Speakout 1/8

Thursday, January 8, 2004

President Bush has done a lot to be criticized for, but he is a religious man (and so is his whole family). As we enter the new year, let's take the time to ask the Lord to bless him and his family and to bless our military personnel in Iraq and those who are going over there, to protect them and their families. They are in there to help us. I get amazed to see you Democrats who are running for president in 2004 lashing out at Bush. Some of you probably even voted for this war. This will be one of the most costly presidential races we've had in the United States. It's going to be a tough battle between Democrats and Republicans. Instead of criticizing them so much, ask the Lord to protect those who are serving to help us. We still have the greatest country on the face of the Earth. We have a lot to be thankful for.

I have been a fan of Southern Illinois and Southeast Missouri basketball for over 30 years. I read that Sikeston High School had dropped out of the Marion Tourney at the last minute. I wonder if the real reason may have been that the Sikeston team is not able to compete. Perhaps the thought of taking a good whipping from a small, poor, predominantly black high school was too much for the powers that be in Sikeston. I graduated from Cairo (Ill.) High School in 1971, and played against great players from Sikeston, Fred Townsend, Sammy Tucker, Pope Hunt and others. What has happened to the competitive spirit? I can commend Danny Farmer at Charleston High School for going wherever he must to play good competition. Being a proud former Cairo Pilot, it pleases me to see them maintain the old spirit - anywhere, anytime, any place, anybody.

According to Derek James' article in the Dec. 24, 2003, Standard Democrat, "Due to the Missouri State High School Activities Association bylaws, the Sikeston Bulldogs basketball team was not allowed to participate in the Marion Holiday Tournament over Christmas." The Bulldogs were scheduled to play. But the round robin event was set up for six teams with each playing five games. "They had set it up as a six-team round robin tournament where everyone was going to play five games," according to Sikeston athletic director Charlie Vickery. "But Missouri doesn't allow a six-team round robin where you can play five games. We're only allowed to play four games in a holiday tournament set up on a 16-team bracket. So therefore we just can't go because it's against the rules of the state association."

To my mother-in-law. You're not just a mother-in-law and just a friend to me. You are a true mother and I love you very much. I just want to thank you for everything you have done for me. You have been there for me when I didn't think I could go on living. You held me in your heart, and it shows every time you look at me. I want to say thank you. Since I married your son in 1976 you have always treated me like a daughter and you stayed at my side all these years. You even do without to help others and I just want to say thank you. You are a true mother to me and I love you.