To the point week of 3-10-11



– Don’t forget that Daylight Savings Time begins this Sunday morning, March 13th, at 2 a.m. It’s time to “Spring Ahead” and move your clocks forward one hour, which will cost you an hour’s sleep, but just keep in mind that later this year you get to move the clock back an hour, getting that hour’s sleep back!

I remember when Switzerland County didn’t officially observe Daylight Savings Time, and we all got along talking about “slow time” and “fast time”. It’s strange to think that we have children in our community who have no idea what those terms are, but it worked for us, and made us somewhat of a national news story. “Good Morning America” broadcasting live from downtown Patriot? I’ve seen it.

My Daylight Savings Time story involves the birth of my middle daughter, Emily. She was born on the Fourth of July before we observed “fast time”. We were in a Cincinnati hospital that was on Daylight Savings Time, and as we headed into the night it suddenly struck me that if Emily were to be born between 11 p.m. and Midnight my time (“slow time”), she her birth certificate would actually read the following day; because 11:30 p.m. on July 4th was actually 12:30 a.m. on July 5th in Cincinnati.

She was born without that problem, but it always stuck in my mind that if that had happened I would have always been conflicted on when her true birthday was.

– Got quite a response from the suggestion in last week’s column about turning the Vineyard Golf Course into a county park.

Most of the response was positive, with many golfers even willing to sign up affirming that they would purchase memberships if the county bought the course. Others were positive about the fishing ponds and shelter houses.

Others weren’t as positive, noting that it would be a lot of money for the county to invest; and there was a fear that “fringe costs” such as equipment and carts and maintenance would push the costs too high.

Granted, there are many questions that need to be answered and addressed; but now’s the time to push forward and answer those questions if it is something that the county wants to do.

One final note: I heard from a father who talked about the legacy of golf with his sons. He had learned the game from his father; and was looking forward to teaching his boys the game.

His fear is that with the surviving courses being Belterra and Grand Victoria, without a course like Vineyard, there isn’t a place where he can take his boys out on the course and teach them to love the game.

Whether or not the county buys the course or if it is purchased by a private buyer, the past week has taught me that there is truly a place for a course like Vineyard.

Let’s just hope that a purchase comes through before the course deteriorates to the point that the new owner has to start over.

– The death of high school athlete Wes Leonard should teach us all a lesson about the frailty and uncertainty of life.

For those who didn’t hear about it, Wes was a star athlete for his high school in Michigan, the starting quarterback on the football team and the leading scorer on the basketball team.

With his team locked in a tough game last week, Wes Leonard drove to the lane and put up a jump shot that found the range just as the final buzzer sounded, giving his high school team the win.

As everyone celebrated, Wes collapsed, and a short time later he passed away. His death was attributed to an enlarged heart condition.

We live in a society that thrives on athletics. We spend tons of time and money on lessons and traveling teams and tournaments; all in an effort to give our kids the chance to “play”. Our “games” now cover all seven days of the week; and often overlap into the different seasons, so you make double efforts to get to double practices and twice as many tournaments.

I’m all for sports, in fact, those of you who know me know that I’m a sports nut, but there has to be a limit on our obsessions.

I think it’s interesting that we have such active children, but nationally we are raising a generation of overweight kids. Just a thought, but perhaps a contributing factor is that while off participating in all of these sports, we compromise by eating fast food suppers and hotel breakfasts.

I’ve been told that traveling for sports provides “family time”, but if you have more than one child, that “family time” might get split as parents go in different directions.

Here’s praying that something like the Wes Leonard tragedy never happens here, but maybe it’s time to step back and look at what’s really important in our family time.

As a father with a married daughter; a daughter in college; and a daughter who’s about to leave for college, I  can tell you that time goes by quickly, and once your children leave your home, even in traditional ways, you miss them.

I don’t miss those times driving to softball tourney games or eating under the Golden Arches.

What I miss is everyone sitting around our living room and laughing and telling stories and just spending time together. With everyone spread out, those times get less and less frequent.

Sports play a role in the development of children and of the family; but tragedies like the one we witnessed last week show us that at the end of the day, it’s just a game – it’s not life.

– The past week has been a hard one for this community, as we mourn the passing of Lowell Wayne Sullivan (see the front page). Over time we have lost citizens who have made important contributions to our county; but I truly believe that we have never lost a person who leaves a bigger hole in the fabric of our community than Lowell Wayne’s passing does.

From the legion to township trustee to community volunteer; I think there’s going to come a time when each of us looks around and says “Who used to do that?” (whatever ‘that’ is); and we’re going to realize that Lowell Wayne used to do “that”, and it’s going to take a lot of community members to fill all of the roles that are vacant today.

Our community will miss him; but we are a better place because he was a part of this community.