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Sweet Friendship

Posted on Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 2:42 pm

david patton
It was the summer of 2007. I had stopped at Palmer Elementary to chat with school bookkeeper Pam Meeks when a woman with a little boy came into her office. They were strangers to me, and the little fellow asked Pam if she had any candy. I told him that I liked candy too, and the newcomers turned out to be a teacher from Michigan, Nicole Sweeney, and her son Luke.
That fall, Mrs. Sweeney started teaching at Palmer, and Luke enrolled in pre-k. When the school year ended in May 2008, I remembered that he liked candy and gave him a bag of suckers. To make a long story short, doing this became a tradition that I enjoyed at the end of each school year. When Luke graduated from Palmer on May 16, it was bittersweet for me.
In those years, Luke went from being a little boy to a handsome young man, and this fall will open a new chapter in his life as a student at Grundy County High School. Year after year, he was a principal’s list student, and we expect that to continue in high school and beyond.
I love to interact with young people and wonder what amazing new things they will see in their lifetimes. Every generation thinks the following generation is sorrier than buzzard bait and that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. Turn off your Internet and TV news, and you’ll soon realize that America and the world is full of promising young people like Luke.