Austin will miss National Barrow Show

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 3, 2001

Sunday, June 03, 2001

Humans often take things for granted.

When those things are suddenly – or perhaps not so suddenly – plucked from us, we find out the true value of the now-missing item.

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Individually we tend to take our health for granted until it’s gone. Some take friendships for granted until they’re gone. Still others take the love and comfort of family members for granted until it’s too late.

While we individually may take things for granted, groups such as communities often develop such a shared attitude about routine things. For example here in Austin we may take police and fire protection for granted until we need it. Or perhaps it’s the fine parks we have, or better yet the good schools and great medical care.

Another item often overlooked by members of the Austin community is the impact of tourism. Many of us probably can’t believe that people actually spend their vacations in Austin. But it happens more frequently then you would believe.

The impact of tourism in Austin is great and growing. With the addition of the SPAM Museum this fall, Austin will have a destination spot to market.

Just how large of an impact tourism has on Austin may be felt later this summer when an annual event for the past 54 years is gone.

The decision to cancel the 2001 National Barrow Show this past week because of concerns over the possible spread of foot and mouth disease was a good one. However, it will leave a huge hole in the local tourism economy.

Ask some of our local hotels or restaurants what impact 3,000 visitors over a weekend in September has and the answer is certainly to be "significant."

For those who may question the tourist drawing power of SPAM and hogs to Austin, the one-year hiatus of the National Barrow Show will prove quite the education.

But then again it’s human nature to take some things for granted until they’re gone.

Lyle-Pacelli softball

Congratulations to the Lyle-Pacelli softball team on its Section 1A championship and consequent trip to the State Class A Softball Tournament. Good luck to the players and thanks for representing your schools and communities well.


Recent coverage by the Austin Daily Herald of the theft trial involving Lisa Andersen may have regretfully led some of our readers to perceive the Herald was questioning the decision of a jury.

The intent of the story was not to question the decision of the jury, which found Andersen innocent of all charges. The story’s intent was to provide readers first reading about the situation background information so they had an understanding of what led up to the trial, as well as the outcome of the trial.

The Herald respects the work done by investigators, attorneys on both sides, the presiding judge and most importantly the thoughtful work of the jury.

Neal Ronquist’s column appears Sundays. Call him at 434-2201 or e-mail him at