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I love, I laugh; as a mother, a girlfriend, a daughter, a sibling, a friend. I change. I volunteer. I make a difference. I make things happen. I get lazy; then way to high strung. I stay up all night, and pay the next day. I piss people off. I make people love. I believe in fate. and karma. I laugh at myself. I've even been called an "angel"... more than once. I've been rocked to my core by angels among us. I am a journalist for our small town newspapers, including the Muskego Chronicle, the Hales Corners Citizen, and the Franklin Citizen; I love writing for our chicken-soup-for-the-small-town-soul publications! I am right where I want to be. I am 34, and proud of my age (every birthday is another gift); the greatest thing I have done is contribute the beauty that my clone-like daughter Sophia has to offer. She is my legacy. I am a total mama’s girl; always have been, always will be. I have a Black-Irish bond (unbreakable) with my siblings. I am comfortable in my own skin. I have never been insecure, not once. I love people; but prefer kids to adults. I am not the least bit judgmental; but can hold a grudge to my grave. I follow my heart more than my head. Intentionally.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Small Town Saturday Nights

Muskego 53150
Editorial by Noelle Lorraine

Small Town Saturday Nights

Lately, I have heard many stories about the ‘New Muskego’ regarding all its change and development, from residents both new and old. I have heard the rumors, grievances, sadness and anger. On the flip side, I have heard prideful declarations about the progress of the town. As far as my job as a Chronicle correspondent, all that matters are the facts, but I am finding myself taking a step back lately, to assess my personal feelings about the change in the town I have been a part of since I was a small girl.
I have recently reflected about ‘Old Muskego’ with numerous Muskego-born residents, five to be exact, about the way things used to be. All conversations were a fond reflection about ‘the good old days’ when things were very different, although I detected a bit of sadness in their dialect, oddly they accept the progress, because times are changing everywhere- not just Muskego. I think as far as this particular demographic goes, it is not the progress that has our town at odds, but rather the way the development has come about.
Last week, I spoke to Waukesha county District attorney, brad Schimel, to fact check a chronicle story I was working on. Schimel, from a small town himself, seemed to relate. Although he made it clear this is nothing to take lightly, and naturally our elected district attorney takes his position very serious, but after I shrugged my shoulders with a bit of confusion, he referred to some of the turmoil “growing pains”, and named several other Waukesha County towns that seem to be experiencing the same problems, or pains in this case. I couldn’t agree more, change is tough, even painful at times. I myself feel a pain of sorts when I have to wait five minutes to pull out of the post office, but then again, I suppose 5pm, my typical arrival time, may not the best time to go, nevertheless, rush hour is not exclusive to big cities. In my opinion, Muskego has kept it nostalgic charm, for the most part- so far. It is cute, charming, and now full of convenience.
There are a few things that came with progress, that bother me a bit. For example, years ago we were to be able to ride our horses on the ‘bike trail’, which was one a rail road track. After Muskego began to grow, we were replaced by pedestrians and bicyclists. Horses are now prohibited on the majority of the trail. But, times are changing, and I accept that. It doesn’t make Muskego a bad place to live as far as I am concerned.
I have read, heard and seen, way to much about this town lately, which starts with, ‘don’t forget what this is about’, mixed within Payton’s place mudsling articles, plastered throughout southeastern Wisconsin. Now that is my idea of growing pains- OUCH!
It is my belief that our adversaries make us great; after all, a great victory only comes with a worthy opponent. Personally speaking, I feel adversaries and opponents in my own life, both professionally and personally, force me to be the best I can be. I respect those with different opinion and perspective, and feel these individuals are a vital part of my life. So I think as the citizens of Muskego we should heed our own advice and remember what this is all about, and more important, who this is all about. If we came together as one and leveled the playing field, I think our adversaries would aspire all of us to greatness, and would benefit the city as a whole.
In the film ‘The Brave One’ Jodi Foster plays a scorned vigilante, determined for revenge on violent criminals. Her character is haunted that she is able to raise a gun, aim it at someone who is committing a violent act, and pull the trigger, all with a steady hand. A law enforcement officer tells her that her hands don’t shake because she’s on the ‘right side’. Fosters character had a shaky hand only once in the film, when she aimed at someone who was not a criminal. I by no means support acts of vigilantism, such as this, but use this analogy its theory. If you take a stand in any city debate, no matter your side, be certain it’s the ‘right side’, with truthful convictions. And remember what this is all about; fighting for the same cause as your adversaries’ do- the wonderful city of Muskego.
I’ve heard it said that you can’t stop progress, and while that may be true, we live in the land of the free, where the voice of the people can be heard. So be a voice of history, and have a hand in the progress, if you stand firm, let democracy work for you. The small town Saturday nights of ‘Old Muskego’ may be long gone, but once a week, ‘New Muskego’ lights up with its own rendition, its still Saturday night in Muskego. Some things change and some things remain the same, and in the end we are a speck on the map, and the problems we are facing may not matter to anyone but us, so that is exactly who needs to come together to resolve them- Us, as the citizens of Muskego, with fairness and honesty. Take some good advice from the legendary baseball player, Hank Aaron, “Keep Swinging!” Just be certain about what, or who you’re swinging at… and why.

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