Sunday, November 21, 2004

Column 11: Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks
by Ed Gurowitz

Today I call a moratorium on partisanship. Throughout history people have taken time out to be thankful. In 1676, the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony proclaimed an official day of Thanksgiving, and that tradition has endured to this day.

Thanksgiving and Independence Day are the archetypal American holidays. One is a celebration of freedom that crosses ideologies, the other a holiday that spans religious faiths and even reaches those who have no faith, but are grateful for the riches of living in this country.

Here especially at Lake Tahoe we have much for which to be thankful. We live in one of the most beautiful settings in the world, and we and those who have gone before us have the opportunity to make the most of what we have. So I’d like to take this column to express, on all our behalves, I hope, appreciation to some of those who make our lives here great. I will inevitably leave some people out, and for this I apologize – please know that if your name should be in this short list, you are appreciated as well.

First of all, to our Trustees – Gene Brockman and John Bohn, who will be continuing to serve, Bob Wolf who has re-upped with the voters help, and Syd Brosten and Ted Fuller who will be leaving the Board. To Bea Epstein and Bev Mapps who stepped up to the opportunity, and to all who ran in the elections. To those willing to take on what is too often a thankless task, thanks. And to the IVGID staff, who work tirelessly behind the scenes to keep this community functioning in high gear.

Thanks also to Mary Jurkonis and the Bonanza for going way beyond what is expected of a community newspaper to provide a true forum for issues of concern to us all and for providing the Tuesday morning meetings to air and debate public issues. Thanks too to Erin Roth for stepping into the Editor’s shoes and to all who attend or have attended on Tuesday mornings.

We have some of the finest public servants of any community I have ever seen. Bill Horn at IVGID, Gregg Lubbe and the Sheriff’s Office, Jim Linardos and the Fire District, just to name a very few, but to include all the rest in naming these. Also our teachers and school staffs, the doctors, nurses, and everyone else at the hospital, the Forestry workers, and, this year in particular, all those who made the elections work.

Let’s remember to be grateful to our local service organizations – the two Rotary Clubs, the Lions, the Optimists, the AAUW, the Parasol Foundation, the Pet Network, and all the rest for all they do for the community. Where else in the world can you find a place almost every weekend to go to a party or other event, have fun and at the same time contribute to so many good causes.

Without our religious institutions and the clergy that attend to them, we would be a poorer community by far. Even those who don’t attend can appreciate the good that they do.

Finally, and this is where I am really going to leave a lot of people out, the individuals who, to an extent that cannot be measured by personal gain, dedicate so much of themselves and their lives to serving the community. Norm Rosenberg is the Library’s advocate; Ted Harris and Wayne Fischer on the property tax revolt, Bob Wheeler, the ever-vigilant TRPA watchdog, Jim Clark and Alan Tiras continuing to spearhead Independent Incline, and so many more – Chuck Otto, Marianne Ingemanson, Jim Jeffers, Chris Plastiras and the Fire Board.

And finally, thanks to Herb Caen for the idea for this column. He did it better, annually, and in verse, but I knew Herb Caen, I read Herb Caen, and readers, I am no Herb Caen. Happy Thanksgiving.

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