Letters to the Editor

True meaning of community

To the editor:

At the age of 86 I shed tears on four occasions: Births, deaths, viewings and funerals. That all changed on Christmas of this year.

We are blessed with three children who provide us with any material needs we might have. This year, they decided that we would go to the Kristy Pollack lighting display on Lyon Street and the Marching Rams lighting display on Brookside Avenue. I had already made up my mind that I was going to have a lousy time. I couldn't have been more mistaken. The first thing that my wife said to me was, "We don't have to go to Orlando or Anaheim, this is our Disney World."

I find it hard to believe that so much effort, dedication and professionalism went into these projects. If you are not moved by these exhibits, you are a single-digit IQ, or you have "toys in the attic." The 20 to 30 people we saw were standing in weather that was colder than a dead Eskimo's nose. Yet all that came out of their mouths was "merry Christmas" and "happy new year."

This is what community is all about. Anyone connected with these projects can be very proud of their participation. No monetary gain, for anyone, just love for the unity they represented. I think $5 a car is a steal. If I am still above ground next year, I will gladly pay $10 for my car.

You people who are affiliated with these projects deserve all the accolades the city can give you. Yes, I had a wet pillow when I went to sleep that night.

James J. Sheridan,


What lies within us

To the editor:

Now that the dust has settled and my ears have stopped ringing, I'd like to take this opportunity to say "thank you" to all the loyal customers who supported me during my years as bartender at Shorty's.

I never owned Shorty's, but I was a staple behind the bar for over 11 years. In that time, I met and served some of the greatest people Amsterdam has to offer. I can't stress enough how wonderful you all are. Your support of me and the camaraderie were amazing. It is a time in my life that I will always cherish.

Bartending is not just about mixing up ingredients, but it is an art of making people feel comfortable, welcome and special. I know without a doubt that I was very successful at that part of the job. This was evident by the loyal following I cultivated over the years. These special relationships will never be forgotten.

It is always difficult to predict what the future will hold, but whatever that is, I go forward a much richer person for the privilege of having served and known all of you. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best: "What lies behind us, what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."

Tim Malaney,


Thank you all for caring

To the editor:

Now that Christmas is over, we want to say thanks to everyone who contributed to make the Comfort Zone Ministry a success.

We asked for hats, scarves and gloves for the children of Amsterdam. Knitters in many places handmade these items, while others bought and donated them. Thank you for helping the children be warm through the cold weather. Christmas came and we asked for toys for the children of Amsterdam. You stepped up one more time. We gave away 571 toys. We wish you could all have been there to see the children pick out their own toy. The smiles and thank yous were worth their weight in gold.

Then there were the parents picking out toys for their children. Some of these people had asked us if we would do Christmas because they had no money for presents this year. The "God bless you" we heard from them should have been heard by all of you. Thank you for giving from your heart and making the world a much happier place for the children and their families.

All the while you were doing these things, you never forgot the basic needs of toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, and bars of soap. All of these items were donated and given out monthly.

Please continue to remember us in 2013 and, if you ever want to feel good, come down to Trinity Lutheran and volunteer on the fourth Tuesday of the month. We set up at 6 p.m. and start handing out items at 6:30. It is amazing and awe inspiring to watch.

Most of all, thank you for everything you have done for the people of Amsterdam. Pat yourself on the back because you have done a great job. Thanks for caring and for sharing during 2012.

Jean Amy Swenson

and Bette Errig, Amsterdam