If any of you ever find yourselves in my position, writing an opinion column for a newspaper, here is a bit of advice.
Do you want to generate comments or phone calls from readers with opinions about your opinion? Do you want people to stop you on the street or in the post office and tell you they really loved — or hated — what you wrote?
Go ahead and bare your soul. Tell them what was in your high school diary. The response will amaze you. People will actually share stories from their own memoirs. It is true.
However, I am going to stop right here. I am not going to tell any of the tales of days gone by that I heard this past week. Sharing my own gaffes and embarrassing moments was enough. It is time to move on. The only redeeming factor about highlighting those times when we were young and unsure of ourselves is to acknowledge that we all have them.
From another arena of my life, I am going to sneak in a bit of parental pride, although we are not supposed to champion our own offspring in the pages of our newspapers. I think I can get away with it because she bought an ad in all three papers this week for her upcoming event.
This weekend the Youngest Daughter will celebrate a five-year anniversary as owner and operator of the Coneburg Inn, a restaurant and bar in Peabody. She worked for the previous owner for a year before he gave up. She then met with Shirley Strotkamp, Coneburg Inn founder, and sealed a deal.
In my most humble opinion, she has done a wonderful job of providing a place in Marion County where people can go to have dinner — and a drink if they choose — with family and friends. The Coneburg Inn Grill and Pub is a venue for local and area musicians, patio dining during seasonal weather, and a place to reserve space for a class reunion, family gathering, or club meeting.
She provides jobs for seven or eight full- or part-time employees and herself. She has not asked the Bank of Mom to supplement her income. She charges sales tax to contribute to the city’s cash flow, sponsors youth teams, and supports the kind of kid activities that local businesses supported for her when she was growing up here.
She was glad to come back to Peabody after earning a degree and working for several years in Colorado and Tennessee. She is part of the Kansas “Rural by Choice” initiative and proud of it.
In addition, she feeds me several nights a week and says, “Hi, Mom” when I walk in the door. I do not even have to wash dishes, though sometimes in a real crisis, I have been known to wrap forks or pick up dirty dishes from a table.
If you have time to stop by the Coneburg Inn Grill and Pub this weekend and say “Way to go,” do so. Elsewhere in this paper is an advertisement of musical entertainment for the big event. Go and enjoy. It is local, it is reasonably priced, it contributes to your community and county, and you will probably enjoy yourselves.