have something better to do than write a letter to the editor about something that, in all reality, doesn't make a hill of beans' difference.
The first letter said to change Halloween for a ball game is not right. The second one said they were given 365-day advance notice that the United States recognizes a holiday that occurs on the 31st of October every year. That would be correct, Halloween is the 31st of October every year, however, there are several other holidays that occur on the same date every year, but no one seems to be up in arms because they aren't celebrated on the original date. There would be Martin Luther King Jr., whose birthday is Jan. 15, but is celebrated on the third Monday; there's Lincoln's birthday, which used to be celebrated every year on Feb. 12. Now it's been changed to President's Day and is celebrated on the third Monday. Then, there's Memorial Day, which falls on May 30 every year, except, oops, we changed that to the fourth Monday of the month. Then comes the big one, the Fourth of July. I think that's a pretty important day in the life of America, but it always manages to be celebrated on a weekend now too...Gotta' get in that four-day weekend. Columbus discovered America on Oct. 12, not on Monday when we choose to celebrate it, and so far, Thanksgiving and Christmas have been able to hold their own. As well as the negative letters, some folks actually agreed with and supported the City Council for changing the celebration of Halloween by one day for reasons of safety for the children. I would be one of those persons.
I don't always agree with everything the City Council does, however, in this case, I think they made a very wise choice in postponing for one day the celebration of Halloween. The really small kids have no idea what day Halloween is on, and most of the other kids could care less. It's not the kids; it's the parents who are all bent out of shape.
I took a look at the school calendar for 2002 and, low and behold, that football game was scheduled last year and put on this year's calendar. If it was so earth shattering and important to the people who object, why in the world did everyone wait until the week or two before Halloween to have a fit? The school calendars come out in August, I believe, and they are delivered to everyone who receives mail in the City of Eudora.
This whole thing has been blown way out of proportion and if you, as a parent, want to take or send your child out where there is going to be a lot of traffic from a football game that was planned way in advance, do it. Just remember where the responsibility lies if something happens to one of those precious children because one day made such a difference in celebrating Halloween.
Editor's note: The football schedules are set every two years by the Kansas State High School Activities Association. As long as the first bi-district games are played on Tuesday, the last football game of the season in district play before play-offs will take place on Thursday to allow players time to rest and recover.