2005 in the rear view mirror
This past year has been very newsworthy nationally and locally with many events grabbing the headlines and becoming topics of conversation. Following is a list of stories and events, in no particular order that I think had a personal affect on me.
The major drug bust that happened a couple of months ago is proof enough that the dangers of this illegal substance lurks and can permeate even a small tight-knit community like Eudora. It's unfortunate this type of event makes the regional news instead of the many other wonderful efforts done by the citizens of Eudora. It also makes one wonder how well we know some of the people we say we know. I cannot imagine the friends of the perpetrator knew of all his illegal activities.
Katrina became a household name, not only in Eudora, but also the nation because of the fury it leashed on the southern states. I've heard the saying about a woman's scorn, but I don't think the scorn of this aptly named hurricane could have been close to what was meant by that age old saying.
From the ensuing events came the despair, rage, accusations and other negative elements that reared its ugly head.
Fortunately, none of those compared to the outpouring of sympathy, empathy and support by people from all walks of life. The Eudora citywide garage sale was an example of how a small, far-reaching community can unite and reach out to their fellow Americans in time of need.
The day after Christmas is known as "Boxing Day" in many parts of the world. The previous Boxing Day was synonymous with many of us adding a new word to our vocabulary, tsunami.
The devastation that hit the countries of Southeast Asia was a close call to me in more ways than one. My entire family had been vacationing in the exact spot that was destroyed, just a week earlier.
At the time the tsunami hit, my dad was on the opposite side of one of the islands. When I organized a relief effort to send some money to a local family in Thailand, the school kids at West and Nottingham Elementary schools stepped up to the plate and donated money from their "penny war" to help out this family. The Eudora Girl Scout troop added its share through proceeds from a bake sale.
Such acts of giving from children are commendable and give us hope that the future of our country is going to be in good hands.
Politics have never been a favorite indulgence of mine, but I have to admit the grassroots support for Bobby Arnold to keep his job was a unique one. Never have I seen or heard about citizens of a city banding together to fight to keep the job of a city employee.
Regardless of the outcome, the fact that the citizens of Eudora were voicing their opinion in a public forum and the debate of ideas bode well for the politics of this city.
Thanks to this event, the ACE group was formed, and I hope that group will continue to be active in the matters of the city.
Although some of you may think the following might not be that big of a newsworthy event, I hope someday we can look back to this as a step in putting Eudora on the national map.
I am humbly referring to my first book being published. After two years of working through the process, it's been very rewarding to see the book out on sale.
I know this is just my personal accomplishment, but with the goals and ambition I have for this book, I hope it will bring prominence to this city. I hope someday that when the goals are accomplished, the nation will know the writer was from a small town in Kansas called Eudora.
With that in mind, I want to express my appreciation to those who have supported me by purchasing the book. I hope someday you will look back at the book and share in its humble beginnings.
I also want to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to dream big and hope that your dreams, too, would help put Eudora on the national map. Best wishes for 2006.