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Letter to the Editor


To the Editor:

A month ago, I returned to Bertha to participate in the Bertha-Hewitt Alumni Marching Band for the all school reunion. I want to start this letter by thanking everyone that participated in the event. In particular, I would like to thank Mr. Ken Nelson for not only arranging the gathering, but for his years of service to the school and the community.

In the midst of the block band, I was reminded of what the marching band meant to me. From the reactions of the parade spectators that I could see, I was reminded also of what the marching band meant to the community. The discipline, teamwork, and dedication to personal excellence learned from being a part of this group has served me and many others extremely well over the years.

The return of 120+ alumni from as far away as Alaska was a testament to Mr. Nelson’s years of dedication helping young people reach their full potential. That alumni marching band would have followed him another ten miles if he had asked.

After the parade, I cased my trumpet and walked through the halls of the school from the 2000 gymnasium (built shortly after I left) toward the 1953 gymnasium (filled with many Sno Daze and dodgeball memories for me).

On the way out, I was stopped by the sight of tables of trophies and racks of marching band uniforms available to take for a “suggested donation.” It hurt my heart. During an event that was meant to celebrate formative years shaped at Bertha-Hewitt, it sent the message that the school (and by extension, the town) is willing to forget those years.

I consider myself a realist, and I understand that time marches on (pun intended) and we can’t hold on to everything. I just threw out a dumpster full of stuff from my own basement.

Still, it felt like the wrong time and the wrong way to clean house, and contrary to the spirit of an all school reunion.

In my own attempt to kindle that spirit, I want to end this letter by sincerely thanking everyone that came back for the alumni marching band.

In particular, I want to say thank you to Mr. Ken Nelson. As a teacher, he was exemplary, and I’m proud to call him a friend now. His guidance has affected my life in a myriad of positive ways, and I know that I am not alone in that.

I promise not to forget.

Dave Adams

Bertha-Hewitt Alumnus

Class of 2000


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