It is sometimes difficult to believe that this is my ninth year being retired from working with fifth graders at Hope Elementary. I learned so much in those years from my students, colleagues, and this wonderful community!

Not long after retiring, Larry Simpson asked if I might write articles for The Hope Star-Journal, in particular education articles. I hesitated and then agreed as long as I could have the freedom to write on a variety of subjects. (After all, I had a folder full of letters written to education decision makers during my thirty-six years teaching and questioned just how much they had accomplished.) Larry agreed. Thus, my wife and I selected “Duck Ponderings” as the title for my column.

Then, Larry unexpectedly died. I thought my writing career for a newspaper was over. But, several of us got together to find a way to keep a media source in Hope and started the not-for-profit and free reading HSJ Online. John Clark, our content coordinator, gave me the same freedom as Larry.

So, I have written at least one article a month on a wide range of topics for almost nine years, and I have been on the HSJ Online Advisory Team for almost four of those years.

I just attended "The Miracle Worker" by William Gibson at WILLow LeaVes of Hope and felt a responsibility to share with our readers that it is a must see. Now, this is coming from someone who very much prefers comedy over drama. (Then again, I asked the authors of "The Well House" permission to convert their great story to a play. It is definitely drama!)

I decided that I really needed to see "The Miracle Worker" primarily to support WILLow LeaVes, three sisters who give so much. I also wanted to support the cast and crew, several people that I have had the privilege of working with in "Letters Of Forgiveness," "The Cowboy & The Jean Skirt" and "Dearly Departed."  ("Letters Of Forgiveness" and "The Cowboy & The Jean Skirt" are plays that Hope author Rena Blake Dillman kindly granted me permission to develop from her books.) 

Well, I was on the edge of my seat all night, hanging on each word and action. I was inspired beyond what words express. The acting and story reached into my heart, mind, and soul. While watching, I was thinking of all the time and effort involved in such a production. I don't think you could find a better dinner or show in the world for $25. If there is a movie company out there wishing to remake the movie, then they should ask this cast and crew!

If you have not made reservations, then I would encourage you to do so, young and old alike. Like me, you will walk away inspired.

The producer and director, Connie Kiviniemi-Baylor, states the following within the program: “It's a story worth telling, and a lesson worth learning.” I can not state it better!