Roses to the big outpouring of concern and compassion for Layne Jones. The editor's vibrant and buddy of a 4-year-old grandson was struck by a car while trick-or-treating in Lisbon on Halloween. It was the scariest of scares but through the grace of God and perhaps with Layne having a hard noggin' and rag doll flexibility he was spared serious injury after being knocked through the air. Physically any residual damage should be minor. Mentally, time will tell. He certainly does hold grandpa's hand much tighter now while outside. You have to wonder how such a young mind processes all that happened. We shudder to think of what one of those monster frack trucks that barrel through Lisbon by the dozen would do to a young child. We shudder to think what hard asphalt struck just so would have done to a young child. We are grateful for the quick thinking of Layne's aunt who likely prevented harsh injury to him by reaching out and grabbing him right when the car was striking. She absorbed a brunt of the force. She suffered her own injuries. And guilt for what happened. She shouldn't. Her brother, Layne's dad, calls her a "hero." We certainly can't disagree. Layne's family -see related letter to editor on next page - is truly grateful for all the emails, calls, letters, stopped-in-the-street to pass along best wishes and yes, pounds of candy for Layne that was received. It is humbling but not surprising given all of the kind-hearted people throughout our communities. We like to say that from the time you awaken, you never know what is going to happen by day's end - good, bad or in between. You never know what is going to be on the front page of the newspaper the next day. That reality certainly was again driven home that night. Again, thank you to everyone for their support and thank God for looking out for the little guy.
Roses to members of Salem High School football team. The Quakers went winless under first-year head coach Ron Johnson.?It wasn't for lack of effort. But Salem's record takes a back seat to the academic achievements of this heady bunch. Fourteen Quakers ended the first quarter of this school year with grade points averages in the 3.0-3.499 range. Nineteen players are in the 3.5-3.999 range. And, get this, eight players were at 4.0 or higher. The team finished with a 3.342 overall GPA with the top 22 students boasting a composite 3.82 GPA. Congratulations to the players, coaches, parents and teachers on a remarkable achievement that is more important than any win-loss record. This is a reflection on Coach Johnson's diligence of keeping perspective on academics. During the season he has a board in the locker room listing "Academic Champion" per position. The players obviously took up his challenge. Good for them. They deserve this recognition and please let them know how proud you are if you see any of them. It's not just about what happens on the field. Especially long-term.
Thorns to an issue arising regarding downtown churches. Either someone misspoke or someone misheard. It's that simple. Someone deserves an apology. From this vantage point regarding the subject, a downtown could do a lot worse than having a church within it. Even if the building housing a church has a window or two knocked out of it. Beats having another empty building downtown. And what is it with the anti-tattoo stuff we always hear? Having a tattoo shop - or two - downtown beats having another empty building - or two - downtown. Does anyone out there really believe that a tattoo shop - or two - is the utmost reason for discouraging a potential business from moving into downtown? It's more than that. Much more.