Here's my hometown of Lyons, Kansas: home of the mighty Lyons Lions (I'll thank you for not laughing ... what else would we be?). I couldn't have hoped for a better place to grow up. Friday night football. Saturday night main street. Sunday morning services. And then a week in classrooms with teachers who knew our parents and would report directly to them if we were out of line.
We liked our beer cold, our steaks hot and our guns handy. We also liked our nativity scene displayed right on the courthouse lawn.
I will always hold a special fondness for Christmas time in Lyons. So many traditions. Christmas trees in each classroom. Christmas carolers. Candy Cane Lane where the town would gather as one of the neighbors dressed as Santa would hand out treats to the kids. But best of all was -- and still is -- 'The Bell' -- a simple collection of lights that adorns one of the town's two water towers. Seen from afar, it's a beacon that calls us home.
Today we live in Kansas City and these days we are a far more enlightened people. We've chased Christmas from the town square and out of the classroom. We've rejected that quaint notion that Christ should be celebrated aloud at CHRISTmas. We send young men and women off to die for us in war but realize they still can't be trusted to drink a beer. Our school cafeterias have replaced beef with arugula and tofu. And we're trying hard to forbid law-abiding Americans from defending themselves and exercising their Constitutional rights. It takes a special kind of intelligence to do so many dumb things.
Here's the famous Country Club Plaza lights, truly one of the most beautiful displays in all of America. If you've never visited the Plaza at Christmas, you really should. The most modern of stores within an architecture from yesteryear all adorned with a truly spectacular lighting dispaly. Horse-drawn carriages capture the magic and wonderment of the season and harken to a time beyond any of our memories.
I sure love the Plaza lights but somehow they just don't seem to shine quite as bright as that Lyons Bell.