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Had Curry Kirkpatrick taken the time to investigate, he might have mentioned some of the praiseworthy things our city has to offer, such as its tennis facilities and program, a summer arts festival, a symphony orchestra, opera and theater groups, an art center, a university, Head Start and Upward Bound programs for its youth, to mention but a few. And while he was mentioning the International Harvester Company, Mr. Kirkpatrick might have added that the new, multimillion-dollar factory built for them was voted one of the top 10 new plants in the nation by Modern Manufacturing magazine. Nor is Springfield a one-industry town. There are few cities its size that can compare with it in the diversification of its manufacturing plants.
If we have citizens who tried to undertake something big—perhaps too big at the time—might it not be better for all concerned to encourage them? Little in this world would have been bettered if it had not been for the men and women who had vision and the courage to translate that vision into action.
The author must have been stranded in Springfield one cold winter night to knock the town as articulately as he did. This is not to say that Mr. Kirkpatrick fails to call a spade a spade. As a matter of fact, he describes the everyday movement in and around Snyder Park as it actually happens. His descriptions are quite amusing; you almost have to be a resident of Springfield to really appreciate them.
What is perturbing, though, is the lack of credit given to the sponsors, Springfield residents for the most part, who have staged a women's golf tournament that in 1968 paid to the last-place finisher more money than she could have won for finishing first in almost any other tournament on the tour. The women golf pros so far have received very little in the way of prize money for their excellent show from any city or locality in the nation—except maybe in the one-horse town of Springfield.
Second, national parks have become a travesty of themselves, and Mr. Gilbert does a most descriptive job of telling it like it is. But when he suggests that perhaps the 99% of the public that doesn't hike is entitled to have lots more roads built so that they wind through 20% of the park land he is on shaky ground. It might be more logical to have absolutely no roads in national parks. The parks were established to conserve something of the original country, and there are lots of roads in the 98+% of the U.S. outside of the national parks.
The campers Bil Gilbert describes, and many of the ones I have seen, would be just as happy in a shopping-center parking lot, if only it had a name they could drop once they got home.