Proud to be a part of the Southside
I was reminded this week of two very good reasons why I love the Southside. I have just come from the 21st Annual Taste of the Southside. It was a well-executed event with a great variety of local eateries, breweries and wineries. I got to see several of my friends there as well as make a few new ones. The food, in its many forms, was superb. The crowd was polite and enjoyed what is rapidly becoming one of the Southside’s premier events. This year they had live music which was very impressive. Sadly, I did not get to watch the chef contest as I had volunteer duty but I made my own fun anyway.
I volunteered to work in a booth handing out free bottles of water and here is where I had my real fun. There were two eight foot tables upon which we had placed several bottles of water. When the table was full, it had about two hundred identical bottles lined up. When somebody stopped by and picked up a bottle, I would, with great speed, grab another bottle and hand it to them and say, “Take this one. It’s a better bottle.” At least half of the people I approached with this line fell for it and took my proffered bottle. The rest laughed at me and questioned my claim. Yup, the Southsiders have a great sense of humor.
The other reason why I love the Southside is because of people like little Katie and Alaina. I met them along with Alaina’s mom, Beth, when I stopped at the Shell station for gas last Saturday. I walked in to pay for my gas and was met by 10 year old Katie who inquired as to whether I would like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies. Her soft voice and pleading eyes brought up in me a deep desire to buy all of the cookies she had in stock. Alaina was at the desk right behind Katie and she too added her request to sell me some cookies. I would have too had it not been for the fact that I lacked the funds to buy gas and cookies. Though I did not have enough money to buy a box, I was quite under both Katie’s and Alaina’s spell. It was just then that a friend of mine stopped me to say hello. I quickly implored him to make himself aware of Katie and Alaina’s cookies. He had the same financial predicament that I had. I told him I would donate all I have if he would match it. We each put in a couple of dollars. I have a suspicion that, by the end of the day, neither Alaina nor Katie had any Girl Scout cookies to sell.
What’s my point? Everywhere I went this weekend I saw a close-knit community. In the crowd enjoying one another’s company to two young girls and a mother out to do some good for their troop (Troop 1601), I witnessed the Southside at its best. I am proud to be a part of this community.
Scott Emmett lives in Greenwood with his wife, Karen, and an ornery old cat named Toby. Write to Scott at Scott@scottemmett.com
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