Can it really be Thanksgiving week?

I believe when you are older, time passes more quickly. I have yet to think about Christmas and most people probably have their shopping well underway.

I have been fortunate this year to survive COVID-19 and travel to Montana to knock down one of my bucket list items. It seems just as old age begins to catch up with me I suddenly have many more things to accomplish.

Every Thanksgiving week I try to use this precious newspaper space to give thanks for things in my life and people who have been a blessing to me. So, if you will indulge me, allow me to give thanks today.

• Good doctors who have made a scary year much easier on me deserve great thanks. That would be Dr. David Klein, Dr. Usha Nandigam and Dr. Bala Nandigam. I trust all three with my life.

• I give thanks that throughout the pandemic and the layoffs and closing of businesses that The Daily Sun and Adams Publishing Group stayed on an even keel and everyone here kept their job and continued working.

• I am thankful for the leaders in our community. I know that sounds a little hokey, but when I read about other counties and cities and compare them to county commissioners in Charlotte and Sarasota counties and North Port commissioners and Punta Gorda City Council members, I feel we are fortunate. That doesn’t mean they are perfect, or that they get a pass if I don’t agree with them.

• I am thankful we had no direct hits from tropical storms or hurricanes this year.

• Let me give thanks that my automobiles have been performing well (knock on wood) since my long-time auto mechanic Boris Kaplan decided to call it quits and retire. I am still peeved at Boris for not giving me warning I was about to lose the most honest mechanic who ever raised a hood. C’mon Boris, we’re the same age, and I’m going to work every day.

• I am thankful for my family and especially my four grandchildren, three of whom I don’t get to see nearly enough. But my newest, 2-year-old Carden, brings joy to my life every day when he grabs my hand and pulls me to the play room to crash some monster trucks.

• Working every day with the people at The Daily Sun who I see work so hard and try their very best to bring a balanced, accurate news report to the public makes me very thankful, yet disappointed there are critics who don’t realize how tough their job is.

• I’m thankful I don’t have the power to fire football coaches in college and the NFL or there may be a couple of them unemployed right now. I won’t mention any names.

• I’m thankful for Liz and Dan and the folks at Abbe’s who work late at night and through staffing problems to keep making those sweet doughnuts that I eat way too much of.

• I will forever be indebted to Sandy Dameron and her husband for the great care they give our two dogs when we have to go out of town.

• My neighbor, Curtis, is a source of inspiration for me when I see his devotion to his father and his love for all people.

• I am thankful for my pastor, Garry Clark, for knocking sense into me whenever I get off track.

• I give thanks for my wife, Debra, who I often disagree with and later realize she was right (most of the time anyway).

• Finally, I am thankful for all the folks who read this column and our newspaper, even if we ruffle your feathers once in a while.

John Hackworth is the Pulitzer Prize-winning commentary editor for The Daily Sun. He can be reached at John.Hackworth@YourSun.com.


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