Letter to new folks

by Penny Hawkins penny@thecherokeean.com


Welcome to Texas.

Welcome to East Texas.

Welcome to Cherokee County.

I have been amazed the last few years at the number of people choosing to move to our area. It is gratifying that they come in and get subscriptions to The Cherokeean Herald. One lady told me yesterday that she and her husband bought a place outside of Rusk; didn’t know anybody, just liked the area and decided to retire here. She said she keeps hearing ladies at church talking about things they had read in the newspaper so she wanted to get a subscription. I love that!

New folks in our area comment on how friendly folks are, not just to each other, but to newcomers. I have lived places where new people were never accepted. One neighbor told me he had lived there 27 years and they were finally letting him attend the city council meetings! We aren’t like that.
City council meetings of the various towns in Cherokee County are open for visitors to come and see what is going on. The Cherokee County Commissioners’ Court welcomes community-minded residents to come and meet the various officials and hear their monthly reports.

Cherokee County has a very good website where you can check the names, meeting times, locations of whatever you are interested in.

We are blessed with so many new people who are interested in being a part of the community. One year ago, Terry Everest (an Oregon transplant) started meeting with local veterans in the coffee shop area of Brookshire Brothers in Rusk, just to talk and visit over coffee. That group grew and now meets every other Thursday morning at the Lions Club building, where they have speakers on things that interest them and their families.

On Tuesday, a guy came in to get a subscription – we had met at the Good Samaritan – he and his wife recently bought a place in Rusk. He was talking about how they are active now in the outreach of their church, the River of Life ministries of Rusk. Churches all over the county maintain or support local food pantries. There are several organizations that take donated items and sell them to fund food distributions. Other places give away free clothes to those in need. Have your heard of the Highway 69 Mission or The Clothes Closet and More in Jacksonville?

We are blessed to have people who volunteer and work to make life better. And in volunteering, they make themselves better.

So, welcome! To all of you who have moved here.

Welcome to all of you who have come home. I hope you take time to drive around and see all that Cherokee County has to offer. Check out the excellent libraries and museums, mom & pop stores, go to some meetings, visit the Chamber of Commerce offices in Rusk and Jacksonville. Don’t know how to find them? Come by our office and we will be glad to help. We’re in Main Street Center in Rusk, at 595 Main Street, across the parking lot from Eagle Auto Parts.