I haven't yet met the new manager of our local Kroger, but I hope he will be in the tradition of the previous ones, especially in community participation.
From the store's opening with a lady named Susan through several succeeding managers, Dawson County has been fortunate. Each one has been cooperative with various civic organizations, and it seems that the last one was the cream of the crop - or perhaps he was just here for a longer time.
At any rate, we owe John (Jay) Walker a resounding vote of thanks. I am sure that I cannot recount all the groups which he has not only aided, but even chaired.
But I personally have watched him work with United Way, Dawson County Chamber of Commerce, Relay for Life, Arts Council, RIC Rack, Humane Society and countless others.
Whenever Woman's Club, Lions or Rotary, Young Life, Historical Society, Community Chorale, NOA, READ, Wee Books, you name it - they needed special refreshments for a special occasion, Walker often came to the rescue, not only with food but his presence.
Many of us also felt his warm personal friendship. I remember his coming to the hospital with a floral arrangement during my husband's last weeks.
It is no wonder that we are so reluctant to see him go. We can only wish him well as he moves into a new position closer to his home and family. You go, Jay, with our extreme gratitude and blessings.
That is not to say that Jim Young at Ingle's and the management at Food Lion have not also been helpful in many ways.
Living as I do on the east side of the county, I am not so involved with Food Lion, but I know a little bit about their generosity. And over the years, I've joined with others in expressing appreciation to Jim Young and his staff for their consistent kindnesses.
Those of us who lived in Dawson County in the 80s and 90s have remained grateful that Ingle's came to be our first supermarket when no one else was interested. Also, I'm proud to call Jim my friend.
Ever since we welcomed Walmart's "big box" to our county, another good friend, Cecil Bennett, community relations person for that store, has been presenting checks to numerous non-profit groups in our community. For all those, too, we are grateful.
It is dangerous, I know, to attempt to praise and to thank individuals, because there are so many others.
For instance, for years we have depended upon local banks to underwrite all kinds of projects, as well as businesses for donations to non-profits. As one who has done a share of soliciting, I can vouch for the fact that they are greatly appreciated.
While I am on the subject of appreciation, may I reiterate my personal gratitude for all the thoughtful things that people have done for me during this "summer of my confinement."
Even now, though I am a bit more out and about with my walker, I'm dependent on much assistance.
A million thanks.
Helen Taylor's column appears periodically in the Dawson Community News.