(Shenandoah) – I wake up this morning enjoying the glow of a wonderful event last night in Shenandoah.
I have other things in mind: birthdays, both dark and happy.
Yes, it’s another medley-type blog this Sunday. Let’s ride…
Department Let’s not forget: It is hard to believe that 21 years ago today the attacks of September 11 happened. It is true that the date September 11, 2001 is synonymous with other dates in history — December 7, 1941, April 12, 1945, November 22, 1963, April 4 and June 5, 1968, January 28, 1986 and, yes, January 6 , 2021.
Like everyone who lived at the time, the memories of that horrible day are still fresh in my memory. I’m not going to recap where I was and what I was going to do that day in 2001. A previous blog written on the 20th anniversary of the attacks had taken care of that. This blog is shared here.
And, in case you missed it, KMA News aired a special a year ago called “THAT Week In KMAland,” featuring clips from our local coverage that day and beyond. The program is available here:
Hope you also caught our coverage of Friday’s Patriots Day Ceremony in Shenandoah. We’ve even included a video version of the story on our website, kmaland.com (the final version can be found embedded in our web story and on our homepage).
Happy Birthday Department: 9/11 is a special date for another, much happier reason: today marks the 30th anniversary of my first date with my wife Mary. History will remember that our inaugural date took place at Creston’s Pizza Hut, followed by the movie “Batman Returns” at the Corning Cinema. I remember thinking that if this date – like so many of my previous excursions – doesn’t turn into something more, hey, at least I’ve seen the latest Batman movie.
A year later, I commemorated the first anniversary of our first date by proposing. Fortunately, she said yes. Mary then said “yes” in June 1994. Twenty-eight years, two daughters and a son-in-law later, history is still being written.
Thanks to my wife Mary for supporting me all these years. All my love always.
Alright, enough sappy stuff. Ahead…
SWITG Propaganda Department: I hope you get a chance to read this reporter’s recap of last night’s Southwest Iowa Theater Group Gala, Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet. All in all, it was a good time for everyone, especially those lucky enough to be recognized for their talents with the SWITG acting awards. A big shout out to all of them, and everyone involved with the theater troupe over the past few years, especially those who kept SWITG going during the COVID-19 induced shutdown two years ago.
You’ve probably noticed that this reporter can’t be objective about SWITG. Having performed in 22 previous stage productions – with another on the way – activities at the Park Playhouse have become a big part of my life over the past two decades. And some of the people who share the stage with me in those productions have become surrogate family members. But, it would be terribly negligent of me not to mention that there are many other theater organizations in KMAland too numerous to mention. Their achievements also deserve support. This is why it is important that citizens attend local productions in order to bring theater to life in our region.
SWITG Board Chair Julie Murren summed it up nicely: “Here in Southwest Iowa, there’s an incredible amount of talent. You know, all of our actors and our directors, they all have something different to bring to the table. And, you might find someone has a talent you never knew existed. You could bring your dentist up on stage. You might see the teacher you had at school come on stage. And, you could get up there yourself.
Which evokes a shameless take: yours truly is part of the cast of SWITG’s first production of the 2022-23 season, “Farce of Habit”. I play Huddle Fisk in this comedy game – and I mean game. I’m joined by a great cast, and we’re all in good hands with Don and Martha Jackson at the helm as directors.
“Farce of Habit” takes the SWITG stage the last two weekends of October. Check the theater group’s website for more details.
Woe to the Big Red Department: Another reason I enjoyed attending the SWITG banquet last night: I missed the Nebraska-Georgia Southern game. Which brings me to our next topic:
I have only one thing to say about Nebraska’s recent football woes:
How about those LA Dodgers!!
Just when you think the Huskers have hit rock bottom over the past decade, things get even worse. And, last night’s 45-42 loss to the Eagles, an FCS Sunbelt Conference team, may be more than most Big Red fans, including yours, can endure. Admittedly, that looks bleak for Scott Frost’s tenure as head coach. All the excitement and promise of a Husker revival in college football under Frost’s administration evaporated with one losing season — and one narrow loss — after another.
This Husker fan feels no anger towards Scott Frost – I’ve always loved him as a coach and as a human being. Plus, there’s a lot of angst spreading on social media. Lord, how did we get ballistic about sports coaches and teams before Facebook or Twitter? But, I can’t deny that the question of whether Frost will be fired is not if, but when. The even bigger question is whether Nebraska athletic director Trev Alberts will wait until the end of the season to fire him, or will do so in the middle of the season. I don’t think Alberts will wait for the Huskers to enter the rest of the Big 10 portion of the schedule – with the very real prospect of the vaunted sellout streak ending in a few weeks.
And if Frost is dropped, then what? Who will be the interim head coach? And will an interim coach become head coach (note I didn’t say permanent) next season, or will another hunt for a new coach begin? And, who would want the job after so many coaches have come and gone since Frank Solich was fired in 2003 (which was – and still is – a huge mistake)?
One thing is clear: there’s a group of people licking their chops about Nebraska football’s downfall: the Husker haters out there. Make no mistake: These venom-spitting individuals have been loud and obnoxious about Nebraska’s misfortunes. Suffice it to say, the vast majority of Husker haters are Iowa or Iowa State fans.
Here’s a tip for Hawkeye or Cyclone fans: Instead of shooting the Huskers, sweep your own door. Be more concerned about YOUR teams. The Cyclones’ 10-7 win over the Hawkeyes in yesterday’s annual statewide game didn’t look pretty. Iowa has so many problems right now, the biggest of which is the inability to mount a scoring drive. And while the Cyclones are 2-0 and the win over the Hawkeyes is cause for celebration, the meat of the schedule awaits Matt Campbell and company. We’ll see what happens.
Besides, Nebraska’s football program isn’t the only major program in crisis. Would you like to be a Notre Dame or Texas A&M fan today?
WHOA Grand Department Red: On a positive note, a big high-five to coach John Cook and the formidable Huskers women’s volleyball team. The big five-set victory over Creighton sent shockwaves through the local sports world this week. First, it solidified Nebraska’s participation as the number one college volleyball team in the nation. Second, the crowd of over 15,000 at the CHI Health Center in Omaha set the national record for regular season volleyball attendance.
If anything, the Huskers’ volleyball success has alleviated the football team’s problems – some of them, anyway, however the Huskers’ volleyball team ends this season, they are an absolute joy to see.
Love for the department of Waverle: Finally, in today’s blog, I want to send a big shout out – and a hug – to a colleague struggling with a major health issue: KETV reporter/presenter Waverle Monroe.
I had the great pleasure of meeting Waverle more a year ago at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Ditch 6 dyke expansion in Hamburg. In case you weren’t aware of his situation, Waverle was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago. She recently returned to the KETV anchor office after a hospital stay and is undergoing chemotherapy treatments. Of course, it made her hair fall out. Waverle remedied this situation by shaving his head.
Fighting cancer is hard enough. Unfortunately, Waverle’s decision to go bald prompted a handful of hateful emails and letters from misguided individuals upset to see a bald woman on TV. Waverle tweeted about the situation on Saturday, saying “these posts are tearing me up inside.”
How well I get along.
Let me say this: for every unpleasant note Waverle receives, let there be triple – or better yet, quadruple – the amount of prayers, love, and support for Waverle during his spell. Conclusion: This sweet and wonderful young lady deserves all the support from KMAland.
If anything, she bears witness to the phrase, “bald is beautiful.” In so many ways.
Mike Peterson is a senior anchor/reporter for KMA News. The opinions expressed in this blog are not necessarily those of this station, its management or its owner.