The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Bill Eggert

January 9, 2011

BILL EGGERT | Time flies when you’re having fun

— This month marks the anniversary of my column in The Tribune-Democrat.

It is hard to believe that I’m starting my fifth year in which my writings have appeared in the paper.

Time flies when you’re having fun.

I would like to thank editor Chip Minemyer for his ongoing support for the past four years.

His encouragement and insight have been much appreciated, as well as his sense of humor.

I would also like to thank you, the readers of my column, for your ongoing compliments and feedback the past four years. Your kind words have helped to keep me going through a few health issues the past couple of years. I realize that there are folks out there with far worse health issues, and mine are a walk in the park compared to others.

The people of Johnstown are a hardy bunch, and deserve much credit for making a go of it in these days of economic meltdowns. I hope our local politicians appreciate our townsfolk and never take them for granted.

Johnstowners deserve the very best efforts of the politicians we put into office with our votes. I only know two of our local politicians, and I feel they are good people, with our best interests at heart. I hope they are all in accord on this matter.

 Johnstown has been a distressed city for far too long, and our politicians (and business people) need to think outside the box, and seek advice from those outside the Johnstown establishment, to jumpstart the Friendly City.  

Obviously they need new ideas from new people. A few new businesses are moving in, but still not enough to get the city back on its feet.

Not being a politician (or a businessman), I’m not privy to the challenges they face when trying to reboot a town like ours, so I refrain from specific criticism. But I still feel much more can be done from all involved to revitalize this city.

I would also like to thank my family (mom, brothers, niece and nephew) for allowing me to discuss them in public with the readers. As I’ve stated before, there is nothing more important than family, and discussing their idiosyncrasies is something everyone can relate to with their own families.

As I talk to people around town it seems as if the family unit is in meltdown mode as well. Part of that situation is no doubt due to new technology, but part of it is due to the failure of some ‘parental units’ (as the Coneheads used to say) and even our educators. Everyone needs to step up their game this new year.

I try to vary my themes each column (local interest, sports, cinema, history, family) to keep my column fresh. I like to discuss my dad from time to time, as it keeps his memory alive for me, and hopefully for readers’ own family members who have passed on.

One of my great passions is history, of any subject, and I feel we have been failing our children in keeping history alive, especially oral family history.

It is a shame that our children seem so clueless about their own families. We need to share our family histories with them; they deserve better from us.

History needs to become a focal point again in our lives, because it is important.

Some of my favorite memories are of relatives discussing family members who we kids never knew personally.

I never knew my paternal grandmother; she died before I was born.

Since my dad has passed on, I have my own mother (who knew Dad’s mom) to thank for graciously sharing old photos and stories about her, to bring her back alive for me, by sharing.

So as I embark on my fifth year, I look forward to hearing from you, dear readers, on your thoughts on the subjects I discuss, or would like me to discuss.

As Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) used to say: “I’m listening …”

Bill Eggert is a Johnstown resident.


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