Over the past two weeks I have attended graduation ceremonies for five high schools: Summit Leadership Academy, Canyon Ridge, Mojave, Hesperia Christian and Idyllwild Arts Academy, the latter school is where my niece Samantha recently graduated after studying art.
Each commencement ceremony was different, but all possessed something special and memorable. Canyon Ridge was especially notable for the frank and emotional message by parting principal Bill Pittsford. Attending Hesperia Christian's graduation events are akin to going to a very upbeat, inspiring church service. Idyllwild was special for many reasons, but perhaps the most important was that the department heads spoke specifically about each graduate. No wonder the service was the longest.
Keynote speaker for Summit Leadership Academy was Deputy Chief Lance Clark, who recently served as commander of the Hesperia Police Station before being promoted. Part of his address included a tactfully presented story about getting dumped on by a bird flying overhead.
"Splat happens," Clark said. "It happens to all of us. But it's not the splat that determines our lives. It's what we do after the splat."
Furthermore, Clark added, "Overcome the challenges. Step around the road blocks."
I'm no golfer, but I certainly understand the concern of those who attended last week's "Hesperia Golf Course Discussion Meeting."
I believe city representatives are listening closely to what attendees are saying. I believe your voice truly matters — but keep speaking.
Here are some of my own initial thoughts about the issue:
• Maintaining the integrity of the surrounding neighborhood should be a top priority.
• Maintaining property values — or even boosting them — should be a top priority.
• Maintaining the safety of the neighborhood should be a top priority.
The golf course area is one of the most desirable areas in Hesperia to live. It needs to stay that way. Period.
OK, but here comes the "but." Most adamant golf course proponents — at least those present last week — were middle-aged or older. That comes with the territory. But (I told you there would be a but) the city and the park district need to ensure that the golf course be enjoyed for decades to come. That means younger people also need to be involved.
Tiger Woods (before his fall from grace) renewed an interest in golf. Is there enough support from local youth (high schools, etc.) to grow interest in the Hesperia Golf Course? If not, it's certainly reasonable for the city to query residents about the activities they'd like to see there.
But, like local historian Gary "Griz" Drylie suggested, my bet is that the facility will likely stay an 18-hole golf course. Meanwhile, we'll just have to wait and see and hear what the people have to say.