Ten years ago, when we created the City of West Park we had high hopes. We envisioned a City that would progressively get better. We wanted a place for people of all ages and backgrounds to come and live in a friendly and safe neighborhood. One decade later we can celebrate because what we envisioned as a community has come to be in many aspects. As we continue to move forward many plans are on the table that will make us proud of our City. We are constantly seeking ways and means that improves people’s quality of life in real ways.
This year our celebrations have included various activities to showcase what the City has accomplished over the past years. It has taken creative thinking and great dedication to create the city that we enjoy today. West Park is a perfect example of how the community, Mayor, commissioners, and staff came together to make what seemed impossible possible. It reminds me of the poem by Edgar Albert Guest which says in part:
Somebody said that it couldn’t be done, But, WE with a chuckle replied That “maybe it couldn’t,” but WE would be THOSE Who wouldn’t say so till WE’D tried. So WE buckled right in with the trace of a grin On OUR face. If WE worried WE hid it.
WE started to sing as WE tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and WE did it.
I trust that West Park looks as wonderful to you as it does to us as we close out this decade of progress. Hopefully, the only real difference at West Park is that our hopes and dreams have been replaced by fond memories of how we turned obstacles into opportunities. Thanks for your confidence in us as your elected officials and staff.
In closing, I’d like to wish you all a safe and happy holiday season as I leave you with this short word about the importance of family. The story is told of a man whose life was centered in his business. He lived alone and refused all invitations to socialize. His brother’s family had urged him to visit but the children always made too much noise. Besides, he didn’t want to buy presents for his nephews and nieces. Instead he bought some good records for himself and planned to listen to them and enjoy himself at home alone. On Christmas Eve after his employees left, the man went into the office vault to get a little extra cash.
Soundlessly on newly oiled hinges, the great door swung shut behind him. Sudden darkness and the final click of the automatic lock startled him and he panicked. Desperately he pounded on the door, but before long he realized that no one would hear him. Everyone had gone home and he was in the office alone. Even the cleaning woman had gone. He recalled hearing of people suffocating in vaults. He was frightened out of his wits. Maybe he could make it through the night if he was quiet and breathed slowly. In the morning the employees would arrive, open the vault and he would be fine.
Then he remembered that tomorrow was Christmas. The office was closed. Everyone would be at their homes. No work, no people, no luck! Rats! His heart pounded with fear and he wondered if he could get enough air to last two days. He calmed himself and tried to think. It was a new vault. It seems like the salesman said it has a safety feature of an air hole. He began feeling around in the darkness. All around and then up and down before he finally located a screened hole at the top. Too small for a thief but large enough for air. He sat on the cold floor of the vault and began his vigil of waiting for Christmas. Christmas Eve passed, Christmas Day passed.
He had wanted to be alone for Christmas but not this way. He was extremely uncomfortable, hungry and thirsty. He needed to use the toilet. The air was getting damp and cold. It was awful. The darkness was so intense it was almost brushing his face. The day after Christmas the chief cashier arrived and disengaged the automatic lock of the vault but did not open the door. Without anyone seeing him the man staggered out of the safe and made his way to the water cooler. He grabbed his coat and hailed a taxi and went home to his lonely residence. Later in the day he returned to the office. No one had missed him.
As he pondered his experience he decided to make a sign and place it beside the safe door. It was for all to read but it was a reminder to him. The words were: “To love people, to be needed somewhere, that is the purpose of life. That is the secret of happiness.” Although the man never married he had learned a valuable lesson about family and the need for one another. As you celebrate this holiday season enjoy yourself but remember the reason for the season and show the love to friends and family that God has shown to you.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL AND HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMANS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!