I want to start this column by apologizing to the Community Friends for missing their annual free Christmas Dinner. They work so hard to make sure no one is alone on Christmas. I usually show up, take a few pictures and do a story. But I guess all the running around caught up to me and I failed to make it. I am sorry.
Thanks to Wallace and Deborah Reed for taking care of me this week. They provided the pictures you see on the front page of this year’s dinner.
As we begin 2014 we have to take a look back at 2013 just so we can see what transpired and how not to make the same mistakes again. We also want to remember the good things.
It is what we do.
We remember our past and plan for our future. I loved a lot of 2013, but I also learned a lot from it as well.
I got to meet more interesting people, do more interesting stories and had to say good-bye to a few heroes. We lost good men like Carl Wells, Sr., WWII vets Franklin Snowden and Harry Rose. All three were men I got to know a little better over the past few years. They will be missed.
But I also got to meet Homer McCoy. He is a WWII veteran who saw a lot, like many of that generation did. He took part in 16 invasions in the South Pacific. Not only was I impressed with his service, but the fact that he thanked God for everything. I was moved by that.
Of course, I made a few people mad doing my job. That comes with the territory. But integrity has to be maintained and telling the story as honestly as I can is all I’ll ever do.
I got to see one of God’s great creations for the first time. I got to see the Atlantic Ocean. It was awe inspiring as well as breath taking. Even better I got to see it with my family and it was my daughter’s first glimpse at it as well.
There are so many things I could not possibly list them all.
But last month I learned a great lesson I want to share with you.
I heard on the news about a teenager who suffers from “affluenza.” Apparently his family is so rich and he is not held to any consequences for his actions because of this. Apparently being a bad parent is OK if you have money. Anyway, this teen stole beer from a Walmart, got drunk and plowed over four people, killing them. He was supposed to get a 10 year sentence, but the judge agreed that “affluenza” affected the boy and he did not know he was in the wrong.
He gets 10 years probation and a trip to a high-priced rehab center. A poor boy would have went to jail in a New York minute.
How sad. The story made me mad.
But then while we were typing Santa Letters or our newspaper I came across a letter that gave me hope that there is still good out there.
I will not mention the child by name or their school, so I’ll call the child CC. But their letter to Santa simply asked that every homeless kid and adult have a home and some food for Christmas. They did not ask for anything for themselves. Every kid wants something from Santa, but not CC. It almost made me cry. I hope CC had a great Christmas.
In this big world, with a new year upon us, let us strive to be like CC and put the good of our neighbors first. I believe it is what God and His son wanted.
I’m just saying . . .