Guy Stuff-A community shines
By Kenny Mitchell
Last night was a monumental night for the City of New Boston. It was monumental not for the awards, or the meal, or the speakers, or even the prize drawings, but rather, it was a special night because of the overwhelming sense of pride and unity in a community.
It was a night that saw the New Boston Chamber of Commerce banquet fill the fellowship hall at First Baptist Church, for a diverse crowd of people to sit in a Baptist Church and listen to a Methodist preacher.
It was a night that saw businesses line the hallways before the banquet, all giving out freebies and taking names for prize giveaways, that had banks set up next to other banks, authors talking to other authors, and the newspaper from down the road taking pictures of our newspaper, all without any dissention, tension or apprehension.
It was a night where Black and White sat side by side without protest or strife, where the people next to you were just people, friends, colleagues and neighbors. It was colorblind.
And it was a night where while all of this was going on at the church, there was still a raucous crowd cheering on the hometown teams at the ballpark just down the road.
It was a night for community. And the community shined brightly.
It was the kind of night that makes me forever grateful to be doing what it is we do here at the Tribune, not because we were honored as Business of the Year, but because we were spending the evening with the folks that make this place click.
Imagine in your mind all of this going on, and then let’s add Tim Graham and his Troop 36 Scouts graciously and methodically serving dinner to all of the guests. Picture the balloons and other decorations that were painstakingly arranged by the volunteers like Darla Dike, Darla Faulkner, Nancy Satterfield and others. Let your taste buds water as you imagine the BBQ dinner that was prepared by Jackie Laney and others with the New Boston VFD. Trust me, it was good.
Then there were the awards.
Edna Walker was eloquent in her introduction of the New Boston Police Department as the recipient of the Doyle Corley Humanitarian Award. Rick Rothwell brought tears to the eyes as he spoke of the contributions to the community from Rosalie Oliver, this year’s Lloyd Wilson Outstanding Citizen Award. And finally, David Daniel, nearly made me speechless when he introduced the Tribune as the Business of the Year.
Through every minute of the night, I caught myself thinking about what a great place it is that we ply our trade. New Boston, the west end of Bowie County as a whole, really is a great place to call home. It is the kind of place where a community can find themselves sitting in a Baptist church listening to a Methodist preacher and hear Chamber President Sue Anderson poke fun at Tommy Earl Burton without any sense of negativity. It is a community where businesses help each other by supporting, promoting and holding each other up. It is the kind of place where Joe Dike walks in and hands you a handful of pens for Bizzlab, and then LeAnna Stephenson steps across the aisle and promotes that Bizzlab so Joe and Darla can go work in the kitchen.
That is just the way we roll here in our community and that is what makes it so special.
The Tribune has been a part of this community for a long time and we will be here for a long time more and as was said last night, it is our goal to not just be a newspaper, but to be YOUR newspaper, a member of the family, and an integral part of our community.
Thanks to the Chamber of Commerce for a special night, and thank you to everyone that made it special.
Finally, I want to thank the team here at 133 E.N. Front Street. Leanna Stephenson, Allyson Pebsworth, and Holli Wood (and our adopted member Pam Kumpe) are the real cogs in the engine that make it possible to do what we do. The paper you read every week…the news, sports, features and as David said “as much Jesus as we can” are all possible because of their devoted efforts and dedication. And on that note, “Thank you Jesus.”
In the photo, Rosalie Oliver accepts the Lloyd Wlson Outstanding Citizen Award from Rick Rothwell.