As we start to close out another year together my thoughts are looking ahead, and not so much behind us.
It has been a mixed year of good and bad, and for a change they were about even. As my late friend Harry G. Wright told me many years ago, if you can finish a day, week, month, or year with as many good things happening to you as bad, count that as a blessing. If at the end of life 51-percent of things went right, you have lived a good life.
I now realize what Harry was talking about more each day. This year brought heartache, because of many close family members and friends leaving us until another time and place. I saw the greed gene at it’s worst this year, when businesses opened for Thanksgiving — stores that had been closed in years past — so families couldn’t be together to give thanks. I saw our people suffer through lean times in the coal industry and being so misguided as to the reason. It has always been boom or bust; now it’s the time for bust, and it’s not because of who happens to be President.
We enjoyed our hunts together to Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio, and of course here in the Commonwealth. We saw a dream come as the reports came pouring in about all the children and women who were out hunting. They are our future.
Now I would like you to allow me a little time here to share something with you. This will be my last year as the “Big Jolly Man in the Red Suit.” The fun I have had cannot be told. The smiles, the hugs, and the looks from the children will be missed, but it is time to move on. Most people in Letcher County and the surrounding area cannot recall another Santa. That is how long I’ve been around.
I will meet with you again in Struttin’ Time in January. Until then, thanks for your support.