Here's to you, graduates!
"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 Hollywood, collegiate and professional sports, television, music and theater.
As we read through the list of graduates each spring and study their happy faces in the photos we began to wonder - just as we do each year at graduation time - is the next Joe Dimaggio in 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 the next Mother Theresa, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Barack Obama, 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, Derek Jeter, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Peyton Manning, Venus or Serena Williams, or Shawn Johnson?
What about the next Paul Newman, Julia Roberts, Sean Connery, Bruce Springsteen, Beyonce, or Elvis?
Is there another Tom Brokaw, Chris Bermann, David Letterman, Barbara Walters, Jane Pauley, or John Madden around?
Could we be fortunate enough to fine the next Hemingway, Twain, Spielberg or Eastwood in there?
What we do know, is year after year, our Iowa high schools unleash the best of the best of thousands of decent, skilled, motivated students intent on making this world a better place while achieving their goals in their careers and in life.
As we look 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.
Congratulations, graduates. 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.
Above all, don't let yourself down.