In general, they appeared on the dates shown in various Colorado Community Newspapers.
I have never been asked to give a high school (or college, or, for that matter, an elementary school) commencement address. For all I know, I never will be.
But just in case, I have prepared the following remarks.
Dear Graduating Class of [fill in the blank],
The whole idea of historical lessons probably sounds tedious to you right now. The golden days of summer beckon. School is ended.
But before you go, let me tell you about one of history's lessons I find inspiring.
A high school buddy of mine back east is an entrepreneur these days. After being downsized, rightsized, then discharged (and disgusted) from companies for which he did very good work -- and which posted healthy quarterly profits -- he decided that loyalty to an employer was a kind of stupidity.
So he went into business for himself. No more hierarchy. No more out-of-touch corporate big wigs. He was on the front line, and he called the shots. If something needed to change, then, by God, he changed it.
After last year's round of visits to see my terminally ill father, I came up with a new set of requirements for a vacation: (1) you have to go somewhere you've never been before, (2) it has to be somewhere where you don't have any relatives, and (3) it must be beautiful.
The idea behind a vacation, of course, is to shake loose the daily doldrums. Stop thinking about work. Get away from it all.
Back in June of 1995, I described what struck me as an extraordinary situation.
One of our very own patrons walked into the Bemis Public Library to use the copy machine. Dissatisfied with the quality of the copy, he abruptly shattered the top glass plate of the machine with his walking stick. Then, with a grunt of satisfaction, he headed for the door.
I don't know what's wrong with me. I didn't watch the last episode of Seinfeld. What's worse, it wasn't a big deal to me.
But judging from the covers of magazines, front page stories in newspapers, and relentless promotion of the event on radio and TV, Seinfeld -- a show I am told is about nothing -- was very important.
Importance, of course, is a relative and highly individualized matter.
In 1991, the library bought its own central computer equipment -- the first IBM RS 6000 in Colorado. This machine later become a business standard.
Before then, we were spending some $80,000 a year for computer support. The total cost of the new computer (including software and data transfer) was just under $100,000. We've spent about $20,000 a year for support ever since.
I recently went on a tour of the new Robert A. Christensen Justice Center. It was disturbing.
On the one hand, the building appears to be very well-designed, well-planned.
On the other hand, it's hard not to see the inherent schizophrenia of the American justice system. On one side of the building are a series of impressive court rooms and offices. The court rooms strike a note of respect; a quiet and calm, a dignity of purpose prevails.
The strongest memory is based on scent. Just wave a crayon under your nose. The years do evaporate.
Another kind of memory is transmitted by music.
I have the privilege of participating in some discussions with Shea Homes and various players in Highlands Ranch. The issue is the "town center" -- a downtown for Highlands Ranch. Our new library, due to open on or around January, 2000, will be the first civic structure in the area.
Shea Homes has done its homework. For instance, in November of 1997, they conducted a study of successful downtowns, not only along the Front Range (including Parker and Castle Rock) but throughout the nation. They drew some interesting conclusions.
On January 3, 1968, Denver Post writer Chuck Green reported "One of the best-verified sightings of an unidentified object." It happened in Castle Rock.
According to one Deputy Sheriff Weimer, about 12 "reliable citizens" claimed to have seen "a large, bubble-shaped object" flying over Castle Rock between 6:10 add 6:25 p.m. on January 2. Morris Fleming, director of the Douglas County Civil Defense Agency, said that at least 30 people saw the object.