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Fun with feedback

I have enjoyed a number of responses to recent opinion columns and I thought I should share some of them with you.

I’ve decided I am going to have to mention “my five regular readers” more often because every time I do, three or four people ask me to add them to the list. I wonder why they don’t think they are already one of the five I am counting? Sometimes people from some distance away e-mail and ask me to add them. Maybe I should just make a list. Thanks to all of you who read this column. You never have to agree with me and you can certainly tell me so, but still I am glad you read what I have written.

A former resident told me Saturday at the Buchanan auction that he enjoyed the column from the past week about Florence and Peabody and the volunteers who contribute so much to small communities. He no longer lives here, but I bet he contributes to the town he now calls home. He comes from a family that regularly contributes time, energy, and fantastic pies to many events right here in Peabody. Young people who are raised by parents who volunteer tend to be the same type of people when they become adults. Thanks for the good words, Mike.

There are a variety of opinions about what happened with the downtown petunias. Folks aren’t very happy about the fact that they are no longer growing around the bowling alley and points south to their 2008 summer home at Cameo Rose Antiques. Most people with an opinion blame the city for spraying them with weed killer the past couple of summers, causing their demise. Note to self: during the next community comment session at a city council meeting, tell those folks to quit doing that. They should concentrate on spraying the grass and weeds growing in the sidewalks, gutters, streets and alleys, not the darn flowers. Note to you: show up at a city council meeting to express your opinion. If you don’t, it’s a cinch they won’t know how you feel about petunias or anything else.

Lastly, I think you all should know that I scored pretty well on the column about the Kansas Department of Transportation and their Emporia detour to the Kansas Turnpike. I mean a whole BUNCH of people responded to that little communiqué. I was greatly relieved to find out that I wasn’t the only one who became flummoxed at the lack of logic in the KDOT detour route. I probably should have had form letters ready to e-mail to anyone who wanted to protest, but I honestly thought it was my own fault that I didn’t know how to get on the turnpike.

I have had some fun with that column. It was even printed in another newspaper (not one belonging to Hoch Publishing). People have stopped me to say they enjoyed it or agreed with it. Many said they clipped it out and sent to someone who had a similar experience. Also, we have a method of looking at how many people look at stories in our newspapers. Some readers log on to the paper site using with their real names and I noticed a number of KDOT folks logged on that week. But, hey, they might have been reading Days of Yore or statistics for Peabody swim team.

It is always an eye opener to find out what engages readers and makes them respond. Thanks for taking the time to let me hear from you.

Susan Marshall

Last modified Aug. 13, 2008

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