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Something to Think About

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

Steve Sauder is president of Emporia's Radio Stations, Inc. the owners of KVOE-AM 1400, Country 101.7 and Mix 104.9. Steve has been in a leadership position with ERS, Inc., since 1987.

November 30, 2016

          I have been characterized as a “sports junky.” So be it as today my topic is Emporia State football and with no apologies.

          Yesterday former Emporia State football coach Jerry Kill addressed my Rotary club.

          Kill coached here in 1999 and 2000 before heading to Division I Southern Illinois followed by Northern Illinois and finally Minnesota in the Big Ten. He has been named National Coach of the Year 3 times and recently was inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame. 

          Just over a year ago Kill was forced to retire from coaching – walking away from an $8 million three year contract for health reasons. He’s now an Assistant AD at K-State.

          Kill was only at ESU for 2 years winning and losing 11 games, but he played a significant role in the success of Emporia State football today.

          You see, Kill replaced Manny Matsakis after his Hornets were 9-2 in his last of 4 years here -  the Brian Shay years.

          What Kill found upon arriving at Emporia State was program with few players, footballs or scholarships. Matsakis knew he would leave after 4 years and bled the well dry!

          Kill’s leadership restored the program in a hurry and inspired a fund raising campaign known as the “Difference Makers” that still functions today.

          In his talk yesterday Kill lauded the fund raising suggesting the program could have been set back 25 years without it!

          My opinion is the three coaches most important in the history of ESU football are Larry Kramer who did the dirty work of laying a foundation for football here.

Kill who provided needed leadership and knowledge and inspired many even though his stay was short.

And Garin Higgins who now leads the best NCAA Division II program in Kansas.

          Higgins efforts are magnified when you consider the obstacles he has to overcome.

          ESU plays in the toughest Division II conference in America with second lowest athletic budget. Recent efforts including the Now and Forever campaign have increased the budget, but other schools are raising money too.

          Higgins took the job knowing that he would have fewer toys in his toy box than schools like Northwest Missouri, Central Missouri and Pittsburg but he has overcome.

          ESU athletics across the board employs an attitude of “Doing more with less.” The school may be at the bottom of the MIAA in budget, but is way better than that in results.

          Congratulations to ESU football and Coach Higgins on a great season and a great future.

          I’m Steve Sauder

November 23, 2016

Excellent thoughts from a friend via Face Book about Thanksgiving and the situation we are facing in our country and society today. Here’s what Brian posted:

Is love more important than World View?

My unsolicited advice this week is not to go to war at the Thanksgiving table. Value the person sitting across from you. If you are spending your holiday time with someone, then showing them that you care about them personally is more important than proving yourself right about religion, politics, or economic theory.

No one is going to be convinced of anything right now. We’ve all got our lines drawn in the sand, and everyone is prepared for nuclear war with one another at a moment’s notice. It is too early for anyone to declare victory or defeat. Neither candidate met most of our expectations so let’s not lose loved ones over how we ranked them.

Find something else to talk about: Life’s ambition, the year in review, your hopes, dreams and aspirations. Good Luck everyone!

Good advice.

Thanksgiving is a day to show appreciation for our many blessings and despite the turmoil and upheaval we see daily in our world we still live in the best country, in the best of times. Wonderful relationships sometimes can’t stand the discussion of religion or politics, so why take the chance?

At least for tomorrow let’s follow a couple of good ideas: First - Don’t worry and be happy; and quoting my mom again: “If you can’t say something nice about someone - then don’t say anything at all!”

Have a great turkey day! I’m Steve Sauder.

November 18, 2016

The usual rules when it comes to talking with others about religion and politics are “agree to disagree” and “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

This presidential election has certainly not been normal.

Please note there are – of course – historic divisions in the ideas put forth to lead our country. This is not about any of those issues.

Mr. Trump’s campaign featured messages of intolerance of people of other religions, races, and women. He did not adhere to the normal rules of discourse.

