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Letter from the Editor

by on June 21, 2012 1:05 PM

This is my last column before I move, and, as deadline approaches, I’m having a difficult time deciding what to write. By the time you read this, my family and I will be in our new home, and I’ll be working from a different location. More on our move later.

I obviously want to make this a memorable piece — since it’s the last one before I start fresh in a new place. I debated whether to write some lighthearted column about moving. Looking back on the past few years. Packing up all the little knickknacks one acquires throughout that time. Deciding what to throw out and what to keep — do we really need that plant holder shaped like a pig? (My wife loves pigs, so the answer is a definitive Yes!) And there is coming across items you forgot you had and that bring back memories — a bottle of sand from Omaha Beach that I collected while visiting there on the 50th anniversary of D-Day, photographs from my crazy youth, my varsity basketball lettermen’s jacket from high school.

Lots of material to cover there. Then, of course, I think about writing about the horrific stories that were told inside the Centre County Courthouse during the middle of June. It seemed likely that by the time this is published a verdict will be rendered. But that won’t be the end, as ongoing investigations continue and other people face possible indictments.

I believe it was a lawyer for the prosecution who said, in their opening statement to the jury, that Penn State wasn’t on trial. However, to the rest of the country, the school and this community have been on trial, and, in some eyes, already found guilty. We are guilty, they infer, of turning our collective backs on heinous acts with children for — what, our blind love of a football team, they believe.

While it appears a handful of people could have done more to at least have law enforcement investigate what was happening, the overwhelming majority of people here have been shocked, disgusted, and trying to figure out how this community can heal — and that healing includes praying for and helping victims of child abuse. Place the guilt on the individuals who deserve it.

For how nearly all of this community’s residents treat children, look to work of the Centre County Youth Service Bureau and the local churches and organizations that have members who spend weeks (for many, it’s their vacation time from work) to travel to impoverished countries to help children, including orphaned children, receive medical care and education and clothing. And this community, I have no doubt, will do a yeoman’s job in raising money for, bringing awareness to, and doing whatever it can to help victims of child abuse.

As for my move: I’m simply moving into a different office at work, and my wife, 2-year-old son, and I are simply moving into another house in State College. This is where I want to raise my son. This is our home — this town, community, and region. And we are proud to call it our home. So, until next month …

David Pencek is editor of Town&Gown magazine, Town&Gown's Penn State Football Annual, and Town&Gown's Penn State Winter Sports Annual.
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