Two nights ago, my parents received the top award given to citizens of the Village of Salado by the Salado Chamber of Commerce – citizens of the year. We’re still waiting to see when and if mom will ever get some sleep. Winning the raffle for the grand prize prize did not help.
I’m very proud of them and I’m thrilled that the village extended their gratitude in such a public way, but I can’t say that it’s a surprise. I know how involved they are because even though I moved here to be close to them, I still have to follow them around town if I want to see them. If it’s Monday, my dad is at library board meeting. Tuesday? That’s community chorus night. Weekend? They’re walking the streets – no, it’s not as salacious as it sounds. They founded the Ambassadors, a group of volunteers who roam main street in spiffy sport shirts with name tags, and welcome visitors and give directions. (They’re so good at it, they still get Christmas cards from visitors they helped three years ago.) They handle all of the technology needs for the organizations they support. They turned their dining room into “Command Central” and organized dozens of citizens to petition entry into the Village of Salado’s Extraterritorial jurisdiction so that Killeen, Temple and Belton could not take us over without our permission. They serve on the Music in Salado Board, sing in their church choir, have been active with the Historical Society, and are on the board of the Chamber of Commerce.
I’m glad this is a small town. Otherwise I would never get a chance to see them. At least I can show up for their choir performances or attend the events they help organize and spend time with them at these public events. I’m so glad I was at the Chamber dinner when their names were called.
I would have written this last night, but I stopped to see my niece and nephew in Austin to tell them the story about their nana and papa, and got caught up watching American Idol with them. A woman with zero singing ability didn’t understand why she couldn’t be an idol. She pled through her tears that she deserved to be an idol even if she couldn’t sing because “Paris Hilton can’t sing”. Randy muttered under his breath, “But she’s not an idol.”
Which leads me to my real question. What is an idol? Throngs of talentless twenty-somethings aspire to be an American Idol, but how many of them would ever be “citizens of the year” or even care to be? And if we DID have that competition, would anyone watch or care? What will it take for “citizen of the year” to become something our young people aspire to? Perhaps we need more conversation about what it means to be a citizen. What are the responsibilities of citizenship?
My American Idols only sing harmony in their community chorus, but they are examples of what it means to be a citizen of a community. They are the true American Idols in my book!
Thanks mom and dad for being such great role models for an entire community.
Thanks for being my role models!