Kudos and Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I'm catching up on some kudos to recent area recognitions and achievements.

1: To Coach Tony Samuel, his coaching staff and team for winning the Ohio Valley Conference football championship -- especially for his personal demeanor and consistency in handling victories and defeats. Now on to Eastern Washington for the playoffs.

2: To Sen. Kit Bond for receiving the Missouri Chamber Man in the Arena Award, one of many tributes to this Missouri public servant of more than 40 years who is nationally recognized.

In 1969 Bond became an assistant attorney general under former senator Jack Danforth. He served as state auditor. At age 33, he became the youngest Missouri governor and served two terms. Since 1986 he has served as Missouri's U.S. Senator.

3: Kudos also to Saint Francis Medical Center CEO Steve Bjelich, who was recently recognized by the Missouri Hospital Association for his innovative leadership in the medical field, and I would observe his aggressive growth in service, procedures and facilities at Saint Francis. Steve is a former All-American track star at Indiana and carries his aggressive, friendly attitude into his participation in many of Cape Girardeau's community activities. We benefit from his selection to head up one of Cape Girardeau's largest employers and economic facilities.

4: Congratulations also to Dennis Vinson, company president and CEO of Signature Packaging, an 80,000-square-foot facility in Cape Girardeau County that last week received the State Chamber Fast Track Award. Vinson founded Signature Packaging in 2003 and moved his company to this area to better serve Procter & Gamble.

5: I've been slow to recognize my friend, KFVS12 television personality and general manager Mike Smythe for his much-deserved recent Emmy Award for his public opinion program, "Viewpoint." This segment features commentary on local and national issues.

Mike has been quite humble (for him) about this recognition. He's been a welcome addition to the media arena and has partnered with the Southeast Missourian on numerous community events. His "Viewpoint" segment also was an Emmy finalist in 2003 and 2004.

6: Mayor Harry Rediger, who has handled numerous issues professionally since succeeding former mayor (and still an active member of the community) Jay Knudtson. Along with chickens, noise complaints, peripheral zoning and non-smoking issues, the Cape Girardeau City Council under Rediger's leadership has addressed Cape Girardeau's infrastructure, the gaming vote (which is still awaiting the state gaming commission's decision), the new waste pickup system (which has worked amazingly well) and various other growth issues still "hot on the burner."

7: The recent history lecture sponsored by Stan and Debbie Crader packed Rose Theatre at Southeast Missouri State University. It was a wonderful evening, with more to come thanks to the Crader's financial sponsorship. Stan is currently autographing his latest book, "Paper Boy," which follows up his successful first book, "The Bridge."

Stan is better known to me as a pilot, photographer, SEMO Foundation officer and CEO of Crader Distributing Company, a Stihl equipment distributor.

This area is blessed with strong leadership that makes it a delight to have positive news on which to report ... and I'm thankful for that.

The Real Story of Thanksgiving

By Benjamin Franklin

There is a tradition that in the planting of New England, the first settlers met with many difficulties and hardships, as is generally the case when civilized people attempt to establish themselves in a wilderness country. Being so piously disposed, they sought relief from heaven by laying their wants and distresses before the Lord in frequent set days of fasting and prayer.

Constant meditation and discourse on these subjects kept their minds gloomy and discontented, and like the children of Israel, there were many disposed to return to Egypt, which persecution had induced them to abandon.

At length, when it was proposed in the Assembly to proclaim another fast, a farmer of plain sense rose and remarked that the inconveniences they suffered, and concerning which they had so often wearied heaven with their complaints, were not so great as they might have expected, and were diminishing every day as the colony strengthened; that the earth began to reward their labor and furnish liberally for their subsistence; that their seas and rivers were full of fish, the air sweet, the climate healthy, and above all, they were in the full enjoyment of liberty, civil and religious.

He therefore thought that reflecting and conversing on these subjects would be more comfortable and lead more to make them contented with their situation; and that it would be more becoming the gratitude they owed to the divine being, if instead of a fast they should proclaim a thanksgiving.

His advice was taken, and from that day to this, they have in every year observed circumstances of public felicity sufficient to furnish employment for a Thanksgiving Day, which is therefore constantly ordered and religiously observed.

-- Mark Skousen's financial newsletter

Gary Rust is chairman of Rust Communications.

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