Elections, football and things falling from the sky

By Dennis Minich

I write this column before the election results have been announced. I therefore have no idea at this moment what transpired. I do have thoughts about what the past few weeks have been like and how I sincerely hope things change.

We have witnessed one of the messiest and nastiest campaign seasons that I can recall. The sad part was how little messages of substance were presented, but instead every soundbite and newspaper highlight were negative attacks.

I guess we have come to expect this from national races, there is a lot of money available and a lot of commercial time to be bought and lots of groups wanting to share their opinions.

American politics has never been particularly civil, the stories of the early presidential elections tell stories of rumors, innuendos and even a duel so we shouldn’t really be shocked. I guess what makes today’s politics more disturbing is the negative campaign no longer is limited to the big races, but has trickled into every element of every race in every election cycle.

Can you imagine how much different it would be if politicians were more like football coaches?

Football coaches long ago figured out you never want to give your opponent bulletin board material, so they tend to always talk the other team up. A bad team is called average, an average team is called tough or hungry and a good team should be playing on Sunday they are so talented. Can you imagine if politicians talked and acted like that?

Speaking of football, it is very exciting with three area teams still in hopes of a district title. Midway and Adrian were to be expected, but Harrisonville’s run is exciting, not only because they are still playing, but it reinforces the thought of never stop trying.

This team has taken some mighty punches this year and could have easily given up, but perseverance has paid off and whether they win a title or not, they stayed with it and as fans we should be proud.

I was on the sidelines at Adrian Friday night when a bright silver streak fell out of the sky with what appeared to be a tail of sparklers running behind. At first we thought it was some nearby fireworks, but it was reported folks watching the game at Midway saw it too.

It was kind of funny, everyone was asking what was that? Since it looked so different and much brighter than your typical falling star, the assumption was it must have been some kind of space debris.

I finally saw a news report that a bright meteor had appeared in the skies over the southwest Friday night so I guess that was it. Whatever it was, it was certainly unusual.

Sunday is a special day in our country and plans have been made for special celebrations in Harrisonville. Sunday is Veterans Day which originally was known as Armistice Day. On Nov. 11, 1918, the treaty was signed that ended World War I.

How sad that at the time that war was thought to be “The war to end all wars.”

As we know, there seems to be no end in sight when it comes to picking a fight.

In Harrisonville a ceremony will start at 10:30 a.m. and will move to the “Dough Boy” memorial on the square, where at 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month, the 100th anniversary of peace will be celebrated. It is unusual for such an event on a Sunday morning, but this anniversary is one that should be rightfully observed.

The past couple of weeks were busy with Halloween festivities around the area. I have always approached Halloween with the age-old wisdom of giving out the candy you like the least first and that way when you keep the leftovers you get to keep the good stuff.

That strategy doesn’t work when you run out of candy. I got to give away the sugary treats at three city events: Peculiar, Harrisonville and Adrian.

It was estimated there were between 350 and 400 revelers in Peculiar, which I thought was impressive.

But the next day came Harrisonville’s and the estimates are around 1,500 and at the end of the day I felt like I had met each and every one of them.

Then on Halloween I had reloaded with candy and thought I was ready for whatever came, but it wasn’t close. A little over half way through the two-hour event, my candy was gone, except for a couple of Tootsie Pops I had managed to pocket.

Each event was fun and what a great way to allow kids to enjoy the trick or treating in a safe environment.

I was never much of a costume guy. I didn’t get invited to too many parties and quite simply, it was rarely worth the effort.

I do, however, enjoy a great costume and there were several out and about this year that I thought were especially inspired.

My two favorites were a young man dressed like a thunderstorm (you have to use your imagination because I can’t explain it) and another lad dressed like macaroni and cheese. Kudos to them both, if I had any extra candy you would be rewarded for your efforts.

One of my personal favorite things about trick-or-treating is watching the kids walk around in excitement for all of the great goodies they are picking up. But in most cases about two steps behind them is Dad with an equally big grin on his face. He’s grinning because he knows they can’t eat it all by bedtime and that’s when he swoops in. We dads know all of the angles.

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