Thank you so much for the well written front page article by Jim Grossman in the July 30 edition of your paper regarding the irresponsible adults and teens involved in the Hap Dumont tournament.
Last Friday afternoon I also saw the van he referred to in his article. At first I could not believe my eyes as I read the bold invitation to crude and offensive behavior scrawled on the rear and side windows. Such screed is totally out of bounds in a civilized society. When the adults in our society tolerate such behavior on the part of the younger generation, we all reap a terrible harvest of reprehensible behavior.
With adults like the driver of the van, Gary Gales, the coach, and a parent, Greg Riffel, all not only tolerating such uncivilized behavior, but even excusing it, is it any wonder we have the explosion of aberrant sexual behavior pervading our country? According to the article, none of the adults directly involved with the young ball players showed any dismay at the dehumanizing behavior of these young males. If these people are at all representative of people in Kansas, please deliver me from ever having to be in Kansas. (By the way, I have been there many times, and have good friends in Abilene, so I know these cretins do not represent Kansas!)
I am encouraged by the concern shown by Tony Sailer of our Parks and Recreation Department, but am totally dismayed by the unconcern shown by Bruce Ericson, the director of that department. His attitude toward this sorry incident should disqualify him from holding any position that involves working with the youth of our community. The young people are our future, and with people like Bruce Ericson in a position to influence them with his socially destructive attitudes, we are in dire straits as a community and a nation.
The Dispatch is to be commended for the courage to bring to light the irresponsible behavior of adults who are charged with the crucial task of influencing our youth for better not for worse. Keep up the good work!
I am 100 percent behind Jim Grossman, sports writer, in regard to his article concerning the baseball team from Wichita attending the 16-Under World Series, whose members thought it such great fun to write indecent remarks on their van windows, encouraging girls to flash them on their way to Brainerd.
It seems that the coach and adult traveling companion along with one of their parents (all male) didn't seem too concerned. As a matter of fact, was the traveling companion disappointed when he missed the girls on I-25 flash them and he was sitting out of view. What a shame!
Next time why don't they let the boys flash the girls back and really get into the spirit of it? Or better yet, why don't the boys bring their sisters along and then everyone can flash everyone? They can snap all kinds of pictures and take them home for Mom to see. Won't she be proud! Heck, maybe they'll have so much fun that next year they won't bother stopping for the game.
In this "anything goes" society, just who is in control?
Theresa M. Jarvela
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