Here's to you, graduates!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

"Where have you gone, Joe Dimaggio, the nation turns a lonely eye to you, ooh, ooh, ooh..."

Yes, those memorable Paul Simon lyrics from the 1960s movie, "The Graduate," ring true today as always, as many of us constantly search for deserving idols in business, politics, Hollywood, collegiate and professional sports, television, music and theater.

With high school and college graduations coming on fast next month, we wonder - just as we do each year at graduation time - is the next Joe Dimaggio out there?

Will one or more of these bright, talented, accomplished youths be the doctor or research scientist who discovers the cure for cancer, Alzheimer's, or any of the other fatal and debilitating diseases that now plague mankind?

Is somebody out there who will invent a cheap, harmless alternative fuel to power our vehicles and heat and cool our homes and businesses?

Is the next Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Billy Graham, or Colin Powell in there? How about a Supreme Court Justice, Attorney General, U.S. Army General, or astronaut?

Any takers on the next Nolan Ryan, Mickey Mantle, Derek Jeter, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Serena Williams, Muhammed Ali, Charles Barkley, Cal Ripken, or Pikabo Street?

What about the next Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Paul Newman, Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Springsteen, Carole King, or Elvis?

Is there another Tom Brokaw, Chris Bermann, David Letterman, Barbara Walters, Katie Couric, or John Madden around?

Could we be fortunate enough to fine the next Shakespeare, Hemingway, Twain, Spielberg or Eastwood in there?

Who knows?

What we do know, is that, year after year, our Iowa high schools unleash the best of the best of thousands of skilled, motivated students intent on making this world a better place while achieving their goals in their careers and in life.

As we look annually at their graduation photos, we see the dreams and aspirations in their eyes and we pray that they utilize their God-given talents to the best of their abilities while always remaining on the high road - the only road to take to dodge the many obstacles and pitfalls the cold, cruel world will surely place before them.

Graduates, we say congratulations early. You're special kids from this special place called Iowa and we're very proud of each and every one of you.

You're our future. This world needs your valuable contribution. Don't let us down by taking the wrong path and not making the most of the skills God and your parents have bestowed on you.

And, above it all, don't let yourself down.