Mr. Trump received endorsements from KKK and other white supremacists groups -  he has yet to disavow these associations.

Calls to “unify” and “give him a chance” have been touted this past week. But President Elect Trump is showing little sign of distancing himself from Candidate Trump.

Since the election, he has named Steve Bannon as his chief strategist. Bannon is the head of a neo-conservative media site featuring memes by anonymous white supremacists opposing immigration, multiculturalism, and feminism.

Among the United States core values are “Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” and “all people are created equal.” These are not values reflected in what Mr. Trump has said, in his actions, and in the people he’s choosing to assist him lead this diverse country.

Do I want Mr. Trump to fail? As president leading our nation, no – I want his agenda items that push racism and divisiveness to fail.

Mostly I want him to learn. I want him to learn that words mean things and invoke feelings that lead to actions that he can not turn on and off like a tap. Learn that people coming to believe if they don’t think they have it “great” they should blame others – usually those who are different from them. I want him to learn that children are listening and watching.

As a parent, we are always modeling behavior for our children. Just as these behaviors include being respectful and polite, they also include when to stand up and speak out.

Another age old adage is “Respect is earned, not given.”

Laura, give me a call.

November 16, 2016

          Laura is my stepdaughter by marriage.

Dear Laura,

          Have you ever heard the saying: "Don't cut off your nose to spite your face?"

It’s a warning against pursuing revenge in a way that would damage oneself more than the object of one's anger.

It was one of my mom’s favorites and seems very appropriate concerning the election of Donald Trump.

It has also come into play with Governor Brownback. Rooting for our governor to fail over the last 6 years has had a self defeating quality to it. Kind of like cutting off your nose to…. oh I think you see my point.

Same thing applies to Mr. Trump.

I didn’t vote for him, talked him down both privately and on the radio, but guess what he still got elected. Forget the popular vote that just makes it worse.

But, working against him now becomes counter productive. I think he will fail, but he is my president and I owe him respect just like I respected all the other presidents I’ve lived through. I have often disagreed with them, but have attempted to always show respect in terms of what I called them, etc.

Laura, my biggest concern in suggesting we keep our dislike for Mr. Trump under cover is not as much that either one of us has that much influence except that we do have tremendous influence to some who are close to us – like Eli.

I was so impressed when you became a Bernie Sanders supporter. You knew I didn’t share your enthusiasm, but that wasn’t important. What was important was you got involved and we had great discussions and Eli was with you. There aren’t many six-year-olds as involved as he was!

I have to wonder what Eli’s thoughts were when you had to change to Hillary Clinton because he knew you didn’t like her very much either.

My hope is we can agree that while we aren’t big Trump supporters that refusing to give him a chance is not very smart because if he fails – so does America! Even President Obama is trying to meet him half way.

Which brings me to the other saying my mom was big on that is going to be my rule concerning President Elect Trump: “If you can’t say something nice about someone, then don’t say anything at all?”

Love you guys and hope you will think about this with me. America is so unique and it needs kids like Eli, Henry and Elle and my bunch – Tate, Trey, Alex, Isaac, Scarlett, Brooks and Hudson to see positive examples in their parents.

Today’s lesson: “If you can’t say something nice about someone, then don’t say anything at all.”

I’m Papa Steve

November 2, 2016

As messy as the presidential race has gotten we are lucky locally to have clear choices in contested races with the potential to restore our state government to one about which we can be proud.

Today my thoughts on three state candidate races and the Supreme Court Retention question.

In the three races for the state legislature we have excellent choices with experience being the key difference in the contestants.

Jeff Longbine seeks to return to the Kansas Senate. His story is interesting. He grew up in Emporia as a star athlete from a prominent family. He had all makings of a playboy. But, at an earlier than expected age he found himself in the lead position at the family’s automobile dealership. 

Jeff’s performance as an automobile dealer is well documented, but it’s the rest of the story that amazes me.

