Heading into a new year makes many of us look back — and pray forward.
These columns get cobbled together two weeks before appearing in your mitts or onscreen. So I’m writing just after the horrific Connecticut school shootings.
By now — along with your holiday sugarplums — you have digested many a word from wiser heads than mine.
So all I will say is that right now I simply want to pull the blankets over my head.
And to think back on some of this year’s good things — things that show we are In Community with each other:
* Greater Salem rallied in Sept. to support a GREAT multi-band benefit for Kim Wimmer — the former schoolteacher struggling with a particularly awful form of multiple sclerosis.
Hundreds and hundreds of folks of all ages mingled and danced for hours at East Main Street’s Moose Lodge. There was also a bake sale, 50-50 and auction. (An earlier golf outing scored very well too.)
Hugs and grins abounded — and some tears over Kim’s wish that she could still dance.
So, good on ya again, good-hearted volunteers and supporters. (But wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to hold bake sales to support our kids and stricken loved ones?)
* This marks the freakin’ 50th time I’ll wish Glenvar raconteur Jimmy Gladden a Happy New Year.
Who knew that we — or any of us — would last this long after our lively Andrew Lewis High School days? Yikes!
So, a word about the Salem Museum’s excellent event celebrating his late grandmother Texas Gladden. She and brother Hobart Smith were famous Appalachian folksingers / musicians.
The museum hosted a darned cool event this fall when writer Steven Wade brought his new book, “The Beautiful Music All Around Us” (U. of Illinois Press, 475 pages of excellence, CD included, for sale at the Museum). He read passages, told cool stories and with Lexington musicians James Leva and daughter Vivian Leva performed some very old songs.
Wade was clearly thrilled to renew acquaintance with Texas’ grandkids Joe and Jerry — and a whole mess-o’-Gladdens. (Texas was also “Granny” to The Roanoke Times’ former movie reviewer Chris Gladden.)
Such fine events and exhibits prove how well the museum continues to help us sort out / celebrate our community – and with cookies too! Salem Museum, 801 E. Main St., (540) 389-6760.
* Churches will again hold A Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Jan. 20-26. This is a great way to visit other faith traditions right here in town. Services are short, and hey, prayer can’t hurt. (Schedule to be announced.)
* Meanwhile, I’m taking a two-week break to pull blankets over my head — surfacing for the occasional sugarplum and grandkids’ hugs.
Dare to dream: Happy New Year!
Note: you can view photos from the benefit for Kim Wimmer in the slideshow above, or in a gallery with captions here.