I know you’ve been waiting. Yearning. Patiently crafting your 5-7-5 syllable tributes to everything that’s right about the South Carolina State Fair. Carnies, corn dogs and cotton candy – let ’em fly, people. Need a little inspiration? Here are the 2012 haikus and 2011 haikus. Meet you at the rocket!
Being a teacher is a remarkable path. There are some teachers, however, whose footsteps echo very differently than many of their peers.
When I attended Crayton’s Beauty and the Beast show a few weeks ago, I was there to cheer on a friend. In truth, though, I was hoping the production would spark a little creative energy inside me. An exceptionally busy winter on every front had left me a quart low.
When you snuck that white envelope into my hands, I had no clue what was inside. I should’ve known. Coming from you, the contents had to be magical.
I don’t know how you knew I needed prayer bracelets that night, but I did. Very badly. I am so grateful you took time on one of your busiest nights of the year to give me such a meaningful and much-needed gift.
It goes without saying that you’re an exceptional teacher. The few years I watched you at Satchel Ford, I saw you excite, inspire and love students like few teachers I have seen in my life. But the other night showed me you’re more than simply a good teacher — you’re an amazing person.
Thank you for the gift you are in all of our lives — both young and old-ish.
Dear Jim and Kay,
When you founded Trustus Theater in 1985, I didn’t comprehend the magnitude of what you did. All these years later I see what the gift you’ve given.
You embraced risk willingly and went out on dangling limb by founding a unique theatre in what can safely be called a conservative community. You followed your dream and that risk has ensured season after season of fresh, thought-provoking theatre. You’ve given us laughter, tears, joy and music. You’ve given actors and playwrights untold opportunity.
Every production staged at Trustus gives us the chance to grow.
Today Columbia is experiencing a bit of a renaissance. I can’t help but think you two kickstarted that way back in 1985.
Thank you for your willingness to risk financial ruin. In doing so you enriched many, many lives for years to come.
The Thank You Project is a Wordsmith letter writing and blog project. I’m recognizing and thanking people who enrich my life and make my community an even better place to live. It was supposed to last a year, but good will shouldn’t have an expiration date.
Dear Beth and Mary Pat,
Thank you both for all you do to make our fun, funky little community such a warm and inviting neighborhood, too.
We are blessed to have two enthusiastic people who do so much to keep residents up to date and in the know. One (or oftentimes of both of you) can be relied upon to post pictures, send lemonade stand and garage sale coordinates, volunteer for anything needed, tweet upcoming events, search for wayward pets, cheer on the troops at Fort Jackson, attend community meetings and events, or let us know when trash or recycling pick-up is out of whack.
Your willing service and enthusiasm are gifts to this community and to all of your neighbors, too. It’s clear you both love Forest Acres and all the work you do on behalf of it inspires other to care about it even more.
There are very few people I can think of who contribute so much to their community so willingly and so well. Forest Acres, in fact, shines brighter because of the both of you.
I am proud and grateful to have you as neighbors and friends.
Dear Richland County Public Library,
How I’ve loved you for years. As a child, I remember my mother driving me across town to the Cooper Branch on Trenholm Road – back in its days as a portable. Sure, it was small, but there were clearly enough books to spark anyone’s imagination.
Things are so very different now.
Not only do we have branches all over town, the library as a whole offers far more than books and magazines. There are children’s activities, job-seeking assistance, a media library, classes and educational opportunities, community meeting rooms and enough fun, monthly activities you could fill your calendar. And, now instead of it being my mom and me, I am the mother driving my own two children there.
Each time we step into the giant revolving door of the Cooper Branch, the same thought crosses my mind. How lucky are we? We have such a well managed, enriching free resource available to every citizen in Richland County.
The library of my childhood was a place we went to borrow books.
The Richland County Public Library of today is an entrance to so much more: other worlds, learning, global communities, research, new ways of thinking and even stress-relieving relaxation. Even all this just scratches the surface.
I am so grateful to have enjoyed so much opportunity at the hands of the Richland County Public Library. You have broadened our county — and me — in so many ways. Thank you!
It’s that most wonderful time of the year (almost)! Fall means back to school early mornings, Gamecock football and the South Carolina State Fair! Continuing in the fine tradition of years gone by, that also means something else as delicious as an Elvis burger: fair haikus.
