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Sue's Views: Milk Chocolate Ruffians

I would like to extend an invitation for actor and activist Peter Coyote to consider moving to Morris.

Coyote was in Morris last week to deliver the commencement address at the University of Minnesota, Morris. Since I am a member of the media, I had the opportunity to visit with him before his speech. One of the things he said really started me thinking. In reply to a question about colleges like UMM, Coyote noted that he is a firm believer in the liberal arts, calling it the Whitman Sampler of human culture. Not the most profound thing I've heard, sort of Forest-Gump-ish, really. But it has been on my mind ever since.

So, for a moment, let's expand on this box of chocolates theme. What if Morris were the Whitman's Sampler of small towns. Who would be the milk chocolate almond delight? or the molasses chew? or chocolate ruffian? or coconut cluster?

Actually, it doesn't matter. What matters most is that we are fortunate enough to have an assortment--a little something for everyone but not too much of any one kind. And still, only the finest, home fashioned assortment. So, which are you? Of course, there will always be a spoiler in the crowd with the I don't like chocolate attitude. But there's room for that, too. In fact, you can now get sugarless and low-carb candy in your Whitman's Sampler.

So, back to why I want Peter Coyote to live in Morris. It is not, as you might first guess, because I think we need a movie star in our community. Although I'm sure I could come up with some interesting cable-access projects for him. And the notion of Peter Coyote reading his latest book at the Morris Public Library is an attractive notion. No, I want him in Morris because I liked what he was telling the UMM graduates: that if you don't become engaged citizens, you're going to end up in a world that you don't like. That one person can and does make a difference. Even the chocolate ruffians. We just occasionally need someone, like Peter Coyote, reminding us.