There are times when seemingly unrelated things come together and the result is something wonderful. It has happened at least twice now and, hopefully, will take place again next year.
I’m talking about the Crimefighters vs. Firefighters basketball game last week.
Six great things converged on Northview High School. They were the police and county sheriff’s department, playing basketball to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life program.
A fifth great thing would be the Jackson Township Community Band that played for the event and, of course, the hundreds of people who contributed some $2,500 by attending and donating Monday night.
I mean, think about it. A Hoosier has been defined as a basketball player, reading the Indianapolis Star (The Brazil Times?) while dribbling a basketball around the Indianapolis Speedway track.
We love our basketball.
I loved watching Hoosier Hysteria on Saturday nights on South Bend television even though we lived barely across the state line in Niles, Michigan, even though it meant missing watching “Gunsmoke” with my dad.
It was so great when the winning team cut down the net.
Last Monday we got to watch our local heroes, the crimefighters, the police and sheriff’s deputies, playing one another on the court of one of Indiana’s great high schools, Northview High School.
I grew up in a time when police and firefighters were respected for their uniforms and what they did, years before “pig” meant something other than the source of spicy meat.
I will never understand people who give police and firefighters less than their due respect.
The American Cancer Society and Relay for Life will never mean as much as it does after you or your family are touched by the wicked finger of cancer, whether it is breast cancer or colon cancer or another of the many kinds of cancer.
Thank God there are people raising money for the sole purpose of eradicating cancer.
Who could be at that game last Monday and not look with admiration upon Pat Krider? If anyone has given us a reason to have courage in the face of the nasty C, it is Pat Krider, who continually stares down the black barrel of disease and doesn’t blink.
And we have to celebrate the Jackson Township Community Band. Every one of those people play for the love of music and their fellow man. And that is true of their director, Matt Huber, as well.
Six marks of greatness? Can’t we come up with seven? Seven is the number of wholeness. Completeness.
That’s what the American spirit, the spirit of Clay County, Indiana, is all about.
We are tough people. We do what’s necessary to take care of one another. Cancer, the fight is not over. Cancer, you don’t have a chance!