The basket that I started with is now full to the brim with Christmas cards and get well cards, and it made me sad that this was the first time I had not sent out Christmas cards. But I was sick and Russell had too much to do, so I let it go this year.

Some of the cards I received had special meaning. One was from a Sarah Neighborgall, who lives in Trigg County and works for the Bank of Cadiz. She has taken the paper for 42 years and said she particularly appreciates that we carry the Trigg County honor rolls. She has young relatives who make the honor roll.

When I first received Sarah’s letter, I thought it was from someone calling herself a “Neighbor gal.” Then I looked in the phone directory and saw that it was her last name.

Sarah’s husband, David, is from Columbus, Ohio, but she is a Cadiz native. They have no children. But they do have a cat that is very special. She has worked at the Bank of Cadiz for many years.

Sarah was reared in a family of newspaper readers. Her father took the Louisville Courier-Journal and the Cadiz Record. He had to have a paper every day, and when he decided the Courier-Journal was too expensive, he substituted it with the New Era. Then when she married, Sarah had to have the New Era also.

Another card came from Nell Ritzheimer, who lives on Foston Chapel Road. She said enjoyed my “season’s reason” column about memories of Christmases past so much, she read it three times.

“I feel sorry for many of the kids I know who say they don’t remember anything fun with family at Christmas,” Nell wrote. “We didn’t have a lot of money at Christmas when my dad was stationed at Germany. But it was a fun day. Mom bought me a play cash register with play money.”

Joy White, who lives in Hopkinsville, also wrote a letter. She said she misses the calm and the quiet from years ago. “The distant bark of a dog or the chatter of children at school. I would pray that church should be held in an empty field and let the voice of silence and the panorama awaken latest values,” she described.

I’m sure many people have subscribed more than 40 years to the New Era, and they are all greatly appreciated by those who work there. The fact that Sarah said she had been a subscriber for so many is why she especially attracted my attention. She said she doesn’t like not having a Tuesday paper because it ruins her routine. She loves reading the paper early on Saturdays in her pajamas.

To everyone like Sarah who has been a long-time subscriber to the paper, know that we appreciate you.

My thanks again to Opinion Editor Jennifer P. Brown for transcribing this column as I dictated it to her.

Mary D. Ferguson receives mail at 4345 Pembroke Road, Hopkinsville, KY. Readers may also send messages to editor@kentuckynewera.com.

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