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From Left Field

December 9, 2011

By BOB SHRALUKA
    It would seem those of us who appreciate the beautiful flowers in the downtown pots each year can relax a bit. It's becoming more likely each day that the flowers will be returning next summer.
    In a story in this newspaper on Monday, Rev. Dan York, pastor of Grace Fellowship Church and the man who has overseen the project for years — paying much of the tab out of his own pocket in the early years — announced that the project was $1,200 to $1,500 short. Magnifying the gravity of the situation, York had only a few days to come up with the funds to make his flower purchase and get a 10 percent discount.
    Since the story appeared, a couple of donations quickly got him approximately halfway to the goal. "So I think we're on target," he said Tuesday afternoon.
    The Chamber of Commerce handles the finances for the project but, somehow, donations were down and no one apparently realized it until last week.
    "The last four years we've had enough (money) to cover us for the next season," Rev. Dan explained. "I'm not sure what happened this year; I guess the money just didn't come like it has" in previous years. "But, I tell you, I was sure shocked when I found out (the fund was lacking)."
    The program began more than 10 years ago. Now, flowers are planted — with the aid of volunteer groups —  annually in 27 large sidewalk planters in the downtown area. "People every year tell me how much they appreicate them," York said.
        The pastor certainly deserves tons of credit for the work he has done for the project. He picks the flowers, makes the order, picks them up, and supervises groups helping do the planting. He also paid for water used on the flowers for many years.
        "It is becoming more of a community project each year, for which I am very grateful," Dan said.
        Any individual, business, organization, group, etc. wishing to donate can send money to the Downtown Flower Fund at the Decatur Chamber of Commerce, 125 E. Monroe St., Decatur, IN 46733

A year too late    
    Ron Santo has finally and at long last made the baseball Hall of Fame. So as a longtime fan, someone who tremendously admired a guy who wore his heart on his sleeve and on the artificial legs forced upon him by diabetes, we should be happy. Well, we're trying to be, anyway.
    The first thought here upon hearing the news? Hey, now Santo has found out how to get into the Hall of Fame ... all you have to do is die.
    Denied time and again, including by the veterans committee which voted him in on Monday, Santo died almost exactly a year to the day of the announcement. Stricken by diabetes at the age of 15, he battled the disease the rest of his life, losing a leg here, being bedridden there, losing the other leg, too. Yet he never gave up. He never even considered giving up!
    It was his baseball abilities, though, that should have earned him admittance earlier. Considered by most as sixth to eighth on the list of all-time great third basemen, Ron Santo brought everything to the table. Now, though, he's gone, denied something which he wanted so deeply. If the voters didn't think he deserved it, fine. Now, however, it appears the voters said, "Well, gee, maybe we should have voted him in before. I kinda feel bad that he died. Okay, let's do it now."
    Ron Santo deserved better.

 

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