There are times when I like to take a few minutes to reflect on the blessings that come with living in a beautiful town among so many exceptional people. Last night was one of those times.
My wife Annette and I attended the 17th annual Town of Flower Mound Boards and Commissions Appreciation Banquet. This is the first time it was held in the new senior center at 2701 West Windsor Drive. As we entered the brightly lit, spacious and tastefully decorated building, it felt like we had joined a family gathering in progress.
There’s no more comfortable feeling than to be greeted by so many smiling faces on people you’ve been privileged to know over the years. During the hugs and handshakes, the Flower Mound Community Orchestra delivered a melodious prelude to the evening’s event.
Mayor Tom Hayden, Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dixon, Councilmen Bryan Webb and Kevin Bryant, along with Town Manager Jimmy Stathatos, Police Chief Andy Kancel, Fire Chief Eric Greaser, Town Secretary Theresa Scott, and many other town staff were present to greet guests. Because Annette is a member of the Cultural Arts Commission, I get to attend the festivities and enjoy a free meal.
This year the food was catered by Swirl Bakery on Long Prairie Road and it was as scrumptious as it was plentiful. The tables were adorned with flowers, streamers and artistically-wrapped Bundt cakes. Even the chairs were swathed in satiny material with bows on the edges. My sincere compliments to the people who designed the aforementioned because it rivaled anything you’d see in some of the better hotel ballrooms.
The evening included a special remembrance to Nels Pearson, a longtime resident, community volunteer and planning & zoning commissioner who passed away suddenly 2 months ago. In the spirit of Mr. Pearson, it’s important to keep in mind that our town is a great place to live because of the dedication of people like him.
If we had to raise the taxes necessary to pay for all the work done by volunteers, we’d all be holding down 2 or 3 jobs. That’s why it’s essential that we recognize all those generous residents who donate their time and energy to help keep our town functioning like a well-oiled machine. Members from each of the boards and commissions were brought up to the front of the packed room for photos and applause from a grateful audience.
Vicki Hitzges was the guest speaker, and her introduction, read by Mayor Hayden, was infused with playful comedy, which his honor blamed on Councilman Dixon who had apparently done some adlibbing with the script. Ms. Hitzges, a motivational speaker and a good sport, laughed along with the rest of us.
Her uplifting talk was punctuated by references to the story of the frog (with a hand-held frog puppet she used as a prop) that turned into a prince after being kissed by a princess. The theme was about the importance of giving attention and recognition to people if you want to give birth to the best in them. After enjoying some earlier conversation with Ms. Hitzges at our table it was easy to understand why she’s so good at inspiring others. Her skill with people comes from a sincere interest in listening to them talk about themselves.
After we were introduced she spent most of the time asking about my background, occupation, place of birth etc. Before long, I realized that she had only asked a few questions, while I had answered with an entire biography. Unquestionably, the town made an excellent selection by having such a charming goodwill ambassador to add even more sparkle to the optimistic assemblage.
Ms. Hitzges also made reference to “Our Town,” the famous Thornton Wilder play about the fictional small town of Grover’s Corner, New Hampshire. Emily, a character in the play who had died earlier, is granted her wish to return for one day in her life. She chooses her 12th birthday, but, after experiencing it, she realizes that every day of our lives should be treasured as though it was the only day we have.
Those are profound words to live by.
Bob Weir is a long-time Flower Mound resident and former local newspaper editor.