By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Hello Hillsboro: A fine young man of many uniforms
matt stowell
Matt Stowell recently graduated with honors from U.S. Army basic training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. - photo by Contributed/Tom Stowell

Every time I glare at all those rotten leaves covering my double lot yard, it seems to carry my thoughts all the way to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. I dare you to try and make a connection with those two places!

Heather and Tom Stowell have no problem doing that.

The young man who used to earn some spending money helping me rake up what was discarded by at least a thousand trees, lived with them right across the street, until he got a yearning to move to Oklahoma and spend the summer wearing an Army recruit uniform.

Matt Stowell, who has also worn Boy Scout and Tiger football uniforms, recently was graduated from U.S. Army Basic Training as an Honor Graduate at the 434th Field Artillery Brigade at Fort Sill. Matt finished in the top 10 percent of 206 graduates.

I would like to report that he learned many of his skills from raking leaves, but the truth is that he also earned the rank of Eagle Scout in Hillsboro, the highest honor in Boy Scouting. The guy just seems to be a high achiever, and it has nothing to do with his skills at swinging a rake!

Matt will be serving in the Wisconsin National Guard while attending Western Technical College in Sparta next spring.
But first, he has a six-week date with Advanced Individual Training, also at Fort Sill, where he will prepare to be a Forward Observer. Those are the sharp eyed soldiers in the field who study maps and charts to relay highly valued information on enemy positions to artillery and mortar forces, along with pilots carrying a big surprise for the other side!

Congratulations, Matt. The thought of you becoming part of our great military personnel makes your family, friends, and neighbors extremely proud, with good reason.

By the way, your two little brothers are counting the days until you come home. Unfortunately, they’re still too young to know what a rake is!


Hard to believe that the annual invasion of spooks is only a week away. Halloween is the only time of year when many “scary monsters” are actually cute and you can protect yourself from fright with some simple candy!

Kids and parents should remember that the official trick-or-treat hours are 4 -7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31.

It’s getting dark much earlier now, so be sure to have some glow-in-the-dark  coloring on your costume or carry a flashlight when it gets dark. Better yet, head for home and start enjoying the collected treats.

Adults who want to enjoy the fun should remember to turn on a porch light as a sign that you welcome young goblins for a visit.

Have a wonderful Halloween, but also make it a safe one!