I grew up in a small town. Everybody knew everybody. One of the main businesses of the town was a mill that had been in operation since the 1800’s. When I started school, my Mom got a job at the mill. It was owned and run by a local family, and lots of my classmates had parents who also worked at the mill. It was small town life, and it wasn’t all bad. The town pulled together when someone came on hard times. I lost my Mom in late November 1987. By all rights, the holidays should have been pretty crap-tastic. My Mom’s dying wish was an unselfish one. She wanted me to have something that she hadn’t been able to provide. She wanted me to have a new computer. It was something fun, and would be able to help with my education, which was important to her. Somehow the entire town pulled together, and through donations, bought me a brand new Apple II GS, with two hard drives. It was top of the line back then. I’m still not sure how everyone pulled it off without me knowing a single thing. The best part was, they got enough money raised before Christmas. I remember coming home from a pre-Christmas event, and my living room was filled with loved ones and computer boxes. Somewhere I have photos that someone snapped that night, and that moment, and the look of utter surprise on my face, and genuine happy smiles. It wasn’t just about having a flashy new computer, it was knowing that so many people cared. It was about having my holiday season turned around by the kindness of others.
That computer went off with me to college, by the way in the mid-90’s!
Anyway, that old town, suffered a tragedy yesterday when the mill burned. It’s gone. There’s nothing left. A piece of history is gone, and people’s lives were changed.
One couple lost their home, which was on-site. Additionally, the husband had worked with the mill for more than 20 years. They are homeless and without an income. Luckily, they are physically okay, and so are their pets. Unfortunately, they don’t have the funds to get into a new home.
I’m asking for you to donate if you can, and if you can’t, that’s fine, just please share. Let’s help get the Cook family back on their feet.