The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.


The Wisdom Of Barnyard Bruke

Greetings to all in Henderson and Hancock Counties,

I hope this letter finds everyone in good spirits in light of the good weather we have had recently.

As the days grow longer, we approach the end of one season and the beginning of another. Let us all look forward to the joys that spring can bring.

I am hearing good reports from those who are calving. While the weather has been less than ideal, many of you are reporting good success in the endeavor.

What joy it brings to see a new born calf suckling at its mother's side, dancing around lively in the barn-lot expressing its fervor for life itself.

I wrote to you the last time about some of my old neighbors and some of their idiosyncrasies. What they did was basically not harmful to others and in fact in looking back was somewhat comical by today's standards.

However, I heard at the coffee shop recently, of something that excels anything strange that people of old may have done.

That strangeness involves the recent tragedy that took place at a university in northern Illinois.

A graduate student went berserk and destroyed the lives of five students and injured the bodies of many others.

While this in itself may not be unusual as far as history goes, for there has always been people who would waste the lives of others. The strangeness comes in examining the reaction of government officials, and university personnel.

I was told that the President of the University as well as the Governor of Illinois proposed demolishing the building that the incident took place in and replacing it with a $40 million new structure.

In discussing this with my old friend Cornelius Farkward, several questions came up for review:

Point #1. Does it seem well that a university president would use a horrific incident such as this as an opportunity to build his institution and consequently his reputation.

Point #2. In building the new $40-million memorial, is it possible that the demented minds that remain in our society might view this as an encouragement for further similar violence. In their warped way might they see this new structure as a monument to the killer as well as to the killed?

Point #3. Might the $40 million be better spent elsewhere, perhaps for the mentally impaired, And might this not be a better memorial for what has happened?

Cornelius reminded me that the state is not prompt in paying its obligatory bills to hospitals, nursing homes, etc.

Might this money be better used in helping those institutions who struggle to financially survive due to the tardiness of the state's payments?

Point #4. If the professor feels compelled to build a memorial to those who were lost in this massacre, perhaps he could dedicate the auditorium where it happened. Perhaps the auditorium could be used to study behavior that leads to this type of action.

Point #5. When politicians use tragedies as this to attempt to enhance their political career, they should be held accountable.

In fact, as Cornelius and I discussed these points and others, Cornelius had a suggestion. It seems like publicity of these types of incidents only encouraged the demented minds that want to become famous by their warped actions.

Perhaps, if our politicians really wanted to do something, they could pass a new law. That law might state that when activities such as this takes place, and in the instance where the perpetrator has committed suicide himself, then his body becomes property of the state. Perhaps, for scientific study of his brain or more importantly, Cornelius feels, to be cremated, his ashes to be scattered at the nearest landfill or unknown and unmarked location

While this may seem cruel, essentially it hopefully would take the glamour away from the action.

The point is to disgrace the perpetrator and not memorialize the killer.

This might seem cruel for those relatives and loved-ones who are left behind. However, if there is any as-semblance of logic at all in the perpetrator's mind, they may take this into consideration, and hopefully spare their loved-ones the humiliation. If it prevented one killing, of one innocent life, the law would have merit.

Mind you, Cornelius is not recommending this action for those who are caught and live, but only for those who kill and commit suicide to avoid punishment and build some sort of fame for their sick actions.

Ultimately, Cornelius and I decided that at our coffee shop conversations, we probably need to concentrate on the positive rather than the negative and there is much positive in Henderson and Hancock Counties. However, for those who are out there with demented mind, you must remember that at least Cornelius and Barnyard have it resolved that if they had their way, your ashes would end up unanimous with all of the shame that it connotes.

As for Gary B. and Charlie M, as you gather around the coffee shops, let me know what you think of this solution. Better yet, let your State Representative Rich Myers and State Senator John Sullivan know.

Short of that, watch after those new-born calves, get those planters ready, grease all the equipment, and go to the bank and make sure your credit is good, for as I understand it, anhydrous is costing over $700 a ton and DAP is close to $1000 a ton. Fuel is going sky high and Roundup has increased $18. Come to think of it, a banker takes on a whole new perspective as to his involvement in our farming operation for this upcoming year. We must treat kindly those good folk and neighbors, Ron Peterson, Ben Powell; Chuck Vaughn, Jerry Keimig; Stan Jenks, John Kennedy, Terry Vary; Gary Sandberg and Rick Steiner; Chris Gaven, Les Allen, Matt Gillen, Brad Ray and Lori Austin; Art Kane, Robert Schleich, Jeff Wilson, Marc Coursey, and Kim Kane - your bank presidents and farm loan officers. We are most fortunate in these times to have local banks in La Harpe, Raritan, Stronghurst, Biggsville, and Oquawka and surrounding areas.

One can certainly say, in the times that we are having in farming, that "We are having fun now. Hang on to your britches, we are in for a wild ride."

See you later,
Barnyard Bruke