Have a visit to last year’s beautiful haikus and then post your own in the comments. Remember: Three lines. First line five syllables. Second line seven syllables. Third line five syllables.
Maybe you’ll win some fair tickets from me!
Some communities flounder without leaders. For years, you have ensured Five Points isn’t one of them. I decided yesterday that if anyone epitomized the heart and soul of Five Points it’s you.
I’ve always been a huge fan of Revente and have enjoyed shopping there for years. It’s great to have such a wonderful store with so much variety and gently used affordability. In fact, your store helped shape my new clothes shopping philosophy: there are already enough awesome clothes in the world.
Thinking back, I should’ve written this letter months ago when I saw the story about the Invest in a Vest fundraiser. It was you who saw the need, rallied the troops and made something happen. And, it was all in the name of community responsibility.
But earlier this week in the dreary rain, I was once again impressed by your generosity.
On Millwood Avenue with an hour spare, I finally popped into Revente’s Last Call for my first visit. Not only did I find two new-favorite designer tops, it was gratifying to know I was shopping at a store that benefits those in need. Your support of The Women’s Shelter gives me great reason to choose your store — one that few other stores can offer.
Part of my desire to shop there and at Revente, though, is you. Just as you support others, I want you to know how much I support you.
Thank you for your generosity and community spirit. We are a better city for both.
Dear Blue Sky,
I grew up in Columbia and always remember part of the mandatory out-of-town guest tour was driving by your Tunnelvision mural. It was the most original thing happening downtown back in those days.
Only recently have I realized how much you’ve done (and spent, I imagine) for decades to inject bold art into the humdrum of everyday life. From the Neverbust chain to the extinct Kawasakisaurus, you have gone where few artists tread. To me, that’s the most beautiful ground of all.
I find it funny that my children associate one thing with the hospital they were both born in and it has nothing to do with the hospital. It’s Busted Plug Plaza. Ask them where they were born and they’ll tell you quickly — by the giant fire hydrant.
When I take my oldest son to Satchel Ford Elementary School in a few days, we will walk by Man Escapes and it will make me stop in my tracks as it always does. How lucky are we to have such an exceptional piece of artwork in the beigeness that is a public elementary school hallway?
I really can’t think of any place more deserving of a dose of well-placed inspiration.
Thank you for all you have done and will continue to do to broaden our minds and expand our outlook.
Dear Capital Karate,
When we brought our seven year old to the studio for a belt test early this year, I really didn’t comprehend all he’d been learning through the afterschool karate program at Satchel Ford Elementary School.
I knew he’d clearly been learning and enjoying the karate lessons. What I didn’t know about was the program’s deep integration of character building — focus, goals, leadership, honesty, confidence, safety and self-respect. I was thrilled with the physical fitness component of the classes, but to learn about the character-based education, well that just made karate even more valuable in my eyes.
Over the past few months I have really enjoyed watching him learn and grow in your studio. Your instructors — Mike, Andrew and Charlie — and the students who are learning to teach are the best mix of silliness, taskmaster and role model any parent could ask for.
Every time I hear a class recite the student creed I savor it — especially on those days when you talk about what the words really mean rather than simply letting them rush through. You are teaching behavior and building skills that will benefit our children for years to come.
I am so grateful we stumbled into such an excellent karate studio and experience for our child.
Dear Emmy and Ron,
I wanted to let both of you know how much I enjoy the natural sundial on the Sandy Pond Beach. I have for years. It’s easy to lose track of time on the beach. Thanks to you I always know when its time to head back to camp for supper!
This year I was particularly delighted to meet Emmy. While you dug two days’ worth of windblown sand from around the clock, Ron, Emmy shared with me the history of the sundial, about the Friends of Sandy Pond and the work you both do within the local school system to educate students about beach preservation.
It was interesting to learn the roman numerals on the clock are a new addition. I was surprised — but not shocked — to learn that kids no longer learn them in school. As a parent of two, I think it’s very cool you added them to the sundial so they’d at least be exposed to them.
When we vacation in Sandy Pond each year, it’s a special time for our family. Brothers, sisters, parents, grandkids — we gather from all over for one week in July. For years we have played around and near the sundial. Every time I saw it, I wondered who did it every day. I am very grateful to have finally put your names and faces to the good work.
Thank you for all you do and all year long to keep Sandy Pond and the beach just as we remember: absolutely perfect.