For anyone who follows Kenosha politics, Gene Malone is a familiar name -- the retired teacher whose letters to the Romans usually got lost in the mail. The guy who was a pain in the butt of most school board members with his usually rigid thinking that was also usually a couple of bubbles off the plumb.
But until his untimely death last month Gene Malone kept plodding and prodding. He didn't care if most people tuned him out or if his ideas were somewhat to the right of Attila the Hun.
I, too, found him typically annoying and often irrelevant. But what I thought really didn't matter. What was important is that Gene Malone taught us all lessons that most of us needed to learn.
What Gene taught us is that our rights as Americans don't mean much if we don't use them and that certainly includes our freedom of speech and to petition the government for redress of grievances. Gene was seldom "politically correct" and while his ideas were usually on the fringe, he nonetheless taught us that hiding behind fake smiles and euphemisms is neither what our forefathers envisoned or what thousands gave their lives to defend.
Yes, Gene was a character but as the late Charles Kuralt pointed out, when America runs out of characters it will have lost its character.
So, in Gene's honor, I'd like to tell the inflated egos who comprise the majority of the Kenosha Unified School Board that they pulled a major boner when they eliminated driver education programs.
It's only common sense that regardless of whether you're the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or the person who sweeps its floors you both have to know how to drive and society benefits from having well-educated drivers on our highways. It's such a "no brainer" that it makes you wonder if these supposedly educated people have any brains. They certainly don't have common sense.
And then there's that CDO boondoggle that's risking the school district millions and making more than a few people in this community ponder whether the "rocket scientists" who got us into this mess ought to be making license plates. (And to think one of them is a financial services consultant!) Shame, shame on them.
I don't know if Gene Malone will ever know that I wrote this but I'd like to think that if he did, he'd be proud.