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Founded October 1, 2010


Life’s Lessons by Peter Children


This news story was published on May 12, 2011.
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(Op-ed by Peter Children)

I want to address everyone who spends time at this site, whether you simply read the blogs or actively jump into the discussions taking place at the time of your visit. Even though this website is owned and operated by one man, Matt Marquardt, it is never the less a “communal gathering place” where we can all voice our concerns and opinions on any number of topics; this is something you cannot do with our local paper. Oh, you can write once every three weeks…and if they agree with what you say, it might turn into ink, but it could be intentionally “held back” until the issue you wrote about has past by and is no longer topical. This site is like a breath of fresh air for people who think…for people who want to speak freely, for those who could never stand in front of a crowd and say one word because of stage fright. Very few of you who come and go to this address really realize the work and effort it took to launch it, the hard grinding long hours it takes to maintain it…and not least, the thick skin you must develop to ward off vicious profane proclivities…comments put forth by those few who bitterly resent being outed, being exposed, being found out, having their inadequacies stripped bare in front of the whole world. I am also aware that the development of this site has cost Matt close personal friendships that can be directly tied to this endeavor. Such then are the lessons of life.

For the most part those who visit and leave their opinion are decent people. At times I sense they struggle to maintain decorum fit for public consumption. I see excitement in their leavings, also frustration and anger…but rarely profane verbiage. Profanity is a signal of low self esteem coupled with a lack of self confidence. Growing up we all had a playground bully in our mists…that over weight kid who scored low on their tests and had few friends….well most of those never shook the cloak of aggression, they still think it is a viable method of negotiation. I think if you could somehow look under the threat you would see someone unhappy in their own life for any number of reasons.

Recently Mr. Craig Servantez left a message for me on this site; and because that was the manner of delivery to me, I shall now reply in kind…publicly. His message included a history lesson for me. I like history. That part of the message alluded to how long his family lived in this neighborhood; my abstract shows my grandfather, Petar Yankovich purchased this house in which I was born in 1926 for $900.00, 85 years ago. I was born in 1934, 77 years ago…I am far from being a newcomer to this area. The message he posted still remains on line if you care to read it. In it he stated he would like to meet me face to face, that the answers I am seeking he will answer and I will like the answers…but I “might” not like the way they are presented. Just what does that mean? It appears somewhat ambiguous on the surface leaving the interpretation wide open for me to wonder about. This in itself presents rather a paradoxical quandary…now it seems I am forced to wonder my fate should I agree to a face-to-face explanation.

Just what does, “you may not the like the way the answers are “presented” mean? Does it mean he is going to scream the answers, or maybe sing them like a singing telegram? No one including me…and I am as skeptical as you can get, would dare to think Mr. Servantez is foolish enough to imply violence might be involved in the mode of delivery. No one, and I mean no one…would be foolish enough to make what amounted to a “public” statement on the Internet that could be easily contrived to have underlying currents of a physical threat, then actually attempt to carry it out. I don’t care what the rest of you think but I personally think he is smarter than that but then again I might not be the brightest bulb on the porch. Keep in mind it was his son, {who has a penchant for profanity}, that originally asked me to get the whole story concerning his house. I try to do what I am told, and that seemed like a reasonable request. It was never my intent to begin with; all I ever wanted was to clean up the neighborhood. Now it seems this young man’s father would rather I not delve into the insurance matter. Insurance isn’t really my game, but I am willing to do my part, (except load trucks) to get the property cleaned up.

If however the, “you won’t like the way the answers are delivered” was somehow meant to strike fear into me, or intimidate me in a way that might make me believe I was in danger of physical harm…well that’s just not going to work with me. That has been tried by people larger and smarter than you. While the city officials might have been willing to give you a pass on delinquency in cleaning up your property, the Mason City Police Department will not, nor the Cerro -Gordo County Sheriff’s Department. You might want to check the menu at the country jail before you deliver any answers that could involve violence. And if perhaps I might not be breathing after you delivered the answers…well then you’ll be the new belle of the ball every Saturday night at the Iowa State Penitentiary for the rest of your life.

The vast majority of the yards and homes in this city are neat and clean. There is a reason for that; and it falls into the category of raising a child, my mother taught me to be clean, to “pick up” after myself…is that what you taught Aaron? I am sure your teachings were positive and heartfelt…but by the looks of his property, he must have skipped class on that day. What we are really talking about here are life’s lessons, we are either cognizant of what is considered to be the norm in society, and therefore try our best to conform, or we care little about others and just wallow in filth like farm animals. At times when I park my car in the driveway and the birds target it, I might look at it for a day or two, after that I run it through a car wash…its simply the way I was raised.

As long as I am in this mood I want to confess to something, I suffer from a serious affliction, and I was told by people who know that in my particular case…there is no cure. This is something that has plagued me for decades, try as I may it will not go away. The affliction I suffer from is called “good taste”. As a result when I am exposed to urban blight, waves of nausea overcome me, and if I happen to be driving at the time it could cause me to lose control of the car. Now that I have admitted it I feel better.

It might be easy for Mr. Servantez to think the filth and gross neglect that flourishes on his property is none of my concern, but there he would be wrong. As long as I am assessed property taxes in this community, and my taxes are fully paid and current, which they are, then all neglect everywhere within the city limits are of concern to me along with all others who pay taxes and rightfully expect this city to deliver what we are paying for…no more…no less. I would also surmise that the majority of those who left their opinions and comments were in favor of a clean environment. Now having said that; if Mr. Servantez feels like he wants to pay me a visit in a gentlemanly manner, I will be pleased to offer him a refreshment and we can discuss whatever he feels like talking about. I am not the enemy he may think I am.

Peter Children

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