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Commentary: I’m Thankful

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Jim Charlet

Jim Charlet is a retired newspaper editor and Brentwood resident.


I’m Thankful for the family tradition of dinners with children and grandchildren for Thanksgiving, which was first established by President George Washington in 1789 as a public day to honor the founding of our nation. We are very blessed and life is good.

I’m Thankful for Mary Hance, who spent 26 years writing newspaper columns under the bylines of MS. CHEAP, and that she has retired to maybe get some coupon discounts. She began her career as a copy clerk at the Nashville Bannerafternoon newspaper and blessed all of us with her reporting on thrifty ideas and cheap things to do. She raised more than $715,000 through the annual Penny Drive of the Second Harvest Food Bank and always gave more than she got.

I’m Thankful for country music star Alan Jackson and his new studio album, “Where Have You Gone,” where he sings about fatherly love, once-in-a-lifetime loss and the barn-burning honky-tonk music that remains near his heart. He has made songs in the hearts of many of us and made music that rings our bell.

I’m Thankful for our Friday night tradition of watching “Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals,” commonly known as “MASH” units, and the reality perspectives it gives us. It is a reminder of life growing up near military soldiers at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, and what they taught us. Friday night is “MASH” night in our home and a reminder to be grateful for what “MASH” taught us.

I’m Thankful for the chance to celebrate the life of our late neighbor, Bruce Tenneson, who led the sports watchers of our neighborhood and who was known as “Daddy Bear” and loved nothing more than playing ball with his grandchildren. He was a reminder that we must all keep our eye on the ball as we move through life.

I’m Thankful for songster Tony Bennett and for his new album with Lady Gaga and for his 95 years as a gifted singer, painter artist and candid speaker. In sickness and health, you may call singer Tony Bennett to describe how dementia may someday affect us all.

I’m Thankful for country music legend Loretta Lynn and her legacy of country hits like her “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and“Keep on the Sunny Side” and the 1966 hit she wrote, “You Ain’t Woman Enough,” wherein she was joined by artist Tanya Tucker. She reminded us all to keep life in perspective, but keep on keeping on throughout our lives. 

I’m Thankful for the chance to have known former U.S. Senator Bill Brock, who ran against U.S. Senator Albert Gore Sr. in 1970 and was later named by President Ronald Reagan as U.S. trade representative, wherein he led expansion of foreign trade and later established the World Trade Organization. A Chattanooga native, he truly practiced the theory that “compromise breeds consensus.”

I’m Thankful for the national observance of Veterans Day each Nov. 11, which reminds us veterans how to endure hardships, take risks and make sacrifices. All veterans want our fellow citizens to bind together with common purpose, mutual respect and willingness to sacrifice. Let’s all tip our hats and give them a sincere bow.

I’m Thankful Santa is soon coming to town, and according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, he’s not bringing the COVID-19 virus with him. As children already know, Santa is superhuman. He flies around the world in one night, delivers millions of toys and eats his weight in cookies. But don’t worry. Santa may be old and overweight, but he’s making fewer appearances. Santa and the elves stay home when they do not feel well. So should we.

I’m Thankful for National Geographic magazine and its monthly reminders of the history and rocks of this land and country we live in, and we should make it better and appreciate its blessings. We should share it personally with each grandchild.

I’m Thankful for Derby Jones and his staff and family who keep producing the Williamson Herald, a classic family-owned weekly newspaper filled with useful content responsive to community needs. It’s a must read each Thursday.

I’m Thankful that writing this annual column has been my tradition since 1969, and for the chance to recall these 13 reasons why I remain so thankful.

Jim Charlet is a retired newspaper editor and Brentwood resident.

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