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At the Mike
Happy Birthday America dare we celebrate on a jet ski?
Mike - At the Mike nw


Special to the Tribune

Independence Day. In my mind one of the top Holidays of the Year. You can usually tell the really good ones because they aren’t moved to Monday to make a 3-day weekend. Now, just so happens the Fourth falls on a Monday this year, but the really important ones keep their day. 

We shouldn’t forget what the Fourth is all about. The independence of the United States. Written mostly by Thomas Jefferson with some revisions by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, it remains one of the most important documents in the history of our great nation. 

We celebrate the day with vigor in Great Bend. Closing off streets for block parties. Fireworks displays abound. And rightfully so – it is that important. Not all towns do it right like Great Bend. 

One thing I have always found ironic about the Fourth of July – it is also the day that both Adams and Jefferson died. Those two key members of the Declaration both died on July 4, 1826 – exactly 50 years after it was ratified. 

Former athlete/coach update

Last week it was Leevan Sands competing in his country’s National Championship/Olympic 

Trials. Sands won the triple jump in the Bahamas as he prepares for his fourth Olympic Games.

This weekend, Veronica Campbell-Brown will look to do him one better. Campbell-Brown will be in search of her fifth Olympics games. The only woman in Olympic history to win back-to-back gold medals in the 200m (2004 and 2008) the Jamaican will attempt to make five straight Olympics representing her country.

The trials get underway Thursday. Campbell-Brown will run in both the 100m and 200m. Now 34 years old she will be going for her fourth straight time qualifying in the 200m and her third time overall in the 100m. She was silver medals in the 100m from the 2004 and 2012 games. 

In the 2000 games she ran on the Jamaican 4x100m relay team at the age of 18. She has won a total of eight Olympic medals – two in each of the sprints and four in the 4x100m relay. 

Around campus

Campus is pretty laid back during the summer months but learning does still take place. The Four week June session of classes ends Thursday. Enrollment Days have been taking place nearly every Wednesday of the summer as well for the fall semester.

Also underway is preparation for the Foundation’s yearly Benefit Auction. This year’s theme is ‘Join us for a Political Party.” An important deadline for the auction is July 15. That is the deadline for donating items for the auction. The items aren’t needed until a week or so before the August 27 auction but in order to have the description ready for the catalog, the Foundation needs those items in a couple of weeks. 

For more information contact the Foundation where any of the three nice young ladies will help out – Interim Director Coleen Cape, Michelle Fryberger or Donna McCormick.

And finally

This weekend marks an anniversary of sorts for my wife Crystal. It will have been two years since her jet ski incident on the Fourth of the July weekend that left her with a torn ACL. 

I used the word incident loosely since she basically just fell off. Nevertheless Crystal came up out of the water screaming. I thought she was mad at me. I was on the jet ski at the time as well. But fortunately she was just in pain. 

I told her all the medical tricks I know – you know, the old reliable ones – ‘rub some dirt on it’, ‘suck it up’, and ‘walk it off’.

None worked. I said there is no way you can hurt you knee falling in water. There is no resistance. It is not possible. Well, I was obviously wrong.

So, three surgeries and two years later I think we have finally almost made it all the way back to normal.

There have been times of frustration and pain – probably for her too. But after her final surgery last fall things began to get better. I can still outrun her, though, which is important at times. 

Now as we head back to Waconda Lake over the weekend to scene of the accident the question will be there. Will she climb back on the horse that threw her? 

Last summer she wasn’t healed enough to even consider it. This year she is.

So she has a decision to make. A decision that has surgeons in Great Bend holding their breath.