Friday, May 24, 2013

Bits & Pieces: Best & Worst of Times

I think Dickens said it best when he said, it was the best of times, and the worst of times.

This has certainly been a week of best, and worst.

The best...

Graduation

An emotional evening, filled with joy, expectation, and a lot of happy tears.

I think GHS Principal Renae Dozier summed it up the best when talked about the potential in this graduating class.

From scholarships, to dreams, and more. This class, like others around the country, is ready to take the world by storm. I think it’s safe to say, we, as a community, eagerly await to see you rise to your potential.

JAKES Event

Think students are only into electronic devices — think again. Last weekend’s JAKES event proved that students can really get into hanging out in the “woods.” It was impressive to see all of the volunteers pulling together. Kudos to Shane Berry and his crew. On a personal note, my nephew had a blast — and is ready to come again next year.

Rotary Park

Last weekend, I had a chance to see a bit of what makes Grove great — as volunteers with the Rotary club truly put their motto “service above self” to work. Despite the heat and rocky conditions (I hear they wore through some drill bits because of the rocky ground), they worked hard to put the park together. If you haven’t driven by the former Kiwanis Park at 10th and Mills, swing by. In the words of a young friend it’s just “awesome.”

Worst...

Tornado Season

I think this week is destined to be marked by storms and tragedy. Friends in Joplin marked the two year anniversary of the 2011 Tornado, while another friend rode out the storm in Moore. It was a painful reminder of how powerful nature can be.

Thankfully, Wednesday passed for my friends in Joplin, with a few more smiles than tears. My friend in Moore was also fortunate – her son was in one of the schools hit, but he was one of the uninjured students.

Saying Goodbye

One of the hardest stories to write, in any capacity, is one involving the death of a young student. It may be harder for me, than others, because of my past involvement as a children/youth pastor.

I know there are a lot of hurting family members, students and teachers out there, grieving the loss of a talented young man. Know that the staff of The Grove Sun is thinking about all of you, during this season of grief.

Looking Ahead

Did you know that next weekend is the annual Delaware County Relay for Life event? Everything kicks off at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 31, at the Grove Civic Center.

Kirk Smalley, a national speaker (from Oklahoma), with Stand for the Silent, will bring his message of anti-bullying to the Jay Community Center at 6 p.m. Monday, June 3. I had a chance to talk with Smalley, and learn more about his story, which began with the suicide of his 11-year-old son.

We’ll have more information on both of these stories, as well as hopefully some fun pictures from the weekend, in Tuesday’s issue.

#iamgroveok

We’re starting to look for the things that make Grove, Okla., great, as we kick off our #iamgroveok summer series.

In part of this effort, we want to find – and profile –people who make Grove great! So if you know someone who truly embodies the “I Am Grove, Okla.,” spirit, let me know.

This person doesn’t have to be “fancy” or have an “important” job – really, it can be anyone, from every age bracket and walk of life. We’ve got our eyes out for some ideas –but would love to have suggestions. Just email me at kaylea.hutson@grovesun.com and put “#iamgroveok” in the subject line.

So, here’s the bits and pieces for this week. Here’s hoping there’s more “best” times ahead for all of us, as we launch into summer.

Kaylea M. Hutson is the managing editor of The Grove Sun. She can be reached at kaylea.hutson@grovesun.com or 918-786-2228. This column originally appeared in the May 24, 2013 issue of The Grove Sun

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