I spent several hours in Seneca Monday just visiting. I talked with several shop owners and somewhat to my surprise, I learned that their business was doing well. We have several new businesses which have filled a particular need and allowed people to shop locally instead of driving to one of the “Big Box” stores.
The older I get, the more I appreciate being able to shop locally instead of taking my life in my hands on one of the giant parking lots. Not to mention all the narrowed lanes and temporary stop lights that spring up over night. The encouraging thing is, that businesses can do well in this depressed economy by catering to specific needs. The other big secret is friendly, courteous people to help you find what you are looking for. I am blessed with small towns all over my district and the difference between a small town and the larger cities surrounding us is unbelievable.
We were at the Winterfest in Anderson on Saturday and they had a really nice parade. There were more than 60 entries and I wouldn’t venture to guess how many people were there to watch. The great weather surely helped make a record turnout. We were entry number 50 and by the time we got downtown the kids weren’t even fighting over the candy! Most of the businesses stayed open late and there was something for everyone to do. Marcus Pratt and his family rode on the truck with us and their kids threw about 20 pounds of candy alone! The down side to having a lot of small towns in my district is that I have four more parades before Christmas.
It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is already over. We have read and seen many great stories in the past week of people giving of their time and resources to help those who are less fortunate. It seems like this time of year brings out the best in us. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again; we are extremely fortunate to live here in Southwest Missouri.
Four years ago in 2008 when we had an F4 tornado destroy businesses and homes and take 14 lives, we saw immediate response from our neighbors, friends, and local governments. Within a few hours, hundreds of volunteers from neighboring communities showed up to help.
The same thing was true of the ice storms the following year. When the tornado hit Joplin, we again volunteered in unbelievable numbers to clean up the mess and help restore families to their homes. This “Volunteer Phenomena” has been the subject of wonder all around the world. What the heck? That’s what people are supposed to do isn’t it? There was so much squabbling in New Jersey over who was supposed to repair the electric lines that they still don’t have power. The thing we have going for us, is that we care about one another. Once in a while greed or jealousy rears its ugly head, but we come to our senses pretty quickly and work together to accomplish our goals.
Page 2 of 2 - Now for the last part of my sermon. We have all suffered together through one of the most expensive and divisive political campaigns in history. After everything has been said and done very little has changed in the balance of power. Maybe that’s a good thing. Historically, when we have been forced to do on a national level what we for the most part, do willingly in Southwest Missouri, work together for the common good, much has been accomplished. While our national parties become more fragmented with far left and far right segments, state governments appear to be working more closely. We have a big job in front of us this coming session with the speakers agenda being pointed toward economic development, energy, and education. Those three topics cover a lot of ground. I will be sending a survey out in January to get your opinions on some of these potential bills. Please take the time to let me know how you want me to proceed.
If you’ve never been to “The Journey To Bethlehem” at Racine Christian Church, it is being held on Thursday through Saturday nights. It is sure worthwhile to see it.
Until next time, I am and remain, in your service.
Bill Lant represents the people of Southwest Missouri in the Missouri House of Representatives. Contact him locally at 437-8223 or at his Jefferson City office at (573) 751-9801 or email him at email@example.com.