To the Editor:
“I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.” That famous line spoken by Marlon Bando as Don Corleone in Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather” is the second most celebrated line from a movie, outranked only by “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn,” from “Gone With the Wind.”
Those wishing to keep 4-H alive in this county have done just that; make you an offer you can’t refuse … or, at least, you shouldn’t.
I’m glad they have reduced the amount of the levy for the OSU Agricultural Extension Office to 0.25 mills, which would cost the owner of a $100,000 property less than $8 a year, and produce about $130,000 a year, enough to support one agent and a part-time secretary.
Is 4-H important? Here’s my story: I spent two years in 4-H after my family moved to a farm near Dellroy in the 1950s. I sold my first Angus steer and used the money to buy a family car. All we had was a 1951 Chevy pick-up truck that barely was wide enough for my father, mother and me to scrunch into. I felt a lot of pride that I could provide my family with a car, although I was not old enough for a license.
The second year, I bought a guitar so Jerry Glasser could play behind Eddie Baggott, Sonny Tanner and myself, thus launching “The Delroyals” on the world. Later in life, I would make my living traveling around the country playing my guitar and singing. In short, the rewards of my two years in 4-H have resonated throughout my life.
There are hundreds of thousands of similar stories of 4-H graduates, and more are being written every year. The hope and expectation of qualifying for the Ohio State Fair beats strongly in every 4-H heart. The pride, leadership and self-confidence developed in participation in 4-H engenders benefits of a lifetime.
As I talk to people during my door-to-door campaign for county commissioner, I tell them that if I can’t convince someone to invest $8 a year - $8 A YEAR - to support about 500 of our kids, plus provide needed services to farmers, then I’m a poor excuse for a salesman. Surely $10 a year is an offer you can’t refuse.
Jan H. Kennedy