Opinions

Wed
31
Jul

Catalog pales in comparison to first-hand look

Top-notch teachers who travel the path around the Falls know one technique to get youngsters to read: provide them with high-interest reading materials. For girls, it may be one type of literature, and for boys, it may be something else.

Thinking back to our younger days, at some point we came across one of the best, high-interest reading materials for boys of all ages, the Herter’s Sporting Goods catalog. Anyone who has ever seen one would agree. George Herter started his mail-order business in 1937 from atop his father’s dry goods shop in Waseca, Minn. When we first saw it, the thick catalog was printed in black and white, but the descriptions of the products were as colorful as any of today’s flashy websites.

Many of the products carried the Herter’s name and bragged of being better than any competitor’s products. George Herter wrote much of the copy. No one would accuse him of being overly modest. He inspired a dedicated following.

Wed
24
Jul

'Seinfeld' has nothing on column 'about nothing'

When I tell people that I write a weekly column, they often ask “What is it about?” And I usually say, “It’s kind of like ‘Seinfeld’; it’s about nothing.”

So, it was interesting to me when a reader stopped me in church recently and said he liked my latest column. “But,” he said, “I feel compelled to tell you it was a lot like ‘Seinfeld’ — a whole lot about nothing!” I laughed because here was a guy who “got it”!

In one of the early episodes of the show, Jerry and his friend George go in to “pitch” a show to some TV executives. George explains the concept of the show saying, “Nothing happens on the show. You see, it’s just like life. You know, you eat, you go shopping, you read. You eat, you read, you go shopping.”

So the “show about nothing” was really a show that dealt with everyday life. Not much happens on most days of our lives, right? The real secret of the success of that show was not in its plots, but in its witty dialogue.

Wed
24
Jul

What Madison gives, supervisors take away

To the editor:

The recently completed state budget will actually provide some benefits to middle-class taxpayers. My guess is that the theory in Madison is that if they let us keep more of our money, we might spend it at local businesses and support job creation and retention.

The folks down in Oconto have other ideas.

Wed
24
Jul

This is what makes Oconto Falls great

To the editor:

How often I have thought how lucky we are to live in Oconto Falls, from the beautiful location to the fine schools. With dedicated city employees, from snow removal to the pleasant employees that check our utilities, we are truly blessed.

Another gem in Oconto Falls is David Polashek. His perceptive and human articles in the Times Herald are a joy to read and deserve an even larger audience.

Wed
24
Jul

Mentoring puts focus on big picture

Aspiring administrators occasionally use the path around the Falls to find their way to this observer’s office to complete an assignment for a graduate class. Such was the case last week when an aspiring administrator scheduled an interview.

The individual said there would only be three simple questions, and these were provided prior to the interview: 1. What are the primary focuses of the superintendent during each month of the year? 2. What ongoing tasks are essential for the superintendent to be successful? 3. What is your leadership style and how is that style outwardly expressed to others? (How do staff, community, etc. know what your style is?)

Wed
17
Jul

Tragic event brings return to active parenting

Whether one chooses to gracefully grow old somewhere along the path around the Falls or picks up stakes and moves to some other location after retirement, there are some anxieties about those years.

One of the greatest fears is that a person will revert to a childlike state of mind. Giving up independence can be a definite hit on one’s pride.

That particular reversion is still off in the distance, at least we hope. This past week a much different reversion was experienced. Rather than reverting to a childhood state, very unexpected circumstances caused a reversion to a parenthood state.

Wed
17
Jul

‘Midwife’ series gives birth to thoughts on tuberculosis

Marilyn and I are fans of the PBS series “Call the Midwife,” a BBC period drama based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth and set in east London in the 1950s. And while the majority of the episodes involve some aspect of midwifery, there are also subordinate story lines that touch on a number of other health and societal issues of the ’50s: racism, poverty, romances, etc.

One such issue in the most recently completed season was about tuberculosis, a chronic bacterial disease that affects the respiratory system, but might also affect other areas of the body. It’s highly contagious and can be debilitating or fatal. In that particular episode of “Midwife,” one of the characters, a young nun, goes to a “sanitorium” to be treated, to rest and to recover.

Thu
11
Jul

Memories of altar boy reveal pride in the ministry

I sometimes serve as a Eucharistic minister at St. Katharine Drexel. That means I help distribute the Holy Eucharist at Mass.

What a change from when I was a kid at St. Anthony’s in Oconto Falls. I was an altar boy for about nine years, starting in third grade. I studied those Latin prayers until I could say them in my sleep and finally convinced Sister David John that I was ready.

Altar servers have been a part of church history since the earliest times, with those male parishioners who were deemed worthy assisting the priest at the altar while he said the Holy Mass. And it was only males, because women had no place near the altar.

All that has changed. After Vatican II when the language of the Mass was changed from Latin to English (or whatever language) and the altar was turned around so the priest faced the congregation, many more people—even women!—were allowed to participate in the Eucharist.

Thu
11
Jul

Grandpa shows support of mixed families

To the editor:

Thanks to Roger for another good column (“Grandkids shape reaction to Cheerios controversy,” published June 26). As a white male of 64 years and five grandkids, none of which are from “sterile” homes, I don’t get the uproar over a cute little girl loving her folks!

I’ve got three Cubans, one Thai, and I’ll raise you one Iranian! They are not “ethnic,” they are my grandkids, darn it! Mixed, yes, but not mixed up. If they can deal with it, why can’t we?

It’s like the Paula Deen uprising over words we were all brought up with. We’ve all said the N word, and we all know what Belgians call Germans, Lutherans call Catholics, and what Norwegians call Swedes. I even talk to Polish people. Can’t we get over it?

Not a white, male, Italian grandkid in the group, but we love each other anyway. Love is blind, and the rest of you aren’t paying attention.

Nick Cortese

Green Valley

Thu
11
Jul

Holiday celebrates commitment to democracy

For those who may be venturing out on the highways leading to or from the path around the Falls this week, word from the Wisconsin DOT is that travel will be a bit easier, since most construction projects are shut down for the week. Even so, the orange cones will remain. The shutdown was scheduled in anticipation of additional travelers with destinations to celebrate the Fourth of July.

When the Fourth lands mid-week, many families take advantage with extended time away from home. Perhaps some will do that traveling in rural areas to gauge the height of the corn crop. While the season got off to a late start, recent heat and moisture will push many stalks to the “knee high by the Fourth of July” benchmark.

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