Recently we lost an outstanding first lady: Barbara Bush. There was a time when I thought that her predecessor, Nancy Reagan, had overshadowed her. But then I realized that it's only because Reagan had been in office twice as long. I saw the documentary of Barbara Bush's life, and I was amazed at how much she accomplished, especially after leaving the White House. First ladies accomplish much more that what the media seems to cover.
I am old enough to remember when Foot Lake was unfit to swim in. There used to be little mounds of silt in the shallower parts of the lake. They made funny-looking "splash marks" when we threw rocks in them. Then Kandiyohi County bought a dredge, and the work began in cleaning out the lake. When the water was safe enough for swimming, a beach was opened, and us kids were delighted in finally getting to swim there.
As of now, we are just days away from the start of the Gopher football season. New head coach P.J. Fleck has made a bold statement: "We came here to be elite!" There was a time when Gopher football was elite; winning national championships. But most of us remember mostly when they were one of the worst teams in college football. Eventually, they moved up to mediocre, but they were still prone to lose, especially to Michigan and Ohio State.
Before Donald Trump officially became president, I wrote a letter that was printed Jan. 11 saying that there was no use in complaining about it, because he would be our president no matter what. I am now officially retracting that statement, since there is now plenty to complain about. The media is comparing President Trump to President Nixon. While Nixon was in office, he felt he was above the law. But then the Watergate scandal was exposed, and Nixon felt compelled to resign.
I see the city of Willmar will soon replace the old wading pool at Rice Park with a splash pad. The pool had been closed for the last five years because it didn't hold water anymore — just like the "fake news" stories we have been hearing about lately.
I hear that the Willmar City Auditorium is in need of renovation. Many people consider that a landmark, and they may be anxious to get this started. But wait, both Robbins Island and Rice Parks are scheduled for renovation as well. So much renovation at one time can seem overwhelming to us. While I'm for renovation, I do suggest that this should be planned accordingly. Give us an ample amount of time to consider this. Kent Syverson Willmar
In some of my previous letters, I expressed my opinions about our recent election. Like some people, I wasn't very happy when Donald Trump won. But now we are just days away from the inauguration. Like it or not, barring something unusual, Trump will become our next president. I heard somebody say that Trump just might surprise us. He might turn out to be a better leader than we anticipated. I hope so. The only thing we can do now is accept the fact that the change of command is coming. There's no use complaining about it now. Kent Syverson
Several years ago, when Jesse Ventura ran for governor, I didn't think he stood much of a chance. He had been a professional wrestler. He was running as a third-party candidate, and against two of the biggest names in Minnesota. Yet he defied all odds and won. I felt the same way when Donald Trump started his campaign. He too defied all odds and won. Nothing about our elections surprises me anymore. Kent Syverson Willmar
Let's see now. Women started campaigning for voting rights in 1848. They finally got the right to vote in 1920 with the ratification of the 19th Amendment, 72 years later. It is now 96 years later, and there is a rumor going around that somebody wants to repeal the 19th Amendment! That better be only a rumor! If my mom were alive, she would have plenty to say about that. Back when the voting age was 21, she got her picture in the paper for voting on her 21st birthday. In her later years, she served as an election judge. To repeal an amendment like that would be a big mistake.
I see that the pedestrian bridge over the railroad needs repair. I've always admired it. In fact, I now consider it a landmark in Willmar. Although I live several blocks away from it, I do use the bridge from time to time. I have noticed chunks of concrete missing from the platform. Fortunately, they are all along the edge, but it's only a matter of time before more chunks go missing.