|Mayor Bill Jenks, III|
Without trying to sound like a worn out record, is it me, or does it just seem like the holiday season continues to come around the bend at a rate of speed that just doesn’t seem to fit the pace of life we wish existed, or maybe at one time did and no longer does? Maybe it’s all the access to news outlets, all the natural disasters that keep us glued to the television, the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, and other digital devices that tell us sometimes months, if not a year in advance, that we need to put an event, holiday or activity on our calendar, or maybe we are just all leading very busy, hectic lives, that make the time seem like its flying by? Part of the dilemma may be that society continues to live in a fast-forward mode of operating, never really slowing down to catch our breaths – celebrating another holiday before we even celebrate and enjoy the one before it.
Regardless of how the pace of life and the arrival and departure of the holidays may appear to you, I sincerely wish that all our residents and visitors will have an opportunity at least for a day or two, if not a long weekend, to celebrate Thanksgiving with family, friends and loved ones. Rolla is a fairly close-knit community where folks tend to look out for one another, and it is my hope that we are all doing our part to help, in any small or large way, to make the holidays a little brighter and memorable for our family members, neighbors and friends. For those of you who will be preparing and distributing Thanksgiving meals to those who don’t have the means to celebrate the holidays, your service and contribution to our citizens are most appreciated. For those who are taking a banana bread or tray of home-baked cookies to one of your neighbors or friends across town, sending a Thanksgiving Day card of cheer, or simply acknowledging that Thanksgiving has arrived, special thanks goes out to you as well. Our community has grown welcoming and friendly by all the generous individuals who live here, and go the extra mile to ensure others are enjoying the same creature comforts and sense of belonging that we can easily take for granted.
And while some may be inclined to think or say our standard of living could be better, the economy could be more robust, the unemployment rate and inflation rate lower, and the Dow Jones average a little higher, we need only to see and read about the incredible hardships that folks living along the Eastern Seaboard, who were impacted by the ravages caused by Hurricane Sandy, are still going without power, food, clothes, and a warm place to sleep and live. A great deal of humanitarian relief and aide has begun to pour into this region, but it will take several billions of dollars for this hard-hit area to rebuild the communities that have been so badly impacted by the hurricane. One of the easiest and most direct ways to help these folks out is to donate to the American Red Cross, which is one of the largest relief organizations in the world. There are certainly countless ways to show our support for those impacted by Hurricane Sandy, but keeping them in our thoughts throughout the holidays would certainly seem to be the very least we can all do.
I would also like to again mention the thousands of U.S. service men and women, serving in areas across the country, and overseas who allow us all the opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving and the holidays in the peace and comfort of our own homes. So if it’s possible to send them a card, an e-mail or text message this Thanksgiving, I’m sure it would again mean the world to them as well. After all if anyone truly deserves to be recognized and thanked during the season of thanksgiving, it is the members of the U.S. military and their families who sacrifice so much for our freedoms.
In closing, please remember that Rolla City Hall will be closed for the Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday, Nov. 22 and Friday, Nov. 22. The Environmental Services Department also will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 22 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. Thursday’s trash, recycling and yard waste will be picked up on Wednesday. There will be no special pick-ups on Wednesday, Nov. 21. Friday’s collection will not be affected. If you have any questions, please call the Environmental Services Department at 364-6693. The Centre, Rolla’s Health and Recreation complex, (located at 1200 North Holloway Street), will also be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, and will be open the following day on Friday, Nov. 23 from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
I hope you have a safe and memorable Thanksgiving holiday!