Far be it for a newspaper editorial writer to put on rose-colored glasses and declare all is well. But when you survey the landscape across Pickens County, any reasonable person would come to the conclusion that we’re mostly doing things right. Sure, the county has too many kids living below the poverty line and a few too many adults self-medicating with meth or opioids - We’re not immune from the societal ills that plague modern America.
But if you start a pro’s and con’s list, the advantages far outweigh the drawbacks. Right off the bat, consider that you are generally safe and secure in our small town environment. Stranger-on-stranger violent crime is practically non-existent in our newspaper in the past year.
When our police officers can spend a good bit of time handling geese problems at the park and take time to respond to calls about bears turning over garbage cans, you know we have crime more under control than most places.
You might also take note that we still have plenty of rural roads. Even though Main Street traffic is occasionally frustrating, it’s nothing compared to what happens in every metro county.
You might also peer out the window. Chances are you will see trees, maybe a mountain view, maybe a stream. Pickens’ mountains are not the grandest, nor our streams the biggest, but we certainly have more scenic beauty than a lot of places.
On top of all these basics here are a few things specific to the year thus far that deserve a nod.
• Football, more precisely the Dragons’ greatest season ever. There’s nothing that brings a town together like a great football season. So, many thanks to the 2018 PHS football team for an amazing year. Now that football season has wound down, fans can get out and support our PHS Dragons and Dragonettes basketball teams whose seasons are underway.
• And talking football, the Dawgs are in the hunt again this year. Though a different sport, we’d be remiss if we didn’t recall that the Braves were a pleasant surprise all season.
• Be thankful you have better things to do than spend time looking at a little screen seeing what other people are doing.
• Resources – whether its housing with Habitat for Humanity, food from CARES, funds or goods from the Thrift Store, books from the FERST Foundation or medical care from the Good Sam clinic, we’d wager than Pickens has more resources available per capita than anywhere in the world. People must ultimately solve their own problems but here you’ll find plenty of people stretching out a hand to assist.
• We are thankful for the people who showed up at this year’s Veteran’s Day service despite the torrential downpour and really cold weather. On a day when county offices and banks were closed and many were taking advantage of an extra day to sleep in and rest, we are grateful so many people came to show their respect for what our local veterans have done for us. Standing in the rain that day, we were reminded that thousands upon thousands of veterans of our armed services have served our country in rain-soaked, cold trenches and thousands more are keeping our nation safe this holiday.
• Laughter. Without laughter the world would be a sad place so thanks to groups like our very own Tater Patch Players for hosting improv nights and shows throughout the year that make us laugh - and sometimes cry.
• Employment - Drive around any place in Jasper and check out our classifieds. There is plenty of work for those who want it. And not just low-paying work. There are very good jobs in our little county.
• The new Golden Age of Television - whether streaming through our TV screens or old school broadcast, there is plenty to watch.
• Holidays - Any reason to celebrate is something we should be thankful for and November and December are chock full of time to be spent with family which is always a blessing.
Happy Thanksgiving from our staff