Tonawanda News — It’s a saying that you see on bumper stickers, on coffee mugs, on those cheesy Facebook memes, ubiquitous this time of year in particular. The meaning, of course, is that the best things in life can’t be bought at Walmart. Pleasure at a job well done. The sight of a sunset. Good health. And family and friends and the people who muddle through life with us.
For all its cheesiness, of course, it’s true. (Usually, anyway. Sometimes I’m pretty darned grateful for things.)
I can tell you that what I’m most grateful for, this Thanksgiving, is people. My sons. My husband. My parents and brother and other family and all the friends I’ve somehow managed to accumulate throughout the years. As long as I have them ... I’m good.
It’s easy, working at a newspaper, to focus on the negative. A lot of the people who appear in these pages are in trouble, in the police blotter or in some sort of personal crisis. Or they’re national sports figures or politicians or people who have very little to do with the everyday lives of the average Western New Yorker.
But in my years at the Tonawanda News, especially the past 11 months or so of being back to reporting, I’ve met some amazing people. From the Men of Honor and Women of Distinction we profile every year to the teachers at local schools, to veterans taking the time to share their experiences with local children to business owners giving back to the community that supports them.
A few of them, just from the past week:
• People just keep saying that they don’t know how John White does it. White, of Tonawanda, has been running the annual Rockin’ with Santa for more than a decade, making sure that hundreds of Western New York children get something for Christmas, even when times are tough.