THE MAYOR'S REPORT: Reflections on friends lost, local restaurants and more

Ben Thomas Jr., Greencastle mayor
Ben Thomas Jr.

As I pen this writing the new year has arrived with a Sunday afternoon sleet falling in Greencastle. A good time to have a cup of coffee and stay inside.  

I must acknowledge the loss of many friends in 2020. Growing up in this wonderful community, being active in radio, the fire department, police department and many civic organizations, I’ve been blessed to know so many wonderful people here in G-A and elsewhere  including the great ones that continued their journeys in 2020. There are just too many names to mention; from classmates to seniors who so enjoyed this community with me; be it Old Home Week or fire department events over the decades. Quite frankly, I have a smile with their memories ... They have blessed me and, hopefully, you and I were a blessing to them. I will remember them during much happier times that one day will return again. 

Certainly the governor’s restrictions have impacted the local restaurant industry. Drive-in windows seem to be doing well, however, the locally owned restaurants don’t have that luxury. It’s time for us that are able to provide our locally owned restaurants with a “Customer Stimulus Package” by showing our support this winter. Support them as much as you can with take-out or dine-in. They employ our citizens; purchase locally; pay taxes; and recirculate the ever important economic dollars around G-A. Please, please support our locally owned eateries. 

Christmas and the holiday season was quite subdued. Have you been watching those Hallmark channel movies? One that I particularly enjoyed was about a small town Christmas. Reminded me of Greencastle and how wonderful it is to live here and enjoy the small town amenities. The lights of our private homes, the Center Square tree, the Highline Train Station and other locations were utterly beautiful. A wonderful pleasure was to receive phone calls from citizens and call friends and just have a conversation. Keep it up! I hope that you were able to enjoy the small town Christmas!

I want to honor our municipal workers who often work behind the scenes in providing services we take for granted. During the 10-inch snow fall just prior to Christmas, they provided excellent snow and ice removal services; maintained our water and sewer systems; and patrolled our community 24 hours a day including the Christmas and New Year’s holiday. Thank you ladies and gentlemen for what you do. We are certainly blessed.