By Susan Harper
One of my recent columns got an instant response from a reader who is also a friend. Wanda Crawley put down the paper and picked up the phone after reading “Enough with the Cards!” in which I complained about all the plastic I was being asked to carry in my wallet in order to receive store discounts.
“There’s an easy fix for that,” Wanda said. “Here’s what you do: put your cards face-up on the glass of a copy machine and hit the “print” button. You’ll get a sheet of paper that has the barcodes and scanner icons from all the cards . Then just carry that one piece of paper with you, and whenever you’re in a situation where you would have presented a card, pull out your sheet of paper and let the cashier scan the relevant barcode. Works like a charm!” she said triumphantly.
And it does. It’s a wonderful solution.
Moving on to bigger fixes, another thing that had my phone ringing a couple of weeks ago was the front-page article about the reorganization our new city manager was proposing (which has since been approved by the city council). I even heard from people in other parts of the country! But then, it seems half of America reads The Commerce News. “What do you think about the library being put under the Parks and Recreation Department?” everyone wanted to know.
I told them all the same thing: one of the wonderful things about our city is that we hire people for their expertise, and then stand back and watch them put it to work. We don’t second-guess them every step of the way. We support them. We want them to succeed, because if they succeed, we all do.
I was blessed with incredible support when I was hired to manage the library. Some of my far-out California ideas must have seemed pretty wild, but nobody said so (at least, not in my hearing!). Instead, they helped — in every way you can imagine, from spreading mulch before the sun came up, to working all night to create the perfect children’s Halloween party, to working for five years on a fundraising campaign. They helped in ways I can never repay, except perhaps by supporting Miguel Vicente at the library, and Pete Pyrzenski at City Hall, and everyone else who is doing their very best to make Commerce better than ever.
Speaking of which, my heart is overflowing with thanks as I watch our newly expanded library come to the end of its construction phase. We would never have reached this goal without the foresight and perseverance of our dedicated Library Board; the hard work of our former regional library director, Alan Harkness, and our current regional director, Beth McIntyre; the support of Tommy Stephenson, our former state representative, and Tommy Benton, our current state representative; the commitment and talent of Tricia Massey, our campaign chairman, and Clarence Bryant, our former city manager; and the love and help of so many, many more, including all of you who gave generously of your time and money to make our bigger and more beautiful library a reality. To me, it’s the Christmas present we’re all giving each other. So — merry Christmas!
Susan Harper is retired, lives in Commerce and volunteers with the Commerce Public Library and the Jackson County Literacy Program.