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Author: Adam Droscha

Birthday reflection

This weekend I turn 25. Honestly, and I mean this with all seriousness, it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to me. Despite the value I generally place in milestones, seasons of the year, and the various points of the Christian calendar, my birthday rarely reaches the top of the list of high points in my year. My birthday celebrations, especially after crossing the 18-year mark, are usually very tame. A dinner outing with the family is a given, Grandma always sends a card with a gratefully accepted check, and sometimes one of the boys will buy me a beer. This year I’m going camping with some close friends in Pure Michigan. Celebrations aside, I’m always thankful for another year of life, but this year the thankfulness is more so focused on contemplative reflection and hope for the next years. If I’m being honest, I’ve felt like a 21 year old for the last four years. Many things have changed since then, certainly, but only in the last year and a half or so have I felt like I’ve aged. At 25 I finally feel like a man, like I’ve seen some things and experienced just enough to feel “wise,” or at least possess some level of life wisdom anyway. But, as so many people experience, the older I get and the more I learn, the less...

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Dave and Lynn Funk say farewell to Olivet Schools ‘one last time’

After 24 years of conducting, band camp, band trips, competitions, and Dave’s famous “one more time” line, the Funks are saying goodbye to directing at Olivet schools. While Dave was the official band director for the schools, he and his wife, Lynn, were an inseparable unit for 19 years in Olivet. Leaving behind a legacy of music, hard work, and family, Dave reflected on their time in Olivet with the County Journal. “We’ve impacted hundreds of kids over the years,” said Dave. “I always enjoyed watching kids grow and mature into the opportunities band had to offer.” Dave Funk...

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Memorial Day reflection

I wasn’t always aware of the purpose of Memorial Day. For a long time it was simply a holiday on which my mother would tell me I was born. When I was in junior high and high school it was another parade opportunity for marching band. But through opportunities like Charlotte High School’s Vietnam Round Table, or the occasional encounters with men from my own generation who returned from duty in Iraq or Afghanistan, I came at least to grasp some of the weight to the Monday I now get off from work. My family was fortunate. Both of my grandfathers returned home safely from duty in WWII, and neither had to fight in Korea. My father and his siblings were too young to be sent to Vietnam in the 60’s and 70’s, and none were military men during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. My brother and our close cousins were too young or not in the military during those periods. Despite our patriotism, we consider it fortunate to not be in the military serving, or indeed dying, for country. But many families with brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, uncles and grandfathers in the military do consider themselves fortunate. “All of my brothers are military men,” I’ve heard some friends say. “The military is a family tradition,” I’ve heard from others. These are very often...

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Every week is teacher appreciation week

Last week was national teacher appreciation week, Tuesday being teacher appreciation day. Although not a teacher myself, the day resonated with me deeply. Periodically, events, conversations, or indeed arguments cause me to well up with emotions of gratitude, thankfulness, and profound relief for the teachers and professors and mentors that helped shape me to the man I am today. For the last couple of years, my appreciation for my teachers has almost been without ceasing. I was always better at language arts and English classes during grade school. (Any surprise I’m a staff writer at a newspaper?) Reading, writing, rhetoric, oratory, and simply learning how to communicate fascinated me from the moment I learned my first letters. While I envied my peers who were math wizzes, science junkies, and all star academics in other areas, I was thankful for my own internal love of words. However, I don’t know that I would have discovered the affection for the subject if it were not for the help of many English teachers along the way. Learning how to read and write was exciting, but it was the advice to “write with conviction,” as Mrs. Milarch would say, that caught me. It was Mrs. Rohlf’s instruction to research deeply and read richly that I applied years later. It was Mrs. Ellis’ encouragement to keep my voice in my writing that stayed with...

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Temporary work available to Meridian Magnesium employees

The Wednesday, May 2 fire at Meridian Magnesium Products of America rocked the Eaton Rapids community, left parts of the plant out of commission, and temporarily laid-off more than 100 workers of the Island City’s largest employer. The explosions at the magnesium plant left only two with mild injuries, but the event had the potential of hurting the wallets of many employees. Since the fire, however, opportunities have risen for Meridian employees to keep money coming in while the plant is under reconstruction. The first option for Meridian employees was to volunteer through United Way. Volunteering 40 hours a week would keep standard paychecks coming to the Meridian workers. The announcement was a relief for some, and a great concern for others. Other opportunities continued to arise. Linn Products Inc. of Charlotte is offering temporary placement for Meridian workers, the employees need only visit the factory in person, contact Linn’s hiring personnel, Marie Reeder, by calling (517) 292-3026, or apply through linnproducts.net. “We’re just wanting to support the community,” said an official from Linn Products. “We’re offering anyone out of work from Meridian to get some cash flow.” According to Eaton Rapids mayor, Paul Malewski, it’s likely Meridian won’t be fully operational until as late as August. The event is not deterring the town and its citizens from stepping up to support the out-of-work Meridian employees. There will be...

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