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Christmas cash not claimed

Sadly enough, I have no report on the lost Christmas cash from the opinion column in the past week’s newspaper. I did, however, have a pretty healthy number of people stop me to ask whether or not Cody (the recipient of the cash) or his grandmother Ruby (the giver of the cash) had come forward.

It always amazes me that readers get wound up in human interest stories like this tale of Cody’s lost money. I guess we all like happy endings, and the formula in this event was certainly looking like it was made for such a conclusion. However, my weekly meeting with Police Chief Bruce Burke on Monday morning told a different story.

The chief told me he would hang on to the envelope of money for awhile and see if anyone came forward with any information. We both agreed the envelope could have blown into town from Aulne or Cassoday. Or someone might have dropped it in Peabody while stopping for gas, food, or downtown shopping.

We may never know who owns the money, but we still have a bit of a storybook ending — we know that someone in our community was good enough to take the money to the police department in hopes of finding its rightful owner. And we know that a good number of local folks read about it and were rooting for Cody and his grandmother. Good for us!

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I also want to share that a couple of weeks ago, I had a conversation with a man who was in public service in Peabody for quite a few years. He had read the column I wrote about people who send nasty unsigned letters, leave raspberries or obscenities on my answering machine, or who shroud themselves and their messages in otherwise cowardly behavior. As the recipient of similar actions, he wanted to share some of the “ick” fired in his direction by the same type of constituents.

He assured me that they rarely sway significant numbers of people to their way of thinking because folks generally don’t follow a coward. It is easy to pretend you have the presence of your convictions when your posse is rallying around you, but if you can’t even sign your own name, it is a cinch your backers won’t step out of the shadows to defend your ideas.

He also said that over time he found that our community really has more good and straight-forward people than cowards and I think he is right. Good for us!

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Two weeks ago I attended a Kansas Main Street workshop in El Dorado. Representatives of most Kansas Main Street cities were in attendance, as were representatives from communities looking into the Main Street program.

The guest speaker was Todd Barman, from Madison, Wisc. He is a past director of Wisconsin Main Street, but is currently employed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Barman is a terrific speaker and presents persuasive arguments in support of the economic impact that historic preservation has on communities.

A dozen times or more in his presentation, Barman gave a nod to the City of Peabody, Peabody Main Street, and the support of the Kansas Main Street program for the aggressive plan in place to save the Baker buildings and maintain the integrity of the historic downtown. I was more than a little proud to be sitting at the Peabody table. Good for us!

— SUSAN MARSHALL

Last modified Jan. 25, 2012

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