The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Letters to Editor

Life's Perspectives

By Elaine Slater Reese - Special For The Quill

It never ceases to amaze me how life can be one thing one moment- a moment later it appears totally different. It's been a long time since I had been so excited. The phone call from our son told of the birth of their first child. He sent photos on the internet. I sent them to family and friends - displayed them in different rooms of the house.

This mother and grandma was jubilant. I went baby-SHOPPING! WHAT FANTASTIC NEWS!

Then just a week later and another phone call.

My heart sank. Tears filled my eyes. My son is in the service. We thought he and his family were soon being shipped to another country. His wife and the baby were. She knows no one, does not know the language, and has this beautiful new baby to love and care for. He was shipped to IRAQ.

I am certainly not the first woman to be a grandmother. AND I CERTAINLY AM NOT THE FIRST PARENT TO HAVE A CHILD SERVE OUR COUNTRY IN BATTLE!

But I am this soldier's mom. There are tears. My heart does sink when I listen to the news:

"An American soldier missing."

"October is deadliest month of the war for American troops."

Life is again put into perspective! Life is so fragile. We don't take enough time to count our blessings! We are all just one second - one breath away from death at any time.

For years, I have written articles about patriotism and those who serve. It becomes much more real and meaningful when your child is the one serving.

I listen with disgust to the political ads this time of year. They are so petty! Life goes on here for most of us. We do not know what our servicemen see each day and night. We do not know if they are the one who must kill or the one who will be killed. They give their lives for the things we take for granted each day.

I always find freedom of speech a difficult one. I understand its premise - but men have died so that we can live in a country where anyone can say anything -no matter how stupid or irreverent.

I see small flags flying at veterans' graves at cemeteries. How many stories rest beneath those stones, how many tears, how many broken hearts? I WILL DISPLAY THE AMERICAN FLAG! I WILL PRAY FOR OUR TROOPS. I WILL BELIEVE IN AMERICA. We have become a nation far from God. He is not far from us.

Dear Editor:

I recently learned of a web site that is preserving the history of high schools in Illinois that have closed. This website was created to share the memories, stories and experiences of the years of early adulthood, the Glory Days, of high school in Illinois.

To quote one of the web site's four web masters, Richard Soseman, "The small town schools which have closed over the years, public and private, represent the people of a certain time and place. Each month's passing takes us farther from those people. It is vital that we keep some record, and this site does an admirable job at keeping that memory alive."

Another of the web masters, Beau Spencer, currently serves as Sports Director for the three radio stations in Macomb as well as WKXQ in Rushville, IL. He is co-host of the K100 morning show.

The web site, started by David Nanninga in February of 2005, has gained steam ever since. David was born and raised in Mineral, a town of 275, where the high school was deactivated in 1961. David said, "The positive feelings and memories it has evoked for supporters of the site have been priceless to me." He says his passion and thrill come from adding the really small schools, such as Terre Haute.

The web site address is:

The web site is very easy to access. On the home page, all of the high school names are located on the bar at the left. Click on the school name to go to that school's page.

I recently submitted the history and pictures of Terre Haute High School, which have been added to the web site.

To go directly to the Terre Haute High School page, the address is:

I told David I was sad to inform him that he will be adding La Harpe to the list of deactivated high schools next year.

If anyone has pictures or history of any of the deactivated high schools in our area, David would like to add them.

The email address is:

The mailing address is:

Illinois HS Glory Days,

6439 N. Neva St., Chicago, IL 60631

Jean (Painter) Dougherty


Dear Editor,

I have a question. What is the problem? Two things I have seen lately from La Harpe really have me wondering what is going on up there in a town I like with loads of people I have considered my friends.

The first occurred the other night at a 5th and 6th Grade basketball game between Carthage and La Harpe. Civility was lacking for the La Harpe fans and the coaches seemed just plain mean to the kids.

They were yelling at them and getting mad. Geez, these are just 5th and 6th graders. Instead of yelling, how about teaching or coaching? Maybe they'll get more points for you.

Try teaching civility, too. Instead of teaching the girls to yell when other players are shooting, how about teaching them fundamentals so the score won't be as lopsided. The coaches are at fault for not coaching right, and the fans are at fault for not being civil and teaching their kids that it is teamwork and the game building their character, too, not just the score.

The other thing is a totally false e-mail being circulated against John Huston who apparently is running for the combined school board. The e-mail claims that Huston will force Carthage colors on the new school and that all sports will have to be done out of Carthage. That's just wrong and outright lies.

Nobody has been working harder that I have seen than Huston to try to get a school that could financially survive. He is not doing this for Carthage alone, he is doing this for all our kids. Vote for whomever you want to, but vote knowledgeably. Don't vote based on a lie-fueled passion. Vote smart, and after you vote, go support your teams in a civil manner. Relax, watch the game and cheer the kids on for making the effort.

Kam Miller

A resident of Hancock County