Thanksgiving is supposed to be the time to give thanks, but that message almost always gets lost somewhere between the turkey and pumpkin pie.
No, I think Christmas is a better time to give thanks, and we Puebloans have a lot to be thankful for.
Think not? Think our community doesn’t have a lot to be grateful for?
Consider this experiment: Pretend for a minute that one of your friends hopped in a special Delorean decades ago and visited you this week. He did so to see how Pueblo was going to change in the future, and he selected you to give him a tour. And so off the two of you go. Let’s call him Thomas.
Thomas: Why are we going down on Union? I don’t feel like shooting pool and I don’t feel safe around that old train depot.
You (pointing to the Pueblo Union Depot): Well, here we are.
Thomas: That’s fantastic. I can’t believe it. It’s like new and the entire area around here is beautiful, with restaurants and shops and … What is that building on the other side of the Union Bridge? That’s gorgeous.
You: That’s the Robert Hoag Rawlings Public Library, and yes, it is a unique design and a very popular place for our citizens.
Thomas: The old library was so dinky. It’s amazing to see a building like that in Pueblo.
You: You haven’t seen anything yet. Let’s stroll north up Union toward City Hall.
You: So what do you think about this? It’s called the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo. Let’s walk it and do a loop back to this spot.
Thomas: I can’t believe this. How did Pueblo get this?
You: We paid for it. We paid for most of the library. Puebloans have been great about writing the checks to make our community better.
(After the walk, the two take a break and sit down just outside Angelo’s.)
Thomas: I could do this day after day. The veterans bridge, the Center for American Values, with those amazing portraits and quotes, the great job they did repurposing the police department. Oh, and that new police department building. And the remodeled Memorial Hall. It's all so fantastic.
You: Yes it is. This is the centerpiece of Pueblo and the community uses it all of the time. Now, I’d like to take you up to the university.
Thomas: Nah, I’m not interested. I’m enrolled now at the University of Southern Colorado. It’s Prairie Tech, nothing but ugly buildings and tarantulas and prairie. Show me something else.
You: Humor me.
(A few minutes later.)
You: There it is, Colorado State University-Pueblo.
Thomas: I can’t believe it. A few of the original buildings are here but, wow, the campus is beautiful. The student center, the fitness center, the new buildings, and what’s with this fancy football stadium? The school doesn’t even play football anymore.
You: That, my friend, is the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl, home of our national champion ThunderWolves.
Thomas: ThunderWolves? No more Indians? And national champs?
You: Yeah. Cool, huh?
Thomas: I never thought the university would be, you know, a real university. I would love to go to school here.
You: And the academic offerings and other extracurricular activities are very solid. Well, next I’d like to take you to …
Thomas: Can’t. The flux capacitor on the Delorean has a limited storage life. I have to shoot back in time, right now. But thank you so much. Now, I have so much to look forward to.
You: And when you catch up to us, remember this: Many more good things are to come.
Merry Christmas, everyone. And best wishes for a safe, healthy and prosperous New Year.
Steve Henson is The Pueblo Chieftain’s editor. He can be reached at 544-3520, ext. 410; at email@example.com; on Twitter @SteveHensonME.