Friday, March 21, 2008

March Madness?


By CHRIS MILLSPAUGH

The National Collegiate Athletic Association has selected 64 teams (including Boise State University) to compete in its tournament to determine the best amateur team in the country, and it all starts this weekend. The sports pundits call it "March Madness."

Take out the reference to this basketball phenomenon this month and we discover a different kind of "March Madness" in the form of what's really going on in our country. The Democratic Party is exhibiting a self-destructive mode in its effort to nominate a candidate in its own version of "48 Straight." By that I mean that of the 50 states involved, two--Michigan and Florida--may not be included in the electoral process. The campaign has gotten ugly with its bickering between the two front-runners as the buried topic of "Race Relations in America" has been abruptly unearthed.

Sex scandals of politicians riddle the media as, one by one, our leaders are found out to be hypocrites. The nation's economy is in peril with a serious threat of a recession on the horizon. This week we observe the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq. I'd call that the "Madness of March."

Amid all this horror, a tiny town in the south-central mountains of Idaho set aside a weekend to block out the nation's woes and celebrate life in a ski town far away from the madding crowd. It was delightful, informative and welcome. You've read all the recounts of the activities and events in this paper's Wednesday edition and you have your own personal memories to keep for many years. Briefly, the world's stage came to us. On the 29th and 30th of this month, the audience of the world will witness what we experienced in our town on national television as the events will be televised around the planet.

This event, along with the Allen & Co.'s annual summer meeting and some prominent movie stars who live here, will surely catapult us into the national spotlight. Again.

Wait a minute! Didn't we all come here for a chance to get away? I kind of liked it when no one bothered us and we threw our own street parties. I liked it when we practically knew everyone in town and we celebrated in pastures or at the end of a dirt road or in the backyards of our homes. I liked it when we gave directions by referencing the only stoplight in town. I liked Ketchum when there wasn't so much traffic and it didn't take so long to get to work each day. I liked the Shamrock Relays, the University of Ketchum Prom with recorded music and all of our own recreational events. But that's me. Now it's all about progress and inviting the world to us. We'll be a boomtown soon and we'll all get rich.

What does rich mean to you?

Nice talking to you.




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