I had a friend ask me the other day if I still considered her to be one of my six regular readers and I answered, “Well, of course!” She is a faithful follower of this column and I know that I can always count on her to begin at the top and follow it all the way to my signature at the bottom. She thought I might be upset about a discussion we had late in the summer, but that was not the case.
She is one of my favorite community grandmas and I can’t imagine that she could ever say anything that would make me unhappy. I am glad she reads me every week. She is one of the reasons I make the effort. I think she would be disappointed if I decided to skip a column or two and she would be quick to tell me so.
On the other hand, in the past week I mentioned I was busy typing the “How to Bake a Turkey” letters to several people who asked how my week was going. I heard from two of them that they never read “that stuff” and they thought it was a waste of space when we could be printing some “real” news.
Oh my. That was a bit of a bummer! Both were people I thought really cared about things that go on in the community that make it our community — including the activities in our primary grades. The Thanksgiving recipes are part of a tradition that has been included in the hometown paper for quite some time. We are pleased to be able to continue the tradition.
People actually say things like that with some frequency. My first instinct is to tell them to move on and read something else. In fact, I believe I have said that right here in response to similar comments from time to time. However, that is usually when I think they will take exception to my opinion, not when we include student endeavors in our pages.
The turkey recipes printed this week are from the youngest of our district students, pre-school to third grade. With all the earnest effort that children of that age exhibit when they are proud to be a part of something, these kids set out to do their best for this assignment. How could we not appreciate the end result? It seems that as time has moved on in my own life, I know fewer and fewer of our students. However, I admit that as I typed, I did laugh out loud at much of what they put down on paper for me.
What they learn and create in these early years will have a great deal to do with the adults they become. If we can bolster their creativity and give them a spot in the local newspaper perhaps their sense of community and accomplishment will serve all of us well in the future. Many years ago on the front page, we printed a picture I took of a young girl in vintage clothing standing on the running board of an old Ford parked downtown. When I asked her later if she saw the paper her face broke into a big grin and she said, “Yes, I did … and I feel SO famous!” Imagine that.
I hope you read what our youngsters wanted to share with you about cooking the Thanksgiving turkey. I hope you find some names you recognize, get a chuckle out of how they think the bird gets to the table, and I hope you realize that we do this, not for the news value, but for the community value. Please tell them you saw their recipe and you thought they did a great job.
For each of you who are bored by the recipes we published and who buy none of the reasons behind it, welcome — you have made your way onto the list of my six most notable curmudgeons.
— SUSAN MARSHALL