It is traditional to write a mushy Thanksgiving column this time of the year. You know the kind of column I'm talking about — the one where the writer gets all sentimental as he or she recounts all the good things that have occurred over the past year and all that is right with the world. You can almost see the tears dripping off the words.
Far be it from me to mess around with tradition.
The sentiment with me is much more than a clich? It is very heartfelt, and if there are a few tear stains on the newsprint, they are very real.
A good friend of mine once gave me a piece of advice I have tried, sometimes with better success than others, to keep in mind. What he said was that there are too many good people in the world to waste your time on the bad ones, only he used a more descriptive term for bad ones.
It is true there are bad people — like the cowards who use anonymous e-mails and forums to bad-mouth coaches and others; like the deluded ones who think their kids are God's gift to athletics and every other kid only exists to hold the gifted one back; like the troubled ones who break into snack shacks, graffiti walls, tear up turf and make it difficult for others to play their chosen sports.
They are out there, but they are few and far between and eventually they dry up and blow away.
The bad people are far, far, far outnumbered by the good people and it is these people for whom I am thankful.
I am thankful for material things like decent playing fields, good weather and championships. I am thankful for the personal things like a job I love, a trip to Williamsport I will never forget, decent health and a new home.
But above all, I am thankful for all the good people I know in this town (in several towns really, but this is about Petaluma).
It is easy to be thankful for the spectacular ride that the Petaluma National Little League All-Star team took us on as they played to a third-place finish in the Little League World Series. I am especially thankful that it happened to kids who were so deserving and kids who, despite their youth, were able to handle the attention and celebrity.