You know that saying? Something about "speakin up even though your voice is shaking"...or something to that effect? Well, I did it. I went to the local town police forum where all the town people who serve on various boards gather to pat each other on the back. It was very interesting. I learned a lot and felt very connected to the other towns people who came and spoke. One topic on the table was juvenile education and policing our youths. Having had my fair share of interaction with our town's finest men and women in blue, I chose to throw my two cents in and it was well received by most, though there were a few there who stood up after me to toss in their opposing views, which was fine. One was this little short bald guy who happens to be running for local government and he also happens to live on the opposite end of my street. Every time I spoke, he stood up and offered his counter-point. It became ridiculous so I just clammed up finally - I had already spoken my piece and at one point the forum facilitator actually asked shorty to pipe down and give someone else a chance to speak...much to everyone's relief! Anyway, with my voice quivering and my insides jumping out of my skin, I spoke at a public forum in front of about 50+ folks, including our police force...not a huge crowd, but it's been a long time since I had to do that but I'm glad I spoke up. And later one a reporter from the local paper came over and got my name, so I may actually be quoted! I want to call that paper today and ask them to withhold my name, I'm that paranoid!! Thanks for your input; without your gentle little pushes, I wouldn't have even gone.