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December 23, 2012
Salem News

Roses and sprigs of holly for the world not ending at 6:11 a.m. on Friday. The fruitcakes (the real ones and not the, er, unusual tasting could double-as-door stops kind your aging out-of-state aunt sent the family every year) twisted the Mayan calendar around. They were loudly proclaiming a pending doomsday. That would have ruined a lot of Christmases. Somewhere in the hereafter, a lot of Mayans are laughing.

Roses and sprigs of holly for a most wonderful of Christmas gifts. An organ donation. Angie Pitts is a Salem High graduate. She is the daughter of Alicia and Bob Pitts and lives in Alliance. She works at the Chef's Table in Lisbon and has a son, Mac, in the fifth grade. Angie will soon be spending some time in the hospital along with her uncle, Rob Mehno. You might know Rob. An excellent superintendent of schools for Leetonia and an excellent person. He is badly in need of a kidney transplant. He knows the drill. It will be his second transplant. The first came back some 27 years ago. The 1983 SHS graduate a key member of that great Quaker football team of Gary Ricker, another excellent person - had actually gone an entire year without a kidney after having both removed as a young man. After being on a machine for a year, he received a kidney in 1986. But after all these years, its function dwindled, necessitating another transplant. Several family matches were actually made and it was determined that Angie - in her mid-3os - because of her age was the right candidate. She will give her own Christmas gift of life to her uncle this Friday in Cleveland at University Hospital. There is a rejection possibly and of infections and complications arising. But all systems are a go. This also means that Angie will be left with but one kidney and a full life ahead of her. There is always a risk involved. That makes her act even more impressive. Here's to a successful transplant and many more wonderful Christmases for Angie, Rob and all of their family members. This will be one to remember.

Roses and sprigs of holly before we take it right back for gas prices falling below $3 bucks a gallon - think, psychologically uplifting - before going right back up another 30 cents or so a couple of days later. And the oil barons are still pumping our wallets.Ho-ho-ho.

Roses and sprigs of holly to teachers encouraging pro-action from their students. Wendy Higgins' 6th graders at Salem Southeast Elementary School recently forwarded some letters to the editor. We were glad to publish them - including two that appear today regarding school uniforms and friendship. It's nice to see young people take an interest in the printed word. It's not done enough.

Roses and sprigs of holly for Karen Carpenter singing a Christmas song -any Christmas song. For stars atop Christmas trees and for the real ones gently lying upon a black velvet winter sky. For children who know how to make perfect snow angels. For angels. Period. Like Olivia Sage Thompson - the vibrant 9-year-old tragically removed from her family and friends. God bless her memory. For the silence of a snowfall in the woods. For those who visit local care facilities such as those visiting veterans at Pleasant View North in Damascus. We are told that the little gifts were a great hit and the knee warmers were beautiful and well made. "They needed that. Thank you again, from a thankful spouse," wrote a reader. Again, for people who pick up expenses when standing at a checkout line behind someone who doesn't quite have enough to cover costs. We were told of two more such instances this past week. Think of how many untold acts we never hear about. For snow shovels and rock salt. Let's admit it. We were due and it looks like Bing Crosby will be singing about a White Christmas after all. That is nice.

Roses and sprigs of holly for the Salem Rotary Club. Members donated dictionaries - again, an appreciation of the printed word - to every third grader at Salem Reilly Elementary, St. Paul and United Local schools. Look up community service in the dictionary and apt synonym would be Rotary Clubs. Kiwanis Clubs too. For landlords and landladies who give their tenants a Christmas gift of free or reduced rent in December. It's all about the spirit of giving, an essence of Christmas. For the management of the Salem Twin Cinema who welcome school kids free of charge.

Roses and sprigs of holly for the Salvation Army bell ringers who man their posts even in the worst of weather. For those who physically assist at fund raisers and benefits. Donating money is always great. Donating your actual time can be just as great. If not greater.

Roses and sprigs of holly for all of our readers; longtime, short-term and all in between. The Salem News is poised for its 124th year in a very challenged industry. Thank you for your support.



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