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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
                 Friday, August 8 2003 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

Role models

Continuing Monday's and Wednesday's entries about making a difference....

Another way to make a difference in life and create a ripple on the world while passing through is to be a role model. In recent years there was a wave of cynicism about role modeling, with some of the top athletes and popular musicians protesting that despite their fame they're not in their line of work to be role models for anyone; don't expect them to be good they were saying in effect. Presumably, they're just there to make lots of money and have all the pleasure they can squeeze out of their high-roller lifestyles.

Recently the news has been dominated by two athlete role models, Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant and Baylor University basketball player Patrick Dennehy. Dennehy was allegedly murdered by a teammate (the accused himself being described as something of a role model by his shocked acquaintances) under as-yet unclear circumstances. And Bryant, as the whole world must know by now, has been accused of raping a 19-year-old woman in his hotel room during a road trip. Both basketball stars have been described as having good character and being credits to their teams, though Bryant has admitted, after DNA evidence was cited as evidence by investigators, to have had an adultrous consensual liaison with his accuser. The revelations about the millions of dollars at stake through the undermining of his heretofore sterling reputation coupled with his confession under duress might make the skeptical question if "role modeling" was something he'd given a try because his handlers advised it would produce more endorsement deals.

On the flip side of these aspiring role models are the anti-role models, the intentional bad boys who not only model uncouth public personnas but are still accorded adultation by fawning fans. Gangsta hiphop "artists" and rockers generally play to that image, it seems, with the blond superstar Eminem leading the pack and building his following through shocking lyrics that are both obscene and violent. In films, Collin Farrell, the young Irish star in the release of this week, S.W.A.T., loves to see how many times he can be bleeped for "the F-word" in a single sentence on appearances with Leno, Letterman, O'Brien and Stewart, and appears outside always with a cigarette and revels in tales of pubbing and womanizing, though he's not yet through puberty.

In an earlier generation being a role model wasn't optional, at least in any kind of white collar profession. Anyone who wanted to have customers for their business, be tenured in teaching school, or aspiring to any kind of community leadership worked to project a friendly, trustworthy, and esteemed reputation among youth and adults alike. Maybe those days have gone the way of the white collars and ties.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

More memories of the fabulous 'fifties

Here are some other things I would have told my son about my childhood if I had figured his system could handle it.
My parents never: wore Levi's, set foot on a golf course, traveled out of the country, flew in a plane or had a credit card.
In their later years they had something called a "revolving charge card" but they never actually used it. It was good only at Sears-Roebuck. Or maybe it was Sears and Roebuck. Either way, there is no Roebuck anymore.
My parents never drove me to soccer practice. This was because soccer back then was just for the girls.
We actually did walk to school. By the time you were in the 6th grade it was not cool to ride the bus unless you lived more than four or five miles from the school, even when it was raining or there was ice or snow on the ground.

Thought for today

Children's notes to God

A nun asked her class to write notes to God. Here are some of the notes the children handed in.

Dear God: Maybe Cain and Abel would not have killed each other so much if they had their own rooms. That's what my Mom did for me and my brother.

Dear God: If you watch me in church on Sunday, I'll show you my new shoes.

Dear God: I bet it is very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only four people in our family and I'm having a hard time loving all of them.

Dear God: In school they told us what you do. Who does it when you're on vacation?

— Sent by Sallie Covolo 

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