As we begin this new year together, we often reflect on all we've been blessed to enjoy in 2013, and - more or less - seek to do better in 2014 at taking care of ourselves and of each other. One thing we could all do better is to take stock in what makes the Brazos Valley one of the best areas in Texas. I've often said that we are all un-appreciated in our home land. After all, there is something better in Houston, or even in Austin, and better "something" in Dallas and the metroplex, right?
I got some advice many years ago from a wise counselor who said "what you think about, you bring about." So this year, if we can seek to lift each other up instead of spending our time tearing down, what might that do for our overall attitude - and - for economic growth in the area?
I'll start with a comment that almost seems, well - commercial. Like a few hundred thousand others, my family and I spent a truly delightful evening at Santa's Wonderland. In my opinion - that - may be one of this area's greatest treasures. I know, I sound like a real "homer" here. But the night we went, I was amazed at their expansion in just the past two years. Even more amazed at the crowd on the day after Christmas. Make no mistake, the economy of the Brazos Valley is benefiting from Santa's Wonderland. I don't know what the final head count will be for this holiday season, but it is HUGE. So - to the people involved in Santa's Wonderland - the few who decided to "roll a dice and see if this whole Christmas light thing works" - thank you - and congratulations on a job well done.
Here's the interesting thing about comments from locals. We always hear things in grocery store lines. Heck, I've heard KBTX comments in the line before. Recently, overheard:
"Have you been to Santa's Wonderland yet?"
Response: "No, and to tell you the truth, you can't pay me enough to go to that. Have you seen the lines? "
"Oh, and I hear it isn't much different than before, not worth it. I don't know who those people are who are wasting their money to see that!"
Well - on the hayride trailer with me were mostly people from - Houston! Some visiting from Pennsylvania; in conversations taking place in the new store there - people from Kingwood and longhorns from Austin. Funny to me - the grass is greener in Bryan-College Station to those who can't wait to get out of the ratrace of the bigger metropolitan areas.
So - this year - take stock in what you HAVE - uplift it, promote it, and let's continue this rapid growth process together. Life is too short to attack.
A quick, KBTX note regarding a personnel situation. Many have written and comments have been sent asking about Barbara Smith, co-anchor and host of Brazos Valley This Morning.
S-B sent one of those notes:
"Have I missed something thru the holidays? Did Barbara retire? I pray she is well? She has raised more kids than any parent being the early anchor. I would like her to know we'll miss her! Can I email her?"
Barbara came to me a little over a month ago and said she would like to spend more time with her kids. She and Josh have two boys and like all of us with children, the years fly by. Josh is in business for himself and Barbara has the chance to work with him as part of the family business. Barbara and I anchored Brazos Valley This Morning together for many years and she has had the role of "mom" to many a co-anchor and meteorologist - none more challenging than Roger Barry, I can assure you. But I digress.
Barbara will continue to fill-in on various newscasts as needed, even on BVTM from time to time, and will assist in heading up special projects. We are proud she will remain part of the KBTX family and certainly are supportive of her efforts to spend more time with those boys. Her e-mail address will remain active at KBTX. Feel free to drop her a note at "email@example.com."
Happy New Year, thank you for being part of this KBTX family. Your opinion always matters. Be in touch anytime.