Feb. 6, 11:15 a.m. inspired me to audibly groan as the almost empty northbound Mountain Rides bus I was traveling on arrived at the Glenbrook Drive stop and some 46 students from the Syringa Mountain School got on. I use the word “groan” because I rather stupidly, unfairly and arrogantly assumed they’d be these obnoxiously and incessantly loud, barely supervised miscreants whom I’d be stuck with for, what would seem anyway, like an eternity.

Couldn’t have been more wrong! No sooner did the bus leave Glenbrook than their (really terrific) teacher began asking these very well-behaved students to volunteer to help make Valentine’s Day gift packages, heart-shaped cards and cookies, etc., as part of an upcoming school project. Eager hands and voices immediately rose to the occasion, but then descended almost as immediately—the only time their collective voices rose above a very polite whisper, right up until the bus reached their destination at Hailey’s Park ’n’ Ride—at which point they happily and profusely thanked the driver for having gotten them quickly and safely to their stop as they disembarked.

I know there’s a lot of pessimism circulating when it comes to the U.S.’s future, but honestly what I saw and heard on that very humbling bus ride recently inspires nothing but very radiant and lasting confidence, in terms of what new generations of young people will be actively and wonderfully contributing to this great country of ours, in one way or another. In fact, they already are!

John Pluntze, Ketchum

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