Slightly over a decade ago Longbine decided to run for the Emporia City Commission where he excelled as a problem solver. When the opportunity to run for the Senate developed he stepped up and he has done well. He is being touted for a leadership position in the coalition designed to fix the damage done by the Brownback administration.

His opponent has tried to paint Longbine as a “Brownback enabler” but nothing could be further from the truth.

Longbine has stayed free from labels and is seen as a solution person by his colleagues. The Emporia Gazette wrote “Jeff has used his negotiating skills to bring parties together on divided issues.”

Emporia will be best represented with one of the leaders in the group shepherding our state’s recovery than by a freshman senator trying to find her office.

Mark Schreiber brings a different kind of experience to his task. He has been working with the legislature for nearly 30 years. He knows his way around the capital and knows most all the people he will be working with. Also amazing is how closely his demeanor resembles that of the person he desires to replace. Maybe that’s why Don Hill was willing to retire!

Make no mistake Schreiber will be his own man, but he does hold the moderate principles we so desperately need in Topeka.

In endorsing Theresa Briggs my choice is for known over unknown. Theresa has proven herself as a leader in difficult situations. Both as the leader for Drug Free Schools and as a Lyon County Commissioner her job had challenges. In both cases she was up to the task. Now living in rural Kansas, Theresa adds a new dimension to her qualifications.

Theresa will be a problem solver in Topeka.

The Supreme Court Justice Retention issue is easy for me. I’ll keep them all because I don’t trust Governor Brownback to appoint their replacements.

Votes for Longbine, Schreiber, and Briggs and “Yes” for the Supreme Court judges will be positive steps in helping Kansas regain its pride.

I’m Steve Sauder

October 26, 2016

          “All was wine and roses until 1985 when she was diagnosed as a victim of that devastating disease known as Alzheimer’s.”

          That was my dad in 1991 talking about his wife on the occasion of the dedication of the Sauder Alumni Center. Dad made the lead gift to honor mom. She lived another 12 years passing away in 03 after 13 years at the Presbyterian Manor.

          On the 15th of this month the ESU Foundation celebrated 25 years in the Alumni Center. It was a wonderful, glorious, but emotional day - so much to celebrate but also so much to remember.

          Dad’s gift wasn’t his first to Emporia State nor would it be his last – it was just the most memorable.

          Mom’s life with Alzheimer’s obviously changed lots of things for her, my dad me and my siblings and the university.

          What we like to remember are the things that represent the love affair my mom and dad had for one another. To say the doted on one another would be an understatement. After mom got ill dad cared for her taking clean clothes and other needs to her daily at the Manor.

          But theirs wasn’t the only love going on. Love might be too strong a word to describe what happened between my dad and Emporia State, but it’s close!

          When you lose your partner to something like Alzheimer’s you obviously are left with a void. Dad could care for mom and he had his work which had consumed him for too many hours for too many days, but he needed something else.

          Two other men were involved. I’m not sure exactly how. But between them they set a fire.

          Gruff old Larry Kramer, the football coach and just as crusty Joe Cannon get the blame. Kramer became coach in 1983 and soon after found out he could get a beer after practice at Earl’s house. They were a lot alike and something clicked. Joe was the person asking Earl for the lead gift for the Alumni Center. They had met working on funding for the Presbyterian Manor and became good friends.

          Who ever or for what reason dad got adopted by ESU – its’ coaches, its’ president and many others. It was very good.

          So good in fact my sister and brother and I believe dad’s association with the university probably added ten years to his life. He died in 06.

          The 25 year re-dedication brought back great memories like: Dad saying “Today, I feel like the luckiest man in the world,” and “In her honor, the dearest, sweetest person I have ever known, I dedicate this building.”

          Let me close with maybe his most famous line. Earl Sauder loved to ask for donations for Alzheimer’s or the United Way or Emporia State and say “Don’t give until it hurts, give until it feels good.”

          Thanks dad!