Some ‘babbling’ commentary from the week

Kim Brooks
Babbling Brooks Column
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     My column in the Monticello Express isn’t named “Babbling Brooks” for nothing. So this week I am going to take advantage of such and just share a wide array of thoughts with you on a variety of topics…

     First, bravo to Governor Kim Reynolds for urging Iowans, 16 years and older, to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Reynolds herself received the one-shot-and-done Johnson & Johnson vaccine live on TV during one of her weekly press conferences a while back.

     During her recent press conference, she encouraged Iowans to also get vaccinated, noting that younger adults are less likely than older ones to receive the vaccine.

     While I am well aware that many have their personal reasons for not getting vaccinated, and wearing a mask for that matter, please just consider the well-being and health of others. If a business asks the public to wear a mask, there’s a reason for such.

     Over the years since I started working at the Express, I have had the pleasure to get to know many great community leaders who have left a lasting impact and legacy in Monticello. Albert McNeill and Paul Elmegreen come to mind… Last week, I met with the family of Lloyd Welter and spoke to several entities who had dealings with Lloyd over the years, all in an effort to showcase his life in an article in the Express.

     Just researching past articles in the Express, I learned a lot about Lloyd and the Welter family’s history in Monticello.

     It is a pleasure to share Lloyd’s story inside this week’s Express. And judging by the sentiments from so many, it is more than obvious he will be missed…

     How many of you know that Monticello Middle School has a student council? Well, they do!

     The students, led by seventh-grader Koye Jaeger, recently held a contest to see which class could bring in the most donation items for the Animal Welfare Friends Shelter. They collected a couple hundred items, as well as monetary donations.

     It is great to see these young kids taking on leadership roles within their class and school. Hopefully this experience propels them to student council once they get to high school. And who knows, maybe one day running for public office…

     While the pandemic put quite a damper on many aspects of our lives, it also put a damper on what would have been a fun-filled evening for the Monticello School Foundation’s annual Tailgate Party and Alumni Reunion. Wanting to exercise caution, the Foundation chose to have an online event where the public could purchase auction-type items online. You can also donate money to teachers’ wish list items as well.

     This annual fundraiser continues for a few more weeks, giving people the chance to get their hands on some great gift baskets and more.

     This school year was a tough one for everyone: the students, teachers, staff, and administration. While it’s known that teachers tend to spend their own money on needed materials for their classrooms and students, this school year may have proved even harder. The Foundation is able to assist in helping to offset those costs. So donating toward this great cause not only helps the teachers, but the students as well.

     Be sure to see what great auction-type items remain and consider purchasing one. Or, make a donation toward a teacher’s wish list.

     I am a bit of an award show junkie, so of course I watched the Oscars last night. I was glad to see they held it in-person as opposed to every other award show that was virtual this season. But despite it being in-person, the usual fanfare just wasn’t the same.

     The red carpet preview where the media interviews the celebrities wasn’t that entertaining or exciting this year. The whole show just lacked momentum. Typically I’m on pins and needles waiting to hear who will win the big awards of the night: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Picture. For some reason, I could care less this year…

     It’s been a tough year for movies this year because how many of us have been able to actually go to a movie theater and watch a movie? Yes, some were released on various streaming services. And with the pandemic, people certainly had some time on their hands to watch a plethora of TV shows and movies, but there really weren’t that many nominated movies that peaked my interest.

     Like everything else, hopefully award shows and the School Foundation can get back to normal in 2022…


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