Another year has passed and as I change the “Volume Number” from 19 to 20 above, it seems incredible to me that I have been editor of this non-profit community newspaper for 12 years and that the paper itself is entering its 20th year of publication… and we’re thriving.
This past year brought two firsts: the Town Crier has an official office and office manager, and the Crier’s November issue expanded to 40 pages — out of necessity. I continue to be humbled and proud to be a part of it.
Our office is located at 1185F Charlotte Highway squeezed between Elena the Groomer and The Electric Guitar Shop in the old Magic Rocket Video storefront. Our office manager Candice Yount is on hand Monday–Friday, 1–5 pm to greet you with a smiling face and a genuine desire to be of assistance. She provides information about the newspaper, helps with advertising contracts, takes payments and donations, scans photos to go into the paper, collects food for Food For Fairview, sells cookbooks for the Hickory Nut Gorge Community Center and pecans for the Garren Creek Fire Department. You can even purchase any of the local art adorning the walls or pay your Fairview Business Association dues. We opened the office to expand our ability to provide service to the community and she has proven to be the perfect “face” for the Crier, always glad to greet an old friend or meet a new one. I hope you’ll stop by one day and say hello.
Recently, I was having an impromptu chat with my friend Susan Sides who is Executive Director of the Lord’s Acre, when she said something that really stuck with me. We were discussing the remarkable generosity of the people involved in bringing Christmas to one particular Fairview family (See “A Thank You to All Angels” on page 24). Susan noted how many times she had witnessed giving, unselfish behavior by residents. She had thought on the role the Lord’s Acre plays in our community and drew a similarity to the Town Crier. She summed it up this way:
“The Lord’s Acre and the Town Crier provide the opportunity for people to do good.” I knew she was right. People thank me all the time for “using” the Crier to help… find a lost dog, acknowledge an achievement, promote a fundraising event. I always think and say the same thing: “That’s our job.”
We are just a conduit that runs between those who can give and those who need. A bridge of sorts allowing people to reach the other side of whatever obstacle lies in front of them. Sometimes it’s personal, sometimes it’s just business, and many times it goes unseen.Yes, I agreed, we do bring opportunity.
As a logophile (lover of words) I was prompted to look up the meaning and synonyms of the word “opportunity.” The definition is: “an amount of time or a situation in which something can be done.” Yes, perfect. And for the synonyms? Well, see what you think:
convenience • event • excuse
freedom • hope • moment • space time • break • connection
contingency • cut • fitness • fling
fortuity • happening • hours
juncture • leisure • liberty
occasion • opening • pass
Yes, I realized, the Town Crier (and The Lord’s Acre, Food For Fairview, Angels of Fairview, and more…) are all conduits bringing the opportunity for people to do good to those who need help. And we have so many, many people in our readership community who jump in to help in little and big ways that it never ceases to astound me. And so many who have at one time or another needed help generally are the first ones to offer help to another.
In this day of super fast pace, nano-second attention spans and overly-busy schedules, we may not always stop and realize how fortunate we all are to live in a community such as this. In one way or another, people watch out for each other. Even if they don’t know of the other’s existence, they are preparing to be of service. So as we enter this new year of 2015, I ask those of you who might be shy or more reserved to find some small way to participate in the giving. It will fill your heart to the brim and make you smile. And if you are at a point when you need help, please ask. Angels abound.
— With gratitude, Sandie Rhodes