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I am writing this shortly after seeing BrickStreet Theatre's production of A Christmas Carol at the Boman Fine Arts Center.

It was a phenomenal performance with a large cast, a challenging but creatively handled set. While everyone involved deserves a big thank you, I do want to call out Julie Keely, the Director, and Lindsay Eckerman, who seemed to be a perfect fit for the lead role of Ebenezer Scrooge.

I have now enjoyed the Boman Center at its Grand Opening, the high school musical, the Veteran's Day Program, the Waldorf Christmas Concert and the BrickStreet performance and all that and more have occurred there in less than two months.

It is clear that this state-of-the-art facility will be well used and enjoyed by all of us and for generations to come.

I can't help but think that my late dear friend, Gerald Boman, would have been so pleased to see his family's dream reach fruition.

Joan and I are looking forward to attending the New Year's Eve Gala sponsored by the Forest City Education Foundation. We will have seating for 160 and as I write this we are close to being sold out. We plan to make this an annual event.

Those of you who have been in town for a while may recall the New Year Year's Eve parties held at the Forest City Golf Club for many years.

I can literally remember wall to wall people and how much fun it was to see a new year in with so many others from the community. We want to bring that back.

Any profit from the event will go to further the work of our foundation whose primary mission is to provide scholarships to our high school graduates. We have awesome young people in the community.

As you consider year-end gifts, let me suggest you can find no better cause.

I think virtually all of us, regardless of party affiliation were saddened by the death of former President George H. W. Bush, the last President from The Greatest Generation, those who came of age during World War II.

Tom Brokaw called them the greatest generation any society has ever produced and he argued that these men and women fought not for fame and recognition but because it was the "right thing to do."

Bush saw public service as the highest of callings. He believed in the essential goodness of the American people and the nobility of the American experiment.

He had a willingness to compromise, to see those on the other side as opponents-not enemies-and to put shared love of country before all else.

May I be so brave as to suggest that we compare him to the current occupant of the White House, but alas, there is no comparison.

Forest City recently lost a gem, truly the crown jewel of the community, with the death of my dear friend, Ruby Rauk, who was 94 years young. I loved this amazing lady who was like a mother to me.

If you knew her and I have to believe most of you did, she had to be a bright spot in your life. Yes, Ruby, you did make a difference

In 2019, Joan and I will celebrate 50 years of marriage in July and 50 years in Forest City in August. I will be reflecting on those 50 years in future columns.

I extend best wishes to all for a wonderful and blessed holiday season.

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