The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Letters to Editor

Dear Editor:

As a farmer and a lifelong native of Warren County, I am excited about the expanding ethanol production in our state.

The rapid growth in the ethanol industry tells you all you need to know about its performance and viability.

It burns cleaner, thus fighting air pollution...ask the American Lung Association.

It's made here at home providing jobs, just ask the 230,000 people already employed in the industry, especially those who will be hired by the new Galva plant.

Its saving consumers $0.30 to $0.40 per gallon at the pump, just ask consumers who have seen gasoline prices climb more than 40% in the last four months and want relief.

Or ask government officials about the tax revenue and accompanying consumer services provided by the $8 to $12 billion in annual tax revenues generated by ethanol.

Despite a sterling track record, ethanol continues to take criticism; of course most of the bad publicity and misinformation comes directly from the oil industry and those on their payroll.

The captive market big oil enjoys resulted in $123 billion in profits among the top 5 oil companies last year alone, so you don't have to scratch the surface too hard to find their motivation.

And recently, I've heard reports about the Grocery Manufacturers Association lodging a media war against ethanol because they want to show their members results and "ethanol is low hanging fruit."

When will consumers begin to believe the facts instead of the agendas being pushed by GMA and Big Oil?!

And don't believe everything you hear about corn's role in food prices.

The number one item driving food prices guessed it. Transportation. Fuel prices are sucking our economy into a black hole. My costs as a farmer have gone up by more than $100 per acre this year.

Why, you might ask; the price of oil. Just like everyone else's costs, my costs are continuing to go up too.

Until we solve our dependence on foreign oil, none of our pocket books are safe.

Ethanol is part of the solution.

Wendell Shauman

Dear Editor:

We were saddened to read of the death of Frank Jones, long time educator in McDonough and Hancock Counties. Frank was one of the World War II veterans who returned from this tragic war to spend his life influencing students to use their potentials in their years of schooling.

Both my husband and I saw five brothers and one brother in law go to this war in Macomb. We were in 4th grade and ready for high school when the war ended. Needless to say the war had a big impact on our lives and families.

Little did we realize that by the end of our high school the Korean Conflict would see Don as a Naval reservist spend two years in service to his country, leaving for Great Lakes on our first wedding anniversary.

We remember Frank and Ana Lou in the late 40's riding in the W.I.U. Homecoming Parade as King and Queen. They remained that to us all the years we knew them.

When we returned from California and taught in La Harpe in the 60's Frank was a junior high principal and then a high school principal. Frank was always pro teacher, pro student and an administrator secondly.

He was a fair disciplinarian expecting good behavior from his many children and all the students too.

We remember him urging Ana Lou to go back and finish her English degree when their children were being raised and what a great teacher and pro student she was. We attribute her encouragements to our daughter Julie in her pursuit of an English major in college. She still teaches English.

Raising such a large family in a small rural school district had to be difficult but they did so admirably well.

Fair and honest discipline, high expectations and parental backing produced students of quality and integrity during the sixties and seventies.

It was gratifying to see so many men in education at that time, who over time left the profession for better paying jobs.

In Don's case over the twelve years in La Harpe he was able to build a srong Industrial Arts Department, start a building trades program with the first home being Donna Shirey's. Dallas City and La Harpe students joined forces and built the house in one year. The program was encouraged by board, superintendent and parental backing.

Frank and Ana Lou were excellent educators in the day where there were no DVD players, computers, cell phones, IPods or Text messaging and other distractions of this day. Helicopter of Hovering parenting was not yet evolved.

His large family, living across America can and should be very proud of both of their parents and the many students they served so well. Wife Jan and family will miss him greatly.

Don & Carolee Smith



By Elaine Slater Reese

My father never got to do the things dads like to do with their sons.  His only son died at the age of two. But that didn't stop him from going on with life. He kept working hard and providing for his family. That's just what people did in those days.

He never saw a cell phone. When he used the big old wooden phone attached to the wall, it was because something needed to be taken care of. Like others, we had a party line - which had nothing to do with partying. Four or five parties used the same line. He never thought of listening in to one of his neighbor's conversations.

He worked long and hard. He knew farming was not a nine to five job. He never worked in the field on Sunday, and he never missed church. He never read a novel, but took time late at night to read a chapter in the Bible. He probably never heard of a computer, but I still have all the record books he kept through the years. All the entries are written in pencil. He insisted that a good farmer had to keep good records.

He never missed an opportunity to indulge in ice cream, cookies, or pie. He never said "No" when a neighbor asked for help. He never purchased a lot of clothes. Faded bib overalls and an old blue cotton shirt were his usual attire. I remember one suit. 

He wore it to my graduation, my wedding, and his funeral. He never failed to take care of the livestock or to show me the new kitties or to bring me a little bouquet of bittersweet.

He never missed the weather reports and the farm markets. He never missed an event where I participated. I guess, as I think about it, I could write for hours about what my father never did. 

But the thing I remember most of all is -


Note: Elaine Reese grew up on a farm near Bowen, in Hancock Co., and is a freelance writer in Spring Green, Wi.