Rockford Area Historical Society News and Updates for 12-28-2017

By Terry Konkle – President

The new year 2018 is almost here and my thought was to write something about New Years’ resolutions, but the Rockford Area Historical Society (RAHS) does not make any as an official group, although members probably do. Then I thought it might be nice to go back and see what I might have put in a column a few years ago to start the year 2002.

So, I went back and found that the whole write up dealt with resolutions that I had been aware of as a coach. Here is one example from 2002:  One time many years back a dad stayed around after a ninth grade basketball practice during Christmas break. His son was a good player who was suffering a bit because his father was well known as a vocal fan who often yelled at officials. The dad was basically a good guy, but he just couldn’t keep his mouth shut. At ninth grade games his voice could be heard all over the gym.

When the players went to the locker room, the father walked up to me and said “I am making a New Years’ resolution to try and not be as vocally critical at games”

When I asked him if he thought he could do it, he replied “I have a plan that my wife has suggested where I am going to yell like crazy at all the good things that I see, and try to close my lip on the negative things.” Then he looked at me with a slight smile and added “I am going to cheer for the players and not say anything about the officiating.”

I mentioned that I thought his plan was good, and I hoped it would work. Inside I kind of doubted if he could change his ways. He had help with his plan though because his wife and son and other children were around to observe his actions. He followed his resolution, but he did add one thing to it. After several games he came up to me and asked my opinion on some of the questionable calls.

The son went on to play four productive years of basketball at Rockford, and his dad became one of our best fans. His positive resolution that he made and followed helped all of our athletic experiences be better. In his case a personal goal had a great effect on the lives of many others.

It has been over fifty years since that incident happened, yet I still remember it and think of how lives were changed for the better because one man realized that his actions were hurting a person he cared about. Wouldn’t it be nice if all of our resolutions had the overall effect of the one made by a concerned man in a high school gymnasium one December evening!

Finally, again as President of the RAHS I speak for our group in wishing all a positive new year and hope those resolutions that are made bring productive results that make all lives better. Have a great week!