The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
by Jim Clayton, Quill Reporter
Many things are considered as a new year begins.
Many things are remembered, both good and bad.
We think about old friends and times past. We think about what was and what is to come.
Our minds take us to places that are usually reserved for this time of year.
Resolutions are being written down and committed to memory, and plans are being made to fulfill them and, more frequently, plans are being made to break those same resolutions.
As former New York Post columnist Joey Adams put it, "May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions."
We spoke with several local people to get their take on the year gone by and the year to come, and this is what we found.
Delbert Kreps, owner/operator of R & D Foods had mixed views between 2008 and 2009.
"2008 was really good. More people stayed in town, and ate at home and that is always good for us at R & D," Kreps said.
"The new building (The Annex) is doing well and more and more people are finding out what we have right here in La Harpe.
"I would say it (The Annex) is the best kept secret in Hancock County."
When asked about the year ahead, Kreps was a little less optimistic, "There was a lot that happened this year that will have an impact on next.
"We have a new president coming into office who has promised to give us a one trillion dollar stimulus package, but that is just adding more debt to an already enormous amount. I am fairly uncertain what could be in store."
From the educational perspective, Lila McKeown, principal of La Harpe Pre-K through 8th grade was pleased with 2008 as well, "Our enrollment was projected to be down and was not, we are very fortunate to have the teaching staff that we do and we have some things to look forward to in 2009."
McKeown is concerned about government at the state level, "State funding is a big issue, there are things that were behind to begin with.
"What the future holds is a big concern. Most of our finances are state based.
"We do have things to look forward to: we are looking at some options to have everyone in one building, which would be a very good thing."
One of the more common New Year's resolutions is to go to church more, or to be more spiritual.
Pastor Bruce Goettsche of the Union Church in La Harpe, said, "It was a good year for the church, but it was a hard year for people.
"The economic situation was very hard for many families to deal with. We had a lot of calls for help in 2008; we did a lot of counseling."
Goettsche was very optimistic about 2009, "I think the political change will be interesting to watch. I want to see what happens with issues like, gay marriage, abortion, and political correctness.
"These are all issues that conservative Christians watch very closely.
"It would be a good time for Christians in general to really become committed, to know what they believe, and to communicate those beliefs."
Goettsche did add, "I fully expect there to be some trouble because of a lack of conformity to the potential new politically correct standards.
There will be Christians who refuse to follow new laws that don't stand up to Christian values.
"I also believe that the economic issues of the last year will continue in 2009, especially if federal spending increases as reported.
"I want to see how our country responds to this crisis. There will be an opportunity for people to become more committed to God that will be good for Christianity."
There is an element of hope for the upcoming year, for our children, for our businesses, and for our churches and families. It all boils down to human action.
Ronald Reagan said it best, "Every new day begins with possibilities. It's up to us to fill it with things that move us toward progress and peace."