by Jay Lawson
Last week, The Weekly received a letter from an anonymous writer suggesting that this paper include a Personals section among its Classifieds.
The writer said they saw this as an opportunity for some fun and interesting submissions.
Sounds good… But experience tells me these things only work if the readers—that means you folks reading this right now—accept your role and agree to participate.
So, I’m giving you an assignment, and I know you’ll come through…
First, what is a Personal ad? It’s any personal message that’s communicated publicly. It can be short, or it can be on the longer side.
The subject can be anything; there’s a lot of leeway here.
Personals tend to be little shout-outs. And since this is Thanksgiving, a season that to me continues onward through Christmas and into the New Year (when things tend to get a little more “self” oriented), I would like to encourage our readers to think in terms of thankfulness.
You can say anything you want, but Anonymous’s desire was that we create a Personals section that is continual and does not fizzle.
Therefore, rejuvenation is vital. That means you readers will have to monitor your good fortune regularly, taking note of those who have contributed toward it.
And you need to acknowledge your appreciation. Again, a quick note is fine.
There’s always someone to thank, and often we go without doing so fully.
I think this was Anonymous’s point. People often touch us in nice, positive ways, yet we fail to let them know. We let the moment slip, and it never comes back around. People come and go without ever knowing what they’ve meant to us.
So, think of someone who has made an impression on you. Think of someone who has blessed you. Think of someone you can’t live without. Think of someone who has made today a better day for you—or someone who has made a better day for someone you care about.
Maybe that happens to be a friend, a parent, a spouse, a teacher, an employee, a boss.
Maybe it’s your child, your sister, your brother, an ambulance driver, a retail clerk, a trash collector.
I’m counting on you, my friends who are reading this right now, to get this project started and keep it going through the holiday season.
When I think of the people who have affected me most, one of the first that comes to mind is Mr. Allen Stripp.
Those with encyclopedic memories know I’ve spoken of him in the past.
Al Stripp was a big influence. He was my art teacher for five years at the Town of Webb school. As a teacher, back then, he was just a great and decent man. He was passionate. He had a tremendous zest for life and a tremendous love for the people around him. He was community minded, he was idealistic, he was hard working and energetic. He knew how to laugh, yet his anger had an impeccable timing that was also admirable. Over my decades, I’ve learned, as we all do, that people come and go; yet people like Al Stripp stay constant. They accompany you through life, even when it’s been years since your daily encounters in their classroom. So, thank you, Mr. Stripp. To me and many others—art students and soccer players, especially—you are one of the great ones.
If anyone out there would like to thank someone or send a special message, you can email it to WeeklyADK@
yahoo.com. Your message doesn’t have to be as long as mine, if you would rather; a simple thanks is fine. You can sign your name or not. You can also mail your personals to P.O. Box 553, Old Forge, NY 13420. Or you can slide a note in our physical door at our physical address: 2982 State Route 28 (three houses south of the Old Forge Post Office).
There is no charge and, in keeping with Anonymous’s suggestion, these will be published as “one week, then done” flashes of appreciation. Hopefully the stream will flow continually, even if it trickles, and we can keep the messages fresh.
Anyway, I invite everyone to join the project. Otherwise I will have to bludgeon you with more of my own acknowledgements, and that will get old real quick. I’ll make sure of that.