In late May 2008, I received a very special invitation from the McCook Area Chamber of Commerce to be the grand marshal for the 37th Annual Heritage Days Parade there in McCook on 27 Sept. 2008. Of course, I accepted this very prestigious offer and made plans to attend.
I arrived in the McCook area on 22 Sept. 2008, with the highest of expectations. The mixer at the McCook National Bank, the prayer Breakfast at the Heritage Senior Center, the annual parade, dinner at the Methodist Church and the festivities at the Norris Park band shell were the weekend activities that I thoroughly enjoyed. Believe me the honors received and the memories of the 37th annual Heritage Days activities in McCook will be forever etched in stone. Needless to say my expectations were exceeded many times over.
Prior to departing the McCook area for my home in Fort Washington, Md., Jim Hamill, McCook National Bank, arranged a session with Walt Sehnert, the Distinguished Opinion Writer for the McCook Daily Gazette. This was a down to earth friendly interview where we discussed my early childhood days near Danbury, Neb., my attendance at Kansas State College, my Military and post Military Service and ending with a major discussion of the Col. Delbert L. Townsend scholarship program at the University of Nebraska and Kansas State University. This farewell session was a very appropriate ending to my Nebraska trip.
On Tuesday, 14 Oct., 2008, I was alerted by a relative in Oberlin concerning the superb article in the opinion section, McCook Daily Gazette, by Walt Sehnert, in the 13 October 2008 issue.
After reading the entire piece several times, I decided that I had to write a thank you letter to Schnert. In my attempt to obtain Sehnert's U.S. postal address I learned Miss Heather Svoboda had responded to Walt's article with her own outstanding letter. This response was published in the 16 Oct. 2008 issue.
Simple words in the English Dictionary will never adequately express my sincere thanks and deep appreciation for the many kind words and the honors that I received during my visit to the McCook Area. I would like to say a "Very Special thank you" to Mr. Walt Sehnert, the Opinion writer, McCook Daily Gazette, Miss Heather Svoboda, a Townsend Scholarship Recipient, Ms Connie Jo Discoe, Regional Editor, McCook Daily Gazette, Mrs. Pamela Harsh, Executive Director, McCook Area Chamber of Commerce and Mr. Jim Hamill and Mrs. Peggy Been, McCook National Bank. And last but not least, a very special tribute to the Citizens of Southwest Nebraska and Northwest Kansas. I will cherish those memories forever.
Delbert L. Townsend
Col. US Army (Ret.)
Fort Washington, Md.