This week, in my “Scrapbook” feature on pages 4 and 5 of the print and online edition, I take another look at the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on America and the gathering we had in Central Park that day to join together and pray for our nation and the families who lost loved ones. The photo with this column I shot of a boy holding an “EXTRA” edition of the Herald & Review, as he stood in the grass of Central Park, is a graphic reminder of how one word, “ATTACK”, described so much that day. It was the first time in my life that I felt “unsafe” in America because our mainland had been attacked and so many innocent people had been killed! I thought, if enemies of our nation could strike us in such a devastating manner, are we safe from extremist attacks anywhere in the homeland?
I print something 9/11 every year at this time because we always need to remember what happened that day and the fellow Americans, and others, who perished in the horror of the attacks. It is difficult for me to realize that its been 22 years since that dark day in America’s history but as I look at the photos I shot of the people who gathered in Central Park on 9/11. the memories of that day, and what followed, are as vivid and fresh as ever. I also remember the tremendous sense of unity that immediately was present as shocked Americans stood together in strength that day.
• DIANE COURI has announced that she is a candidate for the Republican nomination for Macon County State’s Attorney.
“I have always believed that our community has endless potential, and I am excited to take the next step in serving its residents as Macon County State’s Attorney,” said Diane. “My vision is to create an environment that is safe and just for all. I look forward to bringing innovative ideas, grit, and victim-centered prosecution to the Macon County State’s Attorney’s Office.” (See complete announcement of candidacy on page 7 of the print edition and elsewhere in this edition,)
Macon County Sheriff Jim Root, Retired Macon County Sheriff Chief Deputy Ed Culp and Current Macon County Sheriff Deputy Chief Matt Jedlicka have expressed strong support for Diane Couri. Diane is one of our office neighbors in the Millikin Court Building where she has her law office on the fourth floor.
• CHAT — I had a nice chat with longtime friend and former State Senator Duane Noland of Blue Mound, in front of our building the other day. We talked about the recent article on Tom Candy Ponting in the Tribune and it is always such a pleasure to talk with Duane. Duane is a reminder of a time when “politics”, especially at the state and national level, was “enjoyable” to cover —before all of the anger between parties, and in parties, became so common.
• ENJOYED ARTICLE — Former Decatur City Councilman Larry Foster sent me an email about Dennis Jewell’s recent “Scrapbook” article on Englishman Tom Candy Ponting, the cattle baron who eventually settled in Moweaqua. Larry wrote: “I received your Tribune today and very much enjoyed an article on Mr. Ponting. I read the entire article twice. I was fascinated with history. My ancestors came to Illinois from England in 1846.”
Larry is another longtime friend of more than 50 years and it is always good to hear from him. We started our businesses in Decatur at about the same time.
• A JEWELL — Dennis Jewell, who lives in the eastern part of our nation, and who wrote the “Scrapbook’ article on Tom Candy Ponting, also sent me an email stating: “I just got a copy of ‘Longhorns East’ by Johnny D. Boggs from my local library. It is a well researched historical fictional novel based on the life of Tom Candy Ponting.
“In his author’s notes he cautions any other researcher that ‘he makes things up’, and he does so to make Ponting’s life and the book more exciting. He describes in detail his sources and even tells of visiting Moweaqua and being helped by Debby Adams Arnold at the Moweaqua Historical Society as well as a visit to Mama Chan for Thai food in Moweaqua.
“Perhaps you might give his book a plug in the Decatur Tribune. Thanks again, and keep doing what you are doing at the Tribune. I look forward to it each and every week.”
Thanks to Dennis, for his continuing interest in this newspaper. The support we have from Decatur, Central Illinois and all over the nation — and beyond — is humbling.
• I JOIN Brian Byers on WSOY’s Byers & Co, every Thursday morning at 7:00 —something I’ve done each week for the past 20 years. I always enjoy talking about our community and the issues and people making the news. in the “City Hall Insider” part of the program.