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Local Editorials

From our archives: Surprise honor for retired athletic chief

What we thought: 50 years ago

Note to readers – Sauk Valley Media reprints editorials from the past as a regular Monday feature. The following editorials appeared in the Telegraph on Oct. 18 and 19, 1963.

Arthur C. Bowers Field gets its name

Few of us have anything named after us. And few among us deserve such an honor.

A man who has been around Dixon longer than a good many Dixonites have been alive and who is known to anyone who has attended Dixon High School in the past 42 years, Arthur C. Bowers, is one of those few individuals.

By a unanimously passed resolution of the Dixon Board of Education, the DHS athletic field after last night, for all time, will be known as Arthur C. Bowers Field.

He was called, unsuspectingly, from the grandstand last night to the tune of his old college song, that of Yankton College, Yankton, S.D.

Escorted onto the playing field at halftime of the Dixon-Kewanee football game by J. Fred Hofmann and accompanied by Mrs. Bowers, he heard the usual laudatory remarks that are said about someone being honored.

As he stood on the field, he noticed two men approaching, both of whom he recognized. One was the principal under whom he had worked during the last several years before his retirement last year, Sheldon Bross, the other a longtime associate in athletic circles, Albert Willis, Chicago, executive secretary of the Illinois High School Association.

Willis said in the 21 years he has headed the association, he has been pleased with the cooperation Bowers invariably extended his office as athletic director at DHS.

Mrs. Bowers was presented with a gift, and Bowers also received a gift and a cash purse.

He and Mrs. Bowers started to leave the field, but were detained by Dean Harrison, who told them he had something more to say.

Harrison then read the following resolution, which the school board passed Wednesday but had asked the press not to release:

“Whereas, for 42 years Arthur C. Bowers, dedicated teacher, served Dixon High School as athletic director, during which years he won the timeless friendship of all Dixon High School students and the admiration of her athletic opponents both on and off the field of competition; now, therefore, be it

“Resolved, that as of this date, the Dixon High School athletic field shall be named the Arthur C. Bowers Field in honor and appreciation of Arthur C. Bowers’ devotion and loyalty to Dixon High School.”

This is about as much as mortal man can do to immortalize the memory of a man.

What the man being honored has done cannot truly be measured by this effort, however.

The thousands of students who passed through Dixon High School during the 42 years he was a teacher, coach and athletic director, and how their association with him affected their lives is the real measure of the contribution of such a man as Art Bowers.

The wild acclaim which rose from the grandstand as the announcement was made Friday night seems to give evidence that the school board’s decision met with fans’ approval. – Oct. 19, 1963

Nixon’s chances

uncertain in 1964

Few seasoned political observers doubt that the presidential bug still is biting Richard M. Nixon, despite his most ardent protests in disinterest in the 1964 Republican nomination.

Both Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona, the present front runner, and New York’s Gov. Nelson Rockefeller are political realists – and they say they think Nixon is a candidate. Many another politician believes the same.

There can be no question that certain aspects of Nixon’s situation “position” him for such consideration.

He is the middle-road man always acceptable, on paper at least, to both conservative and liberal wings of his party. This would have been an immensely strong point for him had he won the California governorship last fall and gained that great power base.

Not having gained it, he moved to New York. He could not have hoped thereby to find a new power footing. What he did seek was a chance to get into the brighter spotlight which shines on politicians operating in the Washington-New York orbit.

This he has managed. The public prints are currently alive with accounts of Nixon’s views and doings. He is getting talked about. He is trying to cast his influence over public discussion of the great issues and to affect the tone of his own party’s efforts.

Yet it is one thing to say Nixon is interested and available, quite another to argue that the Republican Party might nominate him in 1964.

Nothing in politics is so fixed or so scientific that one could fairly rule him out altogether. Convention deadlocks are extremely rare. But if the 1964 GOP convention at San Francisco got into some kind of stalemate, it might in its extremity turn to Nixon as a man palatable to all wings.

Nevertheless, the likelihood of this happening is not great. The basic reason is that a high proportion of GOP professionals are quite disenchanted with him.

Their recriminations against him for alleged political misjudgments in the 1960 campaign linger on and on. ...

Surely Nixon’s name will continue to be high in public notice in the big political months to come. But there is no evidence that it is high in either the hearts or the minds of Republican president-makers. – Oct. 18, 1963

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