OPINION: Roast & Toast

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Jun. 5—Toast all of the area high school and college graduates. You have all put in a lot of hard work to get to this point and you should be proud. Good luck in the future no matter what you do and remember all of the good things you have learned. Most importantly, thank your parents, family and friends who have helped you along the way. There will be a lot of parties the next couple of weeks — be smart and be safe. Congratulations.

Toast all of the area athletes who competed this past weekend at the state track meet in Columbus. The event returned to the Jesse Owens Stadium on the campus of Ohio State University for the first time in three years and it was nice to be back.

Toast longtime Norwalk High School baseball coach Wes Douglas, who announced his retirement as a baseball coach on May 30. The numbers (425 wins) speak for themselves in the quarter of a century Douglas led the Truckers, but more than that, it was all of the personal stories and friendships that matter the most. Douglas is one of the real good guys and will be sorely missed in the dugout — and on the gator taking care of the field.

Toast everybody involved in the Paul Brown Birthplace Committee who are working to recognize the late Paul Brown, born in Norwalk on Sept. 7, 1908. He was one of the most successful and influential figures in the history of football at every level, and the Maple City's recognition of Norwalk as his birthplace is long overdue.

Toast Mother Nature for dealing up a great start to the summer season. After a cold and wet spring, things have changed in a hurry, starting with a beautiful Memorial Day Weekend and following up with another beauty. Keep them coming.

Roast the continuing rise in gas prices. We know the price of everything is going up, but not at the rate of gasoline. Somebody is making a killing with their profits — let's see what the numbers are the next time big oil companies open their books to the public.

Toast The Norwalk Jaycees and everybody involved in the annual Strawberry Festival in uptown Norwalk over the Memorial Day Weekend. It takes a lot of planning and hard work and this year's event was another great one. Now we can look forward to the annual Norwalk Lions Club Fourth of July Parade and fireworks that night. Remember, there is still time to donate to this year's fireworks fund.

Toast all of the great Memorial Day celebrations around the area — from Norwalk to Monroeville to New London to Milan, just to name a few.

Toast Monroeville Police Chief Gary Lyons and everybody involved in the recent "Hooked on Fishing, Not Drugs" event in the village. Lyons said the key is to give kids something to do, get them off the couch and keep them out of trouble.

Toast Bryan and Wendy Oney, the husband-and-wife teaching team at South Central Middle School, who retired together last week. They are both South Central graduates who came home to teach. They will be missed, but they have earned time to spend with their children, who, by the way, both went into education. Congratulations on a job(s) well done.