The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Letters to Editor

"Christmas Stockings"

Dear Editor,

No, not the stockings "hung from the chimney with care" kind, but the kind you get for Christmas presents! You know, SOCKS!!!

Christmas has always been a time for reflection. This year I've had occasion to reflect on the gift that, as a kid, was my least favorite, socks!

Yes, from my "kid's" perspective, clothes are not gifts, never have been in my estimation, but in the "old" days when we were young, clothes were not only a necessity, but as money was harder to come by, new clothes could be a luxury.

Mom, bless her heart, mended our socks at least once before they were sent to the rag bin. "Darned" is a good word for sock mending, because they felt "darned" uncomfortable when you put them on.

Those mended socks never felt right on our feet, but you had to wear them, or wear them out! I almost would rather have worn the socks with holes, but then it was embarrassing to take your shoes off, and have your toe(s) stick out! The alternative was to go barefoot, but some feet aren't cut out for "au naturel'.

Okay, many years later now, I can appreciate the effort it took to keep 3 growing boys in clothes. We either grew out of our clothes, or wore them out, which didn't happen often, because we were also taught to take care of things. We'd get new clothes to start each school year (jeans which weren't pre-faded, or the holes included), but we grew so fast that if you were to draw a line on our white socks where the hem of our jeans touched, and checked it at the end of the school year, you'd be counting inches! Yes, inches. At least my two younger brothers got my hand-me-downs which helped.

I look back now with much appreciation, and even fondness at getting those Christmas socks, but at the time it wasn't so much fun in the receiving. I still don't appreciate receiving clothes as gifts, but I appreciate the love, effort, and parental generosity that Mom displayed is providing her sons with their socks, and everything else we wore.

Jim Smith

Burlington, Iowa

(by way of La Harpe)

The Thoughts of People Especially at the Holidays

Dear Editor,

On Monday night, December 19th, I and my two children and their friend ventured out to buy my wife birthday and Christmas gifts.

One of the stops was the good ole Wal-Mart store in Burlington, Iowa.

As we were entering the store, a lady with the hood up on her sweatshirt, was pushing a cart with a big tote in it with the lid on it through the exit doors.

As the alarm is sounding, the greeter from Wal-Mart hollers, "Ma'am the alarm is going off, please come back so I can check your cart!"

The lady replies back, "I know, and No I won't. You can't make me."

She proceeds faster through the second doors and starts running with the cart. The Wal-Mart greeter yells "Call security!"

The three kids and I stand there, completely stunned, and they of course, had twenty questions.

We will never forget that night. Our childrens' friend says " I am going with you guys more often. Crazy stuff always happens!"

I don't see how people can act or do things like that. No Christmas gift is worth stealing for.

Ryan Kienast

La Harpe

Dear Editor,

I support economic growth in Hancock County through production agriculture.

Today's livestock facilities are built according to the science based system of the Livestock Facilities Management Act.

Building sites are carefully chosen to reduce odor.

Twenty first century technology allows large scale confinements to protect the local environment and provide for the animals needs while producing safe affordable food for consumers.

I support the expansion of the pork industry in Hancock County for the many benefits it will bring to our local economy. The proposed Junction Acres will provide up to 20 local jobs.

It will generate tax dollars for our county and our school. It will support local grain farmers by using locally grown grain, ground into feed at local feed mill.

Professional Swine Management's corporate office in Carthage employs 35 people.

They manage 26 farms in the tri state area, including 8 sow herds in Hancock County alone.

Their farms collectively provide jobs for about 320 people. They provide services for 300 family farms, including mine.

In 2004, my husband constructed a 4800 head wean-to-finish operation on our farm just West of La Harpe.

Our farm has allowed us to stay in the area and raise our children, who now enjoy helping to care for the pigs.

We raise pigs for Pinnacle Genetics, a sow farm owned by other family farmers.

In fact, many of today's "corporate farms" are actually made up of several farm families working together to produce quality pork.

Melissa Johnson

La Harpe