VIEWPOINT: All things pumpkin

Fall is finally here. I can smell the pumpkin spice in the air.
To be honest, I am not a big fan of pumpkin spice, either in coffee or ice cream or brownies. I like pumpkin pie, and pumpkin bars with a cream cheese frosting, but that’s about it. But this is the season for pumpkins.
I see Seebach’s pumpkins are now at the corner of Flagg Road and Center Road. We have been buying pumpkins at the house for years, but the new location seems more convenient.
I hope the Hubs have a successful homecoming. It seems every year I know fewer and fewer of the Homecoming court candidates, cheerleaders and football team. I know it is an exciting time to be a high-schooler.
The Artists’ Garden in downtown Rochelle is planning to add a bistro. This will only add to the downtown, bringing another positive to the main business district’s recovery.
But, opening a bistro isn’t the final step. The next step will be people going there and eating.
I confess, I have not gone out as much this past year as I once did. I need to get my wife out to local restaurants more.
Accessibility is an issue for us. She uses a wheelchair outside the house and sometimes restaurants are not wheelchair friendly. There may be high tables, steps in, a tiny restroom…all impediments to a night out.
That being said, we should be visiting the ones that are wheelchair friendly.
I attended Northern Illinois University in the late 60s. Enrollment was in the mid 20,000 range and freshmen classes were reaching record numbers. NIU was one of the bigger schools in the state’s university system.
This fall, total enrollment is a shade over 16,000. The loss of thousands of students over the past two decades is significant. Students spend money. They frequent local businesses, rent local apartments, buy groceries.  
The ripple effect could even impact Rochelle. I knew several students in the past who lived here and commuted to school because there was no available housing in DeKalb.
Enrollments are down in general at Illinois colleges and universities. Whether it’s because the population is down, students are opting for schools in warmer climates, or the cost of an education, it is a concern.

Terry Dickow is a retired elementary school teacher with lots of opinions, some you will like, some you won’t.  He can be contacted at [email protected]


Video News