The Meteor welcomed a new reporter a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve lost count on how many times she’s been asked why on earth she would move from Chicago to Madisonville, Texas. It does seem like an unusual move for someone who has no immediate family in the area and who had a great career working for CBS Sports in a big city.
But this community is unique and special – even though our new reporter may not have known that when she accepted the job.
Just look around at how many events bring together people of all races and economic backgrounds. We hold prayer vigils on the town square. We shake hands or give hugs when we run into acquaintances at the store. We all go to the volleyball games and football games on Friday nights. Everyone in town is planning to hit up the Mushroom Festival on Oct. 22 just so we can show off how great our town is.
It was very moving to see the large crowd at last week’s National Night Out event. While riots and violence and racial unrest go on in other parts of the country, our police chief says he wants Madison County to be known as a county of friendship.
I’m proud that the community where I work is diverse and its people are good to one another. Sure there’s some crime and some poverty and some people who have no interest in lending a helping hand to a neighbor – but that’s the exception here, not the rule.
Megan, our new reporter, was shocked when she went to a football game with me a couple of weeks ago and saw that I left my purse on the sidelines while wandering around taking pictures. I do things like that all the time, without even thinking about it. I feel safe in this community, and I feel like the people I work with on a regular basis are my friends.
That’s what’s so great about this community. We take care of each other. I know that there are people who have canceled their subscriptions because they didn’t like something we published, and there are people who think we should do a better job of representing the junior varsity and freshmen sports teams. Some think we cover too much of North Zulch and should focus more on Madisonville. And just as many think the exact opposite. We’re certainly not perfect and we do the best we can with an extremely small staff.
But even though we could always be better, I don’t believe I’ve ever been treated with disrespect in Madison County. In fact, I think it’s a pretty great place, and its residents should consider themselves fortunate.
April Towery is the editor of The Meteor. She can be reached at (936) 348-3505 or firstname.lastname@example.org