This is important week for ‘locals’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Over the course of the next four days, the city of Demopolis will play host to one of the finest events in this area of the state. Thousands upon thousands will fill our streets, shop in our stores, purchase our gas and wave to a "local."

To the visitors who have already found a parking spot in town, we welcome you and hope your stay is as enjoyable as we hope to make it.

For those of us who spend the first week of December every year watching Christmas on the River unfold in our city, we’d like to ask that you consider the ramifications of hosting such an event.

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During the other 51 weeks of the year, citizens in this community discuss all the needs we have. We talk about working to recruit new industry, paving our roads and bettering our schools.

But on this one week of the year, we flaunt &045;&045; if you will &045;&045; the positive aspects of our community. We show off our quaint downtown. We hang the Christmas ornaments throughout the city just in the nick of time. We even brush the leaves from our yard.

Obviously, it’s important that we serve as pleasant hosts as people from outside the area take part in this week’s event. However, we believe people may overlook the importance of how hospitable we should really be.

In all likelihood, there’s going to be a wife somewhere who drags her husband down to Demopolis.

They may come from Georgia. They may come from North Carolina. It doesn’t really matter.

When that couple arrives, they’ll see this city with her hair done right and the best shoes in the closet doting her feet.

What we never know is who that husband may be. For that matter, we don’t know who the wife may be. Both of them could be business owners. They could serve on the board of an industry that has considered expanding in a southern state.

While every "tourist" who visits Demopolis this week will know we’ve put a little extra makeup along the streets, what’s most important to them is that we be people who welcome our guests and hold the door for the people behind us.

Though social manners class isn’t taught at many of the schools these days, this is a perfect time for the people of Demopolis to refresh on their manners a bit. Be servants to the out-of-state license plates. Smile every once in a while.

You never know who may be walking next to you. And if it just happened to be the right person, a good showing this one week could change Demopolis for the other 51.