Oftentimes in a small town such as Las Animas, people go along the day to day journey that is small town life without noticing the things that make the journey not only possible, but realistically enjoyable.

Oftentimes in a small town such as Las Animas, people go along the day to day journey that is small town life without noticing the things that make the journey not only possible, but realistically enjoyable. We have a great little town, with its own personality and culture, and it is in all respects due to some people who may seem on the surface to be unremarkable.

These are the people who are of the 80 percent or so that tend to just be content to enjoy their life and their position in the community. They are not part of the 10 percent who are seated at every official board or meeting and also are not part of the other 10 percent who are seated at every unofficial opportunity to complain about how the first 10 percent are running the town. This is true in every town, regardless of size, but in a small town it is really obvious. The majority of the town is perfectly content to continue to enjoy the day to day life of small town USA.

When I first was elected in November of 2015, I started to notice this trend, and the idea for this series of articles came to mind one day as I ordered my meal at a local eatery. One of the great counter attendants joked that now that I was the Mayor, she wanted to know when she would get her “day.” I replied jokingly that if she was requesting a “day,” why not request a “week.” We both laughed about it, and I left with a smile and began enjoying the journey that I have the privilege of every day. However, I haven’t forgotten this discussion, and more importantly I haven’t forgotten that there are great community members out there who make me smile on a daily basis as they just live their “unremarkable” lives.

This series of articles is for the “Remarkables”—the people without whom life in Las Animas would be less than enjoyable. It is for them that I truly hope that they understand they are not “unremarkable,” and instead they are the true fabric that makes small town life the real reason people choose to live here and not pack up for the big city. These are the people who have a smile on their face as they do their work, or that wave when they pass by in their cars, or who yell across the parking lot to make sure that you hear them as they go about their business. These are the people who are up before daylight sometimes making sure that your contact with their business is perfect and that you leave with that smile. These are the people who everyone knows, but sadly not everyone realizes are the most important people that are in the town, because without them Las Animas would just be a small cluster of buildings and roads. These are the people we all miss when we call a big business, and get the answering machine, when we say “I would just like to talk to a real person.” These are the real people we are blessed with to talk to every day, and almost never take the time to say thank you to for not being an answering machine. Just think about that, and you probably will agree that these are the “Remarkables.”

It is with great pleasure that I present Heather Gallegos, who was the very person who got the wheels turning on this idea, and who has definitely earned her “week” as we initially discussed. At least once a week I depend on her smile and friendly demeanor to help me get my day started, and she never fails to deliver. Don’t misunderstand though, it isn’t just me she provides this great service for, I have watched her in action and she is one of the kindest and friendliest people our little town has the privilege of sharing space and time with. In my position, I get the opportunity to travel to many other larger towns and when there I tend to eat out more than do fancy restaurants. Seldom do I ever even get a smile, and most often it is simply a matter of taking my order and then calling out my number when the order is ready. It is then that I remember that smile, and look forward to being back home. Yes, Heather is truly a remarkable part of the community, and this is just one way to say thank you for her and all the future community members this article will cover. Life in Las Animas is truly a special time, and these are the people who make it so.