A letter in last week’s Herald listed those who assisted with the annual Veterans Dinner. but inadvertently overlooked Sylva Rotary Club members who provided invaluable assistance with the meal.


Thanks to the givers this Thanksgiving 

To the Editor:

As I walk the streets of Sylva, I am reminded of my own life in the past when, as a child, I walked the streets of Ybor City in Tampa, Fla. They were moments of peace, love and joy.

As someone who has lived in a cultural environment that entailed speaking a different language, it has been important for me to understand how to relate to a culture that is significantly different from my own. One thing that has made that possible is that, in my home, discrimination against race, gender or beliefs was not approved of by my parents. They taught me that there was no reason not to get along with everyone and to be kind to one another.

I live in a neighborhood in Sylva that is absolutely wonderful and beautiful, primarily due to the kindness and affection that my neighbors have displayed toward my family and myself. Living on the side of the road in Sylva has reminded me of the unique and humanistic poem by Sam Walter Foss, “The House by the Side of the Road” in which the astute poet tells us...

“I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead,

And the mountains of wearisome height;

That the road passes on through the long afternoon

And stretches away to the night.

And still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice

And weep with the strangers that moan,

Nor live in my house by the side of the road

Like a man who lives alone.”

We all need to remember to thank those who are in our lives for giving of themselves to others. They are a reminder to extend kindness and respect to everyone. I am certainly thankful for those caring people who have been present for my family and myself. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Michael Gonzalez, Sylva


It’s about celebrating what we have today

To the Editor:

A friend had written suggesting dates for a meeting for a committee I’m on. I wrote her back that it was not a problem for me, as I’m alone, but the dates she suggested were Thanksgiving week Wednesday-Friday. I reminded her how busy people would be even on Wednesday and Friday. I suggested that maybe she forgot because she was also alone and I invited her to come over for a meal.

She replied adding to the post to the group saying that while it was nice to be invited, she did not celebrate “Thanks-taking” Day. I knew she was Native American and that’s how she saw the day. I understood as I’ve referred to Christopher Columbus Day as Indigenous People’s Day for years because of similar sentiment. But that got me thinking.

How do I see Thanksgiving? I don’t see the need to rename it like I did Christopher Columbus Day. But why? I come from a very dysfunctional family and every day was crazy to some extent. But not Thanksgiving and not Christmas. For some reason, my messed up family was able to be nice to each other and work together to have a happy, celebratory day.

I don’t think it took any extra effort, but just happened naturally. Thanksgiving is for families to get together in love, peace and happiness. And even my family was able to do this. Be grateful if you have family. If you don’t, then invite people over. I used to do that, when I had a bigger place and there was no COVID-19 to be concerned about. It really has nothing to do with what was happening a few centuries ago. It’s about celebrating what you have today.

Connie Conklin, Whittier