Jim Krumel: What makes a rose a rose; a thorn a thorn?

People have often asked what determines if someone gets a rose or a thorn.

There is no formula. Not any kind of rating, scoring system, automatic bid or criteria that must be blessed by a special committee.

Roses simply go to people who do neat stuff. They’re for those who plug the holes that have been shot into the bucket of life. They’re for strangers who can park a smile on your face, and those pluggers who are part of the 80 percent of humanity that does 100 percent of the work.

Thorns. Well they go to people who make us say “ouch.”

With roses, I am always looking for people who you don’t always hear about. For thorns, I try to keep it from being a police blotter. With few exceptions, the roses and thorns are always local in nature.

A conservative estimate is that around 3,000 roses and 1,000 thorns have been handed out in the 15 years this column has taken up space in your newspaper. One thing has always held true: The best, most notable roses have always come from reader suggestions. Same holds true for the thorns.

There’s a perfect example of that today from a Lima grandmother, Darlene Offenbacher, who sent in an item reminding us that some of today’s teenagers — or “gentlemen,” as she calls them — “are going to go far in life with the attitude they have.”

On the other side, years ago a man who drove past the Allen County Sheriff’s Office on his way to work called to tell us that for three days a detective’s car had been parked too close to a fire hydrant. We checked it out and sure enough a thorn was born.

Handing out thorns have resulted in some sticky moments. Once at a high school football game I was sitting beside a guy I didn’t know and we were enjoying playing “grandstand coach.” In the middle of the third quarter he suddenly quit calling plays, looked at me, and said, “Aren’t you that roses and thorn guy?” Sheepishly, I answered: “It all depends if you got a rose or a thorn.” He laughed, said it was a thorn, but admitted he deserved it.

A rose to him.

ROSES AND THORNS: A spot in the “Rose Garden Bowl” is reserved for four high school football players.

Rose: To Chase Clark, of Bath High School, and Jaylin Thomas, Ruben Flowers, and Demontay Liles, of Lima Senior. They made a birthday party extra special for 9-year-old Carson Daniels. The sports crazy youth goes to as many games as he can and loves to talk with players and fellow fans afterward. The four football players took time out of their Sunday to celebrate Carson’s big day with him. They even played a few plays with all the boys at the party and autographed their shirts.

Rose: To Shawn Hawk, of Lima. He went from weighing more than 300 pounds to below 200 pounds after taking up the sport of ultra running. He’s done eight 100-mile trail runs in times ranging from 23 to 33 hours, and two 50K (31.07-mile) runs.

Rose: To Clark Spieles, of Spieles Nursery in Lima. Members of the Springhill Drive Neighborhood Association were wondering who did the wonderful landscaping at their neighborhood entrance. It turns out Spieles had some leftover material after completing landscaping work at the nearby lift station on Fort Amanda Road, so rather than haul it back to his business, he spruced up the neighborhood entrance free of charge.

Rose: To Esther Goebel and Stan Hasselman, who on behalf of the local chapter of the Modern Woodman of America, donated 1,000 meals to the Ottawa Food Pantry.

Rose: To the postal employee who may have saved the life of Lima police officer Mark Link, who was attacked by two pit bulls on North Elizabeth Street. The employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, got the dogs off Link before police officers arrived. The dogs were biting Link in the head, causing severe injuries to an ear.

Thorn: To Patience Jackson, owner of the two pit bulls listed above. Her home is near two schools. It could have been much worse had the dogs become loose while children were walking home from school.

Thorn:During the same week the Lima Mall celebrates its 50th anniversary, Elder-Beerman, one of its anchor stores, announces it is closing Jan. 31, putting about 51 employees out of work.

Thorn: To Allen County Agricultural Society Board President Dwaine Holt and fair board President Dan Kimmet. They say they are looking for a new county fair manager because “they want to go in a different direction,” but fail to give any details on what that direction is.

PARTING SHOT: Laugh at your problems, everybody else does.

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By Jim Krumel

[email protected]

Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.