Who said that first?

I have mentioned before that I am always mindful of the role that a newspaper plays in a community. I try to think of the "Days of Yore" column in 2035 and someone searching out city council reports that tell about the city paying one arm, one leg, and $160,000 to rid itself of a couple of ounces of mercury from the former sewer plant. (With our luck mercury will be rare by then and readers will be aghast that we had to pay to have it hauled off!)

I think the Peabody Gazette-Bulletin plays a vital part in recording what happens locally. No one would remember the facts behind some of these issues if they were not a matter of public record.

Do you remember a couple of weeks ago when I wrote an opinion column about all the signs on Mustang Road being gone? Well, what do you know, but members of the Marion County road crew suggested to the county commissioners this past week that they will begin replacing road signs because so many have gone missing! And they suggested the Mustang Road signs had disappeared at a greater rate than those had on other roads. They assumed it was the popularity of the word "Mustang." Who said that first?

During the summer I fussed and harangued at you readers because you were only sitting in the coffee shop complaining about what the city council was doing to your tax dollars. I told you to show up at budget meetings and offer your opinion. Let the council know what is important to you because funds are tighter than usual this year. You didn't do it, did you?

Now sewers are collapsing all over town and there is no money to make the necessary repairs. (Remember the $160,000 spent to ship the dirt and concrete from the former sewer plant to a hazardous waste dump in Louisiana?) We are one month and 11 days into 2008 and the sewer repair fund is depleted. Flush and rinse carefully, folks. The next sewer repair job might be in your block and guess what? There isn't ANY money. Who said that first?

I have always been pretty forthright about the fact that I am a lousy cook. I have made mention of that in several opinion columns and if you have an hour, I can entertain you with tales that will make your stomach curdle. Honest, I can.

Everyone knows a cooking tale or two from the Susan Marshall Collection. But every now and then all the planets are aligned in the sky, the karma in my extended aura is positive, and I figure out how to do a culinary event in the proper manner. It happens. Not frequently, but it happens and it has been duly noted in this column. Who said that first?

I will have you know that I took treats to the bank Monday and no one could figure out who might have made that contribution to everyone's cholesterol level. I left them on the "food table" after I finished cleaning early in the morning and they were just about gone when I went back Monday evening. The last employee in the place that night asked if I was the one who brought the dessert. I said I was and he then argued with me because even HE knew I am no kind of cook. But I did and apparently someone wants the recipe. (This an historic event for me. I'm rarely asked how I do cooking stuff.)

But, hey, I might be on my way to something grand. And who said it first?

So my point here is that this is the vehicle for recording what is going on in our community. For future generations this is the publication that records the human nature, the ins and outs, the good and the bad, the social, political, religious, historic, educational, and legal issues of our lives.

You won't find us in the Wichita Eagle. Other than sports scores and maybe a feature article, you won't find your community in the Newton Kansan or the Hillsboro Free Press.

But you will find it here and you will find it here first.