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'Tis Time For a Festive Holiday Chrome Dome Poem
Things have really changed in this area during the last two years.
In the past few weeks I’ve heard the same question from many readers of The Banner. What will my Christmas column be this holiday season?
Well, folks, that’s a heck-of-a good question because Knightstown has undergone a sort of metamorphosis over the past 24 months and things just aren’t what they used to be.
In 2006 and 2007, writing a holiday column was just too easy. We had both a school board and town council in turmoil, and I had access to a literal holiday feast, courtesy of some people’s unique ability to feed me material.
Two years ago I was able to bring you the “Twelve Days of Christmas,” if you remember.
On the 12th day of Christmas,
What I’d like to see,
12 conflict-free months,
11 fewer attorneys,
10 newly-paved streets,
Nine government grants,
Eight basketball wins,
Seven board members listening,
Six percent for the teachers,
Five co-he-sive coun-cil-men,
A fourth sectional title,
Three new retail shops,
Two KHS football fields,
And a year with no one suing CAB.
Then last year, you and I took a tour of the holiday Christmas classics, which were being presented by the Knightstown Players, who performed at the Knightstown Opera House. Remember that?
Movie: A Christmas Story
Plot: All little Ralphie wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB Gun. He gets it, but also gets shot in the eye.
Knightstown Player's version: A Knightstown Christmas Story
Plot: All little Chad Leakey wants for Christmas is a legitimate chance to bid on an insurance contract. Instead, he gets poked in the eye.
Well, those were the good-old days, when school boards, town councils and others gave me plenty of material to work with. It’s no secret that – hey, now don’t blame me, you guys ask for this stuff – we like to seize the opportunity to pick on local government officials and employees in this column – especially when they stick out their tongue and it’s a funny color.
Unfortunately, when I look at the bigger picture, those people just aren’t conducting business the way they used to. The new town council and the revamped school board are, for the most part, doing the job we elected them to do.
Two years ago I was an outspoken proponent for change in various positions of leadership. I hadn’t planned ahead far enough to realize that consequences, such as few opportunities for column-worthy material, would accompany those changes.
So here we are, in the midst of a different era, when many more things are being done right than wrong.
In a way, it’s kind of sad. It’s no longer possible to pick on any of those people who were such willing targets for years, because frankly, they just aren’t around any more. They’ve been replaced.
But then again, when you look at the overall picture, I guess we are fortunate to be in the position we are today, even though there’s just not anything funny about it and it’s kind of boring sometimes.
Faced with a deadline for my annual Christmas column, I stopped, took a look around, and just watched what was happening in Knightstown. The economy is bordering on being crippled, people are losing their jobs, and a lot of good folks are struggling to pay their monthly bills.
And Christmas is just around the corner.
Seeing that the need will be greater this year than perhaps ever before, a lot of good people responded in kind, locally. Because of that, despite the economic conditions many are facing, the Knightstown Cheer Guild, area churches, food banks, business owners and volunteers embarked on the tremendous challenge of answering the needs of those throughout this and area communities.
The end result? Knightstown opened up its arms and gave itself a great big holiday hug. Donations poured into the food banks, the Cheer Guild, the churches and at some local merchants who were helping in the great cause.
Individually, all of the groups gathering food, toys and gifts did pretty well. But collectively, they exceeded any previous years’ attempts and will be providing much-needed aid to a lot of less fortunate people this year.
I have to say, I’ve rarely been more impressed or proud of my home town. We’ve seen our people from all walks of life, working separately, yet together for the same cause, organizing various fundraisers and food and toy drives.
At the same time we have school board and town council members seeing eye to eye and working toward solutions to problems instead of creating more.
In spite of hard times, this community is working together perhaps better than it has in years, in most areas across the board.
Because of that, I have no ammunition for my annual holiday column. I’ve searched for this year’s punching bag and I just can’t find any.
So with that in mind, and with my apologies to Clement Clarke Moore, I give you this year’s holiday poem, "‘Twas the Night Before Christmas in Knightstown":
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Knightstown,
Not a creature was stirring, not one single sound.
No more noise was emitting, from the corn haze,
No more train whistles blowing, in these quiet days.
Derek’s dealers were tucked, all snug in their bunks,
The price they were paying, for selling that junk.
CAB faced much debt, and as one they stood tall,
The leaders we elected, representing us all.
The teachers received, their seven percent,
From a new administration, that’s been Heaven-sent.
‘Tis a great town council, that listens and learns,
No more illegal meetings, no more lawsuit rug burns.
But suddenly in Knightstown, there arose such a clatter,
We sprang from our beds, to see what was the matter.
The economy turned sour, the need was so great,
Would a year without Christmas, be some people’s fate?
Unselfish the folks were, in making a choice,
They must have all heard, that same inner voice:
Now Neal! Now Freda! Now Jeff and Steve!
Now Bill and Helen! Now KUMC!
We need food! We need toys! The challenge is tall!
Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!
The unfortunate were facing, a dark Christmas night,
But the response in Knightstown, was some awesome sight.
There was food, and gifts, and plenty of toys,
And special treats given, to the young girls and boys.
An army helping others, this holiday year,
The community responded, giving much love and cheer.
With so many in need, proof the townsfolk did give,
That we’re a GOOD place to visit, and a BETTER place to live.
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The Banner, PO Box 116, Knightstown, IN 46148 (765) 345-2292