Letters to the Editor
To the editor:
Some of my most treasured memories of growing up in Baldwin (it wasn't yet a city back then) are the Maple Leaf Festival, raking and piling leaves in the ditch and helping my grandma, Gladys Keller, burn them in the ditch.
I remember one year the boy down the street and I each built a fort of leaves and were throwing small rocks at each other -- bombing right over the fort wall if our aim was good -- mostly they landed in the soft leaves around us. His sister came out of the house and saw the potential danger. She yelled at us to stop at exactly the same time my friend threw a rock that landed in the small fleshy area right under my right eye.
"You could put an eye out," has always had special meaning to me because of that wonderfully crisp fall day.
Thankfully, it didn't put my eye out but created a life-long memory of a special time in a special, safe place -- grandma's house.
Every time I smell burning leaves I think of that day when life was innocent and people played in their yards with the neighbor kids; a time when we knew all our neighbors and never locked our houses or our cars; a time when people had respect for each other's property and ultimately, for each other.
We didn't have to make laws to stifle our neighbors if they were doing something we personally didn't like. We respected that, as my mother used to say, "it takes all kinds to make up this world" and we didn't impose our beliefs on others like so much of society seems to do today.
I say, let 'em burn. Someone just might have a fond memory because of a few burning leaves. In the big picture, that's really not a big deal, is it?
Donna Anderson Bergmann,
To the editor:
I wholeheartedly agree with Dennis Waymire concerning the leaf burning situation we experience here in Baldwin City this time of year. It is a health problem for all ages.
I enjoy walking around town enjoying the beauty of the season, but am curtailed when I encounter areas where citizens are burning leaves in and around their yards. The situation is made even worse when the leaves are damp and left smoldering during the evening hours.
Entering the city from U.S. Highway 56 onto High Street going west, there is a screen of smoke hanging over the city resulting from these leaf burning activities. We all need to strive for better air quality. I am looking forward to the proposed improvements of the sewer problems also.