In all honesty, Clinton Lake and the marina have been somewhat of a disappointment to me since we moved to Clinton in 1990. The lake and its surrounding area holds so much potential,  yet the governing bodies have simply not availed themselves of this great resource.

Perhaps that is going to change. There are now some discussions being held between the county and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to give control of the marina to the State of Illinois.

The county has done a decent job of managing the marina from a purely boating perspective. Meaningful efforts have been made to keep the docks in good repair and have good ramps to place your boat in the water. Those efforts are appreciated, but there is so much more that can be done.

The restaurant has been tried and failed to be viable. The county has gone through several managers of the marina, and there has been little impetus to expand and move forward.

Rend Lake, in Benton, may well be a model for Clinton Lake.

Admittedly, Rend Lake is larger. Clinton Lake was manmade as a coolant provider for a nuclear power plant. That does come with some restrictions but nothing that cannot be resolved to provide for development. Rend Lake has cabins, a lodge, condominiums, a 27-hole golf course, restaurants, camping and the lake itself. Clinton Lake has the camping and the lake, but not the other amenities.

Should the county and DNR reach an agreement wherein DNR becomes the driving force behind the marina, there would be much funding available to develop the marina and some of the adjacent land. There are lots of people who will drive 2—5 hours to have a water view and lake vista.

Rend Lake thrives on people coming to their facilities from Chicago and St. Louis, plus the locals. While Clinton Lake is not on an interstate like Rend Lake, its out of the way aspect appeals to many. Simply being out of the way has a value and can be marketed.

Tourism is a growing industry, but, unfortunately Clinton Lake has simply not been close to reaching its potential. It is something that the county and DNR should give some serious thought to.

WOKE—I guess I have been asleep because I sure haven’t woke up to this new philosophy of wokeness. We are changing pronouns and gender identities. I read a lot of news stories over a week’s time. Have you had problems following articles because you couldn’t figure out the players with the new nomenclature. I recently misidentified a courtroom witness with the wrong traditional identification. You would have thought I made the personal insult of the ages. I don’t get it.

I grew up with Johnny Cash’s song, “A boy named Sue.” The song didn’t bother me in the least. Today, I am hearing every name in the book while I sit in a courtroom and try to ascertain who the parties are.

Academically, I can follow the code and be engaged in the conversation. From a blue collar farm boy background, I find the language very foreign. I can accept that others have a different lifestyle than mine and that is fine. My difficulty is when the woke establishment wants me to join them and fund their ideas.

This is a cultural and political movement that seems to be gaining traction, and that I simply do not understand. Have a great week.