The change of seasons means more activities to attend, which means I have had the opportunity to meet more people. I enjoy this, because I'm finding that Thomson-McDuffie folks are just pleasant people with the best sense of humor and the biggest hearts.
In the past few weeks I've received so much help from the different members of the staffulty at Thomson High School, many of whom I don't even know their names. One thing is obvious, the staff like their jobs, and will go to great lengths to encourage and better the students. Going into the art and drama classes to interview teachers and students was an adventure all in itself. I was so distracted by the cool stuff hanging on the walls, that I had a hard time conducting my interviews. Talent is obviously "the norm" with the students there. They are all to be commended.
Attending the Veterans Canteen at the library on Veterans Day gave me a renewed appreciation for the freedoms I have. Hearing Vets tell their stories has always been a favorite past time of mine, and Friday was no exception. No history book studied in school accurately portrays the sacrifices that have been made for liberty. I have Veterans of WWII in my family who are very dear to my heart, and it saddens me how quickly they are aging, and how their stories are "fading" as their voices and memories weaken. I lost a cousin, who was also a good friend, to after-effects from Desert Storm. Saturday night, at the Fire Fighters Recognition and Awards Banquet, Chief Bruce Tanner stated that "Every day should be Veterans Day." I agree with him.
At the Retired Educators meeting, and later at the Norris Elementary DARE graduation ceremony, I met Deputy Barry Whitfield with the county Sheriff's Department. Deputy Whitfield also enjoys his job. Deputy Whitfield works to keep seniors from being victims of identity theft. At the other end of the scale, he trains and challenges young people to stay away from bad choices that will keep them from succeeding in life, including drugs and alcohol consumption. His dedication and willingness to "go the extra mile" was evident at both events, although I think the young kids got to see a lot more enthusiasm and energy.
Finally, I couldn't mention people being dedicated to their jobs without speaking of my own co-workers. Each one here at The Mirror goes far beyond the call of duty, not just for the newspaper, but for their fellow man. I think it's the secret to our success. I know it's the secret to the harmony here at the office. Congratulations to our editor, Jason Smith, on his promotion to publisher. I expect you'll continue to see good things happening with The Mirror and within the community as a result.