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AGING: Kindness of strangers creates uplifting community

Thanks to readers, I received ideas for this column. What sparked their comments was my mention of the Superior Vocational Center. I stated that their work projects improve our community. They advised me to cite a few of those projects, and I wil...

Thanks to readers, I received ideas for this column. What sparked their comments was my mention of the Superior Vocational Center. I stated that their work projects improve our community. They advised me to cite a few of those projects, and I will do that before ending this column.

But first -- another idea. A few letters to the editors that I'd read in recent weeks in both the Telegram and the Duluth Tribune caused me significant uplift in spirit. One of the Duluth Tribune letters cited the help the writer had received from Superior people when they had a personal problem (car, weather or traffic connected) while in Superior. All of those letters told of how the writers had been helped, when they were in a stressful situation, by folks they hadn't known at all before the incident described. People had interrupted their day when they witnessed the problem, stopped whatever they were doing at the time, offered to help and did help them with no thought of any payment whatsoever (in one case, they didn't even wait to be thanked). Each one of those letters to the editor brightened my day and my opinion of the Twin Ports, and I'll bet it did for you too -- if you happened to read them.

Doesn't it make you feel good and very proud of our home area to hear those stories of good will and generous actions by our fellow citizens? I'll bet it does! Some people say that is the newspaper's job and they sometimes complain that all the media does is report the bad news. I heard that comment during WWII when I was stationed at the Shepherd Field Air Base in Texas and a local reporter's response. He said, "How long do your think people would read our weather forecast if all we said for almost 300 days a year is that the weather is going to be warm and sunny? People want news; news is the new and different." I agreed with what he was saying, but I also know that human interest stories are welcomed by most and are morally uplifting.

So I suggest and request that you report the good news you know about in letters to the editor. Ron Brochu and Shelley Nelson would welcome those letters. And I'll wager that we'll all walk even a little prouder here in Superior. I like Superior very much -- came here in 1968, and don't plan to leave of my own free will. Other UWS faculty members would ask where I was going to live after I retired and I'd say, "I don't plan to take up Canadian citizenship and I'm certainly not going south. Superior is home." (I'll be expectantly waiting for letters to the editor that cites those good things that happen to you).

Now for some of the things that the Superior Vocational Center does to make our community a better place. The one that takes my eye every summer are the beautiful flowers they plant and care for in the boulevard on Catlin Avenue on the UWS campus. The following are only a representative sample of the many work projects they handle. You see right away that this is a win-win situation. Many of these jobs are provided by businesses, organizations and even individuals to make possible the employment of SVC individuals. These work projects include cleaning and maintaining places like highway waysides and rest stops, state weight stations, park service and canoe landings, local corporations and individual businesses. And at this time, they are constructing wooden crates for area machine shops.

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In an attempt for a lighter conclusion, let's discuss questions. There has been some criticism made that students today are not as good as they should be about answering questions. How about you and me?

1) Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

2) Why do banks charge a fee on "insufficient funds" when they know there is not enough money in the account?

3) Why did Japanese kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

4) How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be good to put wheels on luggage?

5) Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face he doesn't like it, but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?

6) Why is there a light in the fridge and not in the freezer?

Bernie Hughes, Ed.D., is a retired educator who resides in Superior. He can be reached at Bernie1@cpinternet.com .

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