A legacy worth celebrating

 

To the Editor:

My very good friend, Larry McDonald, went to be with the Lord Dec. 10.

In my mind, Jackson County lost a true treasure with his passing. He was not only a very good friend, but a mentor and life changer to me and many others. At a time when there are unfortunately few positive role models, Larry was one of the best. When he was in the room, his magnetic personality and great sense of humor drew people to him. He was quick to hug and tell you he loved you.

He was an influencer, and someone who made a difference. He truly loved and cared for people, and especially children. The harder, more challenging the child, the harder he tried to intentionally make a connection. He was a passionate professional who taught those of us who were so blessed to learn from him to be the same. We eagerly looked forward to his feedback to do better at “doing what’s best for kids” and running a positive kid-oriented physical education program. I run into former students who still have their Run for Fun ribbons. And, on the lighter side, still remember “the burn.”

“Mac” loved quotes. For example, “you cannot give what you do not have. To give it, you must have it first.” Or, “find a way that works, then find a way that works better.” There were many, many more.

All of us who knew him were influenced by him, and, as a result are all better people. Mac has four fine boys that he loved greatly and talked of them often. He never disparaged his wife, but always spoke lovingly and respectfully and appreciated her very much. He was so looking forward to being granddad, and I am so sorry he will not be here for that and they will not have that first hand love and influence. If anyone in Jackson County ever left a positive legacy, it was Larry McDonald, my very treasured friend.

Dennis Proffitt, Webster

 

Holidays a time to consider priorities

 

To the Editor:

Thinking and, hopefully, feeling the reality that there have been several hundred thousand tragic COVID-19 deaths due to the way many have decided to live brings back a memory of the beautiful poem, “Richard Cory,” written by Edward Arlington Robinson.

The poem depicts the issue that is prevalent in this world regarding the envy that many of us have of people who are materially rich. Everyone thought Richard Cory was a truly happy man until he went home one night and put a bullet in his head. Simon and Garfunkel wrote a song about Richard Cory. There are those in our society who spend more time wishing they were rich and never thinking about how much better off they are than some unfortunate people who are dirt poor and hungry on a daily basis.

What we need is to be there for those less fortunate and to stop focusing on ourselves and what we don’t have. Rather than being selfish, we need to give to the needy. That is what will bring us peace and joy. The holidays are times in which we all need to stop worrying about what we want but don’t really need and give to those who need food, clothing and shelter just to survive.

There is a quote that states “Some people are so poor, all they have is money.” It would be a good idea for us to fast from material things in order to truly be present and to understand what is absolutely necessary in sight.

Michael Gonzalez, Sylva