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THE TITANS - February 8, 2007

I seldom watch television, but the weekend was snowy and cold, so I decided to watch “just one movie” recommended by the grandchildren.

 It was “Remember the Titans,” a story of a team that faced monumental problems during the early 1970s as they worked to overcome racial tensions of a newly integrated high school. The coaches were hired from both races, and finally learned to give and take in their expectations. The players finally learned that respect and loyalty are more important than clinging to cultural differences and attitudes. The team’s example pulls the rest of the town together and they go on to win the state championship. It is based on actual events that took place in 1971, when the high school won a AAA state championship. They learn that name calling and accusations do not make a winning team.

When the movie was over, I thought, “It is too cold to go out, so I will curl up with a blanket and watch just one more movie.” The movie was “Little House on the Prairie,” written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and published in 1935. The series is based on memories of Wilder’s childhood in the Midwest during the late 19th century.

 The Ingalls family return to their prairie home in Oak Grove, after discovering that life in the big city has its own share of problems. They return with enthusiasm and are disappointed to find the townspeople have lost their will to survive, and are just existing. They feel that the townspeople have decided no one cares, and are blaming each other for the lack of participation. The school is a mess, church services have been discontinued, and the children are running around, getting into trouble. They visit an old friend, Mr. Skinner, who had to sell his wife’s new furniture, acquired through years of saving, just to pay taxes. They are very dejected. This is the day of Sara Skinner’s 45th birthday, and she sits and rocks like an old woman.

After looking over the situation, the Ingalls family decided to live in Oak Grove. People make up the town, not its buildings. The Ingalls children round up others and start cleaning the school. Not too many show up, but Mr. Skinner and his two children come to help. He said, “Sara (his wife) heard of the cleaning and started cleaning our house. She only has a hound dog and a rocking chair, but says, ‘Improvement has to start somewhere’.”

The people form small groups to get an old mill running to furnish water for the town. They clean out the trash, plant flowers, encourage small businesses to provide employment, open up the school and have church services again. The town prospers because the people learn that by caring for each other and working together, they can accomplish anything.

My day ended by watching the final quarter of the Super Bowl. What a surprise! I don’t even remember the score, but will always remember the dignity and good example shown by the teams and coaches. Both coaches have displayed that their faith and families are more important than their job. The spirit of co-operation and respect was being passed on to their teams and fans.

This was a great way to spend a cold, wintry day!

Can we, like the Titans, learn to put aside individual differences, and work together?

 Can we, like the town of Oak Grove, forget about blaming others and work together to accomplish more than we can as individuals?

Can we, like the Super Bowl teams, accomplish more by cooperation and respect, and setting a good example for others?

Can this happen in Grantsville and Calhoun County? I know it can!

This Week's Editorial:

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