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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
               Friday, July 26 2002 

Kid friendly

The story in Thursday's Tribune-Democrat about efforts of Nanty Glo's Beautification Committee to prevent wear and tear on their new gazebo by adolescents using it took me back in more ways than one. It was exactly the type of story that would have been the basis of a Teen Events column when I was writing them for the Journal and other Sedloff (Mainline) Newspapers (1957-62). It also took me back to life with father, my dad, who tried to be neighborly, hated “no trespassing” signs on his own or anyone else’s property, but always looked in terror on any kids making incursions on his farm property. He believed they were never there for any purpose other than destruction, no matter how well he may have liked the same kids when he had business with one of their parents.

Though I’m now a grandfather and homeowner (of sorts) myself, there’s still a teenager inside me and more of the teen columnist than the property owner. The teenager in me is convinced that the worst strategy to use in curbing teen violations of property is to turn them into your enemies. The second principle: let them know you expect the worst and they're not likely to disappoint you; let them know you expect better, and they may pleasantly surprise you. I’m also convinced that a more positive strategy can turn potential vandals into defenders rather than abusers of your beautification efforts. But that would take extending the hand of friendship rather than the slap on the cheek that signals a duel.

To their credit, both the Tribune-Democrat and the town councilmembers interviewed for the article seem to be more sympathetic with the kids than their elder critics, one of whom was apalled that she’d even seen kids sitting on the gazebo’s floor! Certainly, the kids quoted made much more sense and showed more sensitivity than the silly rules propounded by the committee. No loitering in the park! What are parks—and especially gazebos—for, for Pete's sake?

For my part, if the gazebo has given the kids a place to meet and to be kids without getting into trouble it has given Nanty Glo a deeper beauty than any cosmetic appertenance could provide. And I hope that the forgetfulness by some of the older generation about what made Nanty Glo such a great place to grow up and raise kids is just temporary amnesia.

(This topic may be controversial, so as always other opinions are welcome, either to the mail list directly [click "reply" if reading via email and if you want to choose that option] or for permanent publication on the website, write to me.)

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Etiquette for rednecks (series)

GENERAL

Never take a beer to a job interview.

Always identify people in your yard before shooting at them.

It's considered tacky to take a cooler to church.

If you have to vacuum the bed, it is time to change the sheets.

Even if you're certain that you are included in the will, it is still considered tacky to take a U-Haul to the funeral home.

Sent by Mike Harrison

Thought for today

Truths (series)

1. The best way to get even is to forget...
2. Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death...
3. God wants spiritual fruits, not religious nuts...
4. Some folks wear their halos much too tight...
5. Some marriages are made in heaven, but they all have to be maintained on earth

Sent by Mike Harrison

Top daily news stories linked from our sister webpage
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