Sunday, June 6, 2010


It's graduation time. I have been to a LOT of graduations starting with my own in the Kindergarten Tom Thumb wedding, my first speech at eighth grade graduation and high school graduation in 1968. Dad made a big effort to come to my college graduations and to all of them.

Graduation is good because it represents some accomplishment in a person's life and serves as a turning point from then on. It's a time to celebrate and reflect for most sadly but that isn't the case for too many people.

We are going to graduation at the Schottenstein Center tonight for my cousin at Worthington High School. I look forward to seeing my cousin and Jake but I don't look forward to sitting through the program. Maybe I have directed or sat through too many graduation ceremonies but this important so you just do it.

When I typed Jake I thought of John Wayne playing Jake McCandless, a rancher in a movie. The Duke was one of my boyhood heroes. Young Jake is nothing like the Jake in the movie but some advice applies to all. Our pastor gave some good advice today for all graduates.


This is graduation weekend. In order to help our
graduates get through life, I would like to give them 10
memorable quotations from John Wayne, famous for his
westerns and know as “the Duke”. Here they are:

• A man ought to do what he thinks is right.
• Talk low, talk slow, and don’t say too much.
• Courage is being scared to death but saddling up
• Tomorrow is the most important thing in life.
• A man has to have a code, a way of life to live
• Sure, I wave the American flag. Do you know a
better flag to wave?
• Life is tough, but it’s tougher if you’re stupid.
• Give the American people a good cause, and
there’s nothing they can’t lick.
• I have tried to live my life so that my family
would love me and my friends respect me.

Now that is a list anyone can live by, no matter their gifts or luck or stature in life. Maybe I can give this list to my grandkids, I think they are pretty good advice.

This list represents my code of life too and what I have tried to share in my time. From student to teacher and from farmer to school board president, this is what I tried to do and still try to convey.

Ignorant is a better word than stupid though. I use it too much. I told my students ignorance can be fixed but stupid is forever. Don't be stupid!

American's are facing some pretty big problems to lick and they all start at home. They get magnified thoughout society. Are we up to the challenge?

I wish Jake and all the graduates well. Most of us are here to help them along the way. Just ask. We might tell you what you don't want to hear if you don't ask.


1 comment:

  1. 399 crossed the stage and received their diploma. I don't remember that big a smile on Jake's face...