Giving Credit Where Credit Is Really Due

After a year of writing this column, I would like to make some acknowledgments just as real authors do in the section where they say they didn't really work alone but relied on their editor or spouse or dog for helping with the book.

They forget the true helpers. I thank all the people at the Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association who work through the nastiest weather to keep my word processor supplied with electricity. And kudos to the Elco Water District for keeping me and my family hydrated at an extremely low cost. We often forget the underlying infrastructure that makes our lives so easy as Americans, the phone lines from US West and the cable from Intermountain, the recycling center and the county landfill, is actually installed and maintained by regular people taking personal responsibility for doing a decent job.

I thank all the workers at Safeway, Albertson's, and Steele's for providing nice places to buy food, and all the truck drivers who bring stuff to every store in town, and especially the underpaid and overworked farmers and migrant laborers who keep the rest of us fat, happy, and prosperous. And last but certainly not least, I gratefully acknowledge all the workers at Dick's Trash Hauling, from the guys who come out in 90 degree heat or below freezing snowstorms to empty heavy garbage cans without making any sort of mess, to the office workers who thought up the neat new bills. They're the ones who gave me the idea for this section of the column. The reusable billing envelope that I fold and mail back just seems so appropriate coming from a garbage hauler.

Of course, all opinions are my own, and cannot be blamed on the tomato pickers or secretaries or even the editors and press operators at the Coloradoan, and for all of you who think my columns aren't very good, you really owe thanks to Dick's Trash Hauling for taking away all the words that even I didn't think were good enough for this column.

A week ago Sunday, this paper printed six essays from local students who won the Turn Off the Violence contest. All were well-written and pointed out various solutions: better communication, keeping kids in school, working together in the community, going to church, improving family life, turning off the TV, and demolishing racism. But like most essays, mine included, they focused on what society or government or you can do. Only one focused on what I can do. Lindsey McCulloch, the 8th grade winner, shared ways she personally learned to respect other people. Ultimately, any solution comes down to each person taking personal responsibility for good, individual decisions. I appreciate all fifty students who made the effort to enter the contest, and the thousands of fellow citizens who daily choose nonviolence.

And finally, I'd like to share a quote about Clinton I found on the web.

"Yes, the president should resign. He has lied to the American people, time and time again, and betrayed their trust. Since he has admitted guilt, there is no reason to put the American people through an impeachment. He will serve absolutely no purpose in finishing out his term, the only possible solution is for the president to save some dignity and resign."

That quote was said by -- oh, I'm sorry, I misread it somehow. It's not about Clinton, it is by him, talking about Nixon back in 1972 when Slick Willy was running for Congress. I apologize to everyone for this error and will therefore resign this week's column immediately.