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Trip to my hometown, Ontario, Oregon

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TRIP TO MY HOMETOWN - ONTARIO, OREGON
STRUGGLING for GOODNESS PROJECT

"All of the goodness in the world doesn't amount to a hill of beans without courage." -Dennis Prager

At the September 2016, 60th class reunion of the OHS Class of ’56, we agreed to write a book about our class for the 65th reunion. April, 2017, I drove the 500 miles from Seattle to Ontario to do research and stayed the week with classmate Ray Dickerson and his wife Inge.

Watching the fast moving Snake River out the Dickerson’s family room windows, we talked non-stop for a week, sharing an equally fast pace of stories, history, issues and the changes the city of Ontario has made in the last sixty years.

We got excited about leaving a legacy. With Ray and Inge’s help, I made appointments to visit the Superintendent of Schools, the ED of the 4 Rivers Cultural Center, the ED of the Boys & Girls Club, the publisher of the Argus Observer, Business Owners, City Council individuals, the City Manager, a former Mayor, local classmates and others interested in Ontario’s future.

A summary of the discussions with these community leaders is that we are excited to make this a project, starting with a children’s book, about values we learned in Ontario as we STRUGGLED FOR GOODNESS and COMPETENCE. Our class of ’56 has a host of outstanding outcomes to inspire the children about “responsibility” and “respect”. Religion along with good parenting and modeling are key and important, but are not enough. Studies conclude that “Goodness” comes first and needs to be taught, but learned by each child with their own struggles against an inborn human nature of narcissism.

John Dillon of the Argus Observer is excited to print a set of our stories. Starting next year, he will feature one story a month for forty months. I met him again having breakfast at the Plaza and he was still energized about our ideas.

Juvenile arrests in Ontario have gone down 37% since the Boys & Girls Club has been around the last few years. They will use some of the stories for dealing with issues with their participants and give us feedback.

The stories will go to print for our 65th class reunion. Matt Stringer is eager to host our event at the 4 Rivers Cultural Center. Ontario Leaders who are interested in the STRUGGLING FOR GOODNESS PROJECT will also be invited. Perhaps this first book will develop into a series, including stories from other classes and other community members.

"All the goodness in the world doesn't mean a hit of beans without courage." -Dennis Prager

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