November is the month for Thanksgiving, literally and figuratively, so it’s time for my annual column giving thanks for those who have made my life easier.

I am thankful for the auto repair shops who don’t try to convince me that my car needs $3,000 in additional repairs when I get an oil change.

I am thankful for retail workers who make eye contact with me when I’m looking for help.

I am thankful to lawyers who don’t use actors in their commercials, bragging about how the firm of “Dewey, Cheatem and Howe” netted them a million dollar settlement for stubbing their toe. Trust me on this: if I get a million bucks, you won’t see me flashing the cash on TV.

I am thankful for my fellow humans who don’t think a doctor’s waiting area is the appropriate place to carry on a high-volume phone conversation (“Well, she just THINKS that I won’t get even, but she better hope I don’t see her face in public no more!”)

I am thankful I was alive at a time when Alabama’s Jeff Cook played his fiddle, Loretta Lynn sang her songs, Leslie Jordan stole every scene he was in, and Jerry Lee Lewis played a piano with his hands, his head, and his feet. Nobody can take their place, and nobody can take the smile off my face when I remember them.

I am thankful for people who get their news from more than just the one source that echoes their beliefs. 

I am thankful for retail store and restaurant managers, who have endured so much adversity since the beginning of the pandemic. 

I am also thankful for everyone who remained on the job, despite low pay, angry customers, and health concerns. This goes for every profession. Thank you for keeping us safe, healthy, comfortable, and well-fed. Double thanks to those in medical, emergency and health care jobs. I owe you all a burger and a shake.

I am thankful for any industry that hasn’t used the pandemic as an excuse to jack up prices and make record profits. I wish I could think of one, to single them out. I would be thankful to anyone who can help me with that.

I am thankful that good people are still willing to be election workers, despite the sore losers who try to cast doubts on our electoral process. 

I am thankful to have met and interviewed the late Tennessee Governor Ned McWherter. He always answered questions honestly and without trying to sidestep. He would simply reply “Yes” or “No.” If I had a nickel for every politician who does that today, I would have five cents. Or less.

I am thankful that in my home states of Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee, we have the most talented and entertaining college football teams in the entire USA.

I am thankful that I have voted in every election since I turned 18, and have never witnessed any armed guards at my polling places, like we see in foreign countries. Well, and now in some of our own states, unfortunately.

I am thankful that the citizens of our region are finally about to see some terrific infrastructure improvements: bridges, highways, water and sewer, in addition to long overdue broadband internet. This despite the fact that most voted for elected officials who opposed this funding. 

I am thankful for the days when I am able to sneak in a nap during the middle of the day. It takes the edge off, and helps power me through the rest of the day. Plus doctors say it’s a good idea. Teachers routinely gave us nap time in first grade. Who thought it was a good idea to stop there?

I am thankful for the delivery folks who use common sense, and still put my packages on the front porch, out of the rain. 

I am thankful for the newspaper publishers and their employees who overcome great obstacles to inform and entertain us. 

And I am thankful for you. The feedback and encouragement you offer inspires me to try to make a difference. It’s an honor to occupy this space each week, and I don’t take it lightly. Happy Thanksgiving!

(David Carroll is a Chattanooga news anchor, and his new book “Hello Chattanooga” is available on his website, ChattanoogaRadioTV.com. You may contact him at 900 Whitehall Road, Chattanooga, TN 37405, or at RadioTV2020@yahoo.com).

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