As I try and settle down to write this weekly column, my mind is racing from one topic to another. So, I will just start and see where it goes probably a variety of avenues.
First, lets keep the families of the Connecticut shooting in our thoughts and prayers. How unfortunate something of that magnitude could happen in America. We often think we are exempt from such behavior and yet it could happen right here.
I have been around several hundred people from the time it happened until writing this column. I attended two Christmas parties, a wedding, reception and church.
It seemed that everything in my life was overshadowing the tragedy. Not that I could do anything about it by thinking on it. But I wondered if thats not typical of much of our world today, especially here in December.
At Erwin Presbyterian Church it was part of the service Sunday. As mention of the tragedy was made, a candle was lit at the front of the church in memory of those lost and a prayer was said on behalf of the remaining family members.
On another note, I was amazed this week when I was asked if we were part of the Elizabethton Star. Apparently a letter had been sent out to Unicoi County businesses saying that a certain person was now their advertising representative for Unicoi County and that the Star was expanding into our community. The one asking me was curious as to whether we were once more becoming a town with two newspapers. The answer is No.
This was just an advertising ploy to try and lure some revenue to the Star. I truly believe in advertising, but I certainly wouldnt recommend our local businesses to try and draw sales from Elizabethton by advertising there.
It is pretty obvious that if Carter Countians needed something they would more than likely go to Johnson City to purchase it. As for starting another newspaper here well that was tried once before.
If you disagree with the way I handle something, I am more than willing for you to come and talk to me and see if we can work it out. Dont waste your money on starting up a newspaper. It is slim profits at best.
We try to represent Unicoi County to the best of our ability and work patiently with our advertisers to get the message out they desire. Donna Rea has been our advertising representative for years and is always willing to assist.
As I mentioned at first, Christmas is quickly approaching. What I didnt mention is that I havent bought one gift well at least not one for family or friends.
I did help earlier with the Kiwanis Christmas Shopping Tour, which is a magical experience in itself. I also bought gifts for a child through the Unicoi County Rotary Club. A party was held Saturday at the Clinchfield Senior Adult Center complete with a magician, snacks, a visit from Santa and gifts.
For me the joy of Christmas is seeing a needy childs eyes as they open gifts they could only dream of. Most of us are blessed way beyond our needs. I dont have want for much. I have more clothes than I cold wear in a season, a warm home and plenty to eat. Usually if I do want something, I get it. I honestly cant think of extras right now to ask for because its Christmas.
I enjoy people and feel so very blessed to have friends. My social calendar has been overflowing this year and I have loved every minute of it. For me special moments and time with friends is the most precious gift I could receive. I think maybe it is because life stays so busy anymore that we really dont take that time as often as we should.
One thing I truly enjoyed this weekend was attending the wedding of my cousin Jessica Guinn Williams. I am known as Uncle Keith to my cousin Karen Guinns and cousin Brad Hughes children. It is a heartwarming tribute to the closeness we shared.
My cousin Karen, as well as other family members and friends, had spent hours upon hours working out every small detail and piecing together what would become a glorious wedding Saturday.
Jessica met Adam Williams about a year ago and, I must say, she couldnt have found anyone better. The two light up when they are around each other and have both reached out to embrace me not only as a family member but a friend. We dont choose our family but we do get to pick our friends. I am thankful they both seem to want time with me.
The ceremony was a mix of beauty, happiness and tears. When I watched Adam and Jessica, I was sure to see tears of joy and that brought my emotional level up as well. I had to try and focus on the children of the wedding party who were wondering around the stage and picking up the previously dropped flower petals.
A reception followed with a full meal, music, dancing and much celebration. I wish them the best and will require regular visits to see Uncle Keith.
I wish for the devoted readers of The Erwin Record and this column a great week ahead as you finish shopping, enjoy get togethers and reflect on the amazement of this season. Dont forget to remember the reason for the season and to count the many blessings you have. Things can change so fast, just as they did for families in Connecticut.
From The Publisher's Desk
By: Keith Whitson