I seldom watch television, but the weekend was snowy and
cold, so I decided to watch “just one movie” recommended by the
It was “Remember the Titans,” a story of a team that faced
monumental problems during the early 1970s as they worked to
overcome racial tensions of a newly integrated high school. The
coaches were hired from both races, and finally learned to give
and take in their expectations. The players finally learned that
respect and loyalty are more important than clinging to cultural
differences and attitudes. The team’s example pulls the rest of
the town together and they go on to win the state championship.
It is based on actual events that took place in 1971, when the
high school won a AAA state championship. They learn that name
calling and accusations do not make a winning team.
When the movie was over, I thought, “It is too cold to go
out, so I will curl up with a blanket and watch just one more
movie.” The movie was “Little House on the Prairie,” written by
Laura Ingalls Wilder, and published in 1935. The series is based
on memories of Wilder’s childhood in the Midwest during the late
The Ingalls family return to their prairie home in Oak
Grove, after discovering that life in the big city has its own
share of problems. They return with enthusiasm and are
disappointed to find the townspeople have lost their will to
survive, and are just existing. They feel that the townspeople
have decided no one cares, and are blaming each other for the
lack of participation. The school is a mess, church services
have been discontinued, and the children are running around,
getting into trouble. They visit an old friend, Mr. Skinner, who
had to sell his wife’s new furniture, acquired through years of
saving, just to pay taxes. They are very dejected. This is the
day of Sara Skinner’s 45th birthday, and she sits and rocks like
an old woman.
After looking over the situation, the Ingalls family decided
to live in Oak Grove. People make up the town, not its
buildings. The Ingalls children round up others and start
cleaning the school. Not too many show up, but Mr. Skinner and
his two children come to help. He said, “Sara (his wife) heard
of the cleaning and started cleaning our house. She only has a
hound dog and a rocking chair, but says, ‘Improvement has to
The people form small groups to get an old mill running to
furnish water for the town. They clean out the trash, plant
flowers, encourage small businesses to provide employment, open
up the school and have church services again. The town prospers
because the people learn that by caring for each other and
working together, they can accomplish anything.
My day ended by watching the final quarter of the Super Bowl.
What a surprise! I don’t even remember the score, but will
always remember the dignity and good example shown by the teams
and coaches. Both coaches have displayed that their faith and
families are more important than their job. The spirit of
co-operation and respect was being passed on to their teams and
This was a great way to spend a cold, wintry day!
Can we, like the Titans, learn to put aside individual
differences, and work together?
Can we, like the town of Oak Grove, forget about blaming
others and work together to accomplish more than we can as
Can we, like the Super Bowl teams, accomplish more by
cooperation and respect, and setting a good example for others?
Can this happen in Grantsville and Calhoun County? I know it