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Local Editorials

Hometown Kid: Something about a Friday Night

And now the stadium’s quiet

Standing here alone on this old 50 yard line

If I listen close I can hear battle cries

Of all the heroes come and gone before I was alive

The memories of fourth and three

Now that rival game is coming back to me

It meant more than a big state ring

If we could do it again it’d never be the same

Remember the lights and the butterflies

Giving it all just one last time

— Brantley Gilbert,

“Friday Night”

As I was sitting in at a recent Chamber meeting, I got an idea to have a song, telling a story, to plead Newton’s case to become a Main Street Community. The above verse from Brantley Gilbert’s song, and another recent event inspired this week’s edition of “Hometown Kid.”

In a sense, no matter how old we get, we’re always waiting to get to Friday Night.

I will always remember the screaming crowds, but now I find inspiration in the quiet moments, just listening to the wind and thinking about how many stories came out of this piece of ground. It’s been said, through the years, you can still hear and feel the spirit of those who have took the field long before we were even thought of.

I listened to Gilbert’s lyrics, remembering how in everything that has been accomplished, it was about “more than a big state ring.” It’s about the stories and the memories; four years of getting to Friday to continue a tradition and a legacy handed to us by those who busted their butts to make Newton what it is today.

I attended a meeting this past week where I heard someone say, “Where are they at now?” talking about a since-disbanded group in Newton.

I had a chance to experience the since disbanded group, and the comment left me wondering ‘Who are we to talk about them?’ I was taught to honor our elders whether they were successful or failured, because we may at some point find ourselves in a situation leading to the success and failure of what we’re trying to do.

The first time I met Craig Peters, a former Newton Senior High School student-athlete, at a church camp. He was one of my many “teachers” on this very subject. He reminded me the feeling of those Fridays will never be the same, but it’s everything you do in between Fridays that will make those feelings come back.

It goes without saying 2014 will have a huge impact on what will be in line for the future of Newton. But if it weren’t for those who came before us, regardless of whether they failed or had success, the bar wouldn’t be set high for us today.

Now it’s our place to raise the bar and the standard for those who will come after us, just as our elders did for the generations before them.

In the holiday season, remember to celebrate the ones who have paved the road for you and helped you to be where you are today.

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