Mr Engh,

I read the article on trophies in PRB (December 2009).

I believe kids should get small participation ribbons or medals, but higher rewards should be given to the ones that win or excel. One of the problems we see is the expectation many young have today that if they show up, it’s good enough. The real world does not work that way and we should be raising young people to be productive adults. Many forget the end goal and just think they are raising children.

Extra effort should be encouraged because in the end, that is what gets a person further in life. A bigger trophy generally represents more effort. I am afraid if we go down the path of “all being equal,” we are teaching the wrong and stifling message.

Terry Hays

Sallisaw/FT Smith W KOA

Sallisaw, Okla.

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I coached many years before my son, Andy, was born and started coaching him in T-ball. We did the annual ‘who orders the trophies and how much?’ After a couple of years, some parents volunteered to make plaques instead of trophies. I would find some wood and they would take pictures all season and cut them out and cover them with a plastic sheet for each player. Then it evolved to adding pictures of the parents, a posed shot and even an inset of a team picture. After the moms who started the plaques retired, my wife invited all the moms to bring their pictures from the season and meet at our house. With boxes of pictures and scissors, they had more fun helping each other.

My son is in his last year of playing college ball and still has all of the plaques on his bedroom wall. The moms made one for me also, which allows me to glance over to get a quick reminder of all of the kids that have played for me, memories that last forever. I wonder how many of my players still have them up on the wall. I bet they don’t have their 4th-grade soccer trophy where anyone can see it.

Mike Hebrard

Athletic Field Design


Unexpected Lift A Real Gift

As an avid reader of PRB, I wanted to send a letter of appreciation for the “An Unexpected Lift” article submitted by Ron Ciancutti (December 2009). From my perspective, I wanted to call it “An Unexpected Gift.” Clearly the author, Kirby Jonas, is in touch with the warmest recesses of human kindness and is “regifting” that to his readers through his writing. As I read the piece, I found myself tearing up along with Dowdy Branson; wonderful literature is able to stir the deepest emotions, the most encompassing compassion and provocative response. Further, the detail allows the reader to visualize the character to reality; I was drawn to the image of the old cowboy who graced the cover of every “Pure Prairie League” album back in the day. Thank you for taking a chance on publishing this piece. As an avid Louis L’amour reader in my youth, I think I’ll be checking out Mr. Jonas’ work.

Don Bessler

Longmont, Colo.


Word On The Web

Comments from online readers

“You still haven’t removed muriatic acid which is much more dangerous than sodium hypochlorite. Nothing is said about the maintenance issues, namely cleaning and replacement of the cells and addition of salt to the pool. I ahve also heard complaints of increased degradation of the concrete deck from the salt. I don’t know if that one is true or not from personal experience. Anyone else? These issues take away from the appeal for us pump room jockeys. I agree the water quality is good and feels great.”

–Jim King

Swimming Pool Technical Supervisor

“The short article is interesting. The need for meeting water-sanitation standards safely with great customer acceptance is critical. To do it at the least possible cost is equally important. I suggest a follow-up article providing competent cost analysis of disinfection alternatives. Without that data, we still won’t be motivated to stray from our status quo. I should add we are doing our own research into alternatives, but a follow-up article would help guide/fact check our own analysis.” (Electrolytic Chlorine Generators, By Connie Sue Centrella, PRB January 2009)

–Matthew Roberts

Parks and Recreation Director

Dear Jim and Matthew,

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