Saturday I had the pleasure of once again being a reporter in Athens — at least for a few hours — and I was reminded of how much fun this city can be.

Being editor has its perks, but the job requires being chained to a computer most of the time. Saturday I dropped the worries of the office on the desk, grabbed a camera and went out to see what was going on.

My first stop was the East Texas Arboretum and the annual Heart Walk.

Some folks have told me that it seems there’s some kind of event like this in the newspaper every week. I tell them there is, and that’s a good thing. There are people in Athens who care, and who are willing to give up some of their precious free time to support worthy causes.

And if there’s a prettier venue in the county than the Arboretum, well I don’t know where it is. The employees, volunteers and board members out there do a fantastic job in giving Athens and Henderson County a great facility.

I talked with Executive Director Teresa Glasgow for a few minutes Saturday, and they’ve got a ton of cool events and ideas you’ll be hearing about in the coming months.

After I left the Arboretum I was headed toward the high school, but got sidetracked at a garage sale at Trinity Valley Community College. The event — along with a carnival — was to help the Cardinal Singers raise money for a hoped-for trip to Washington, D.C.

I picked up a couple of books cheap and a photo for Monday’s Page 9A — can’t beat that. And you can’t beat a school like TVCC here in Athens. I’ve edited newspapers all over the county, and I can tell you that TVCC is the first stop for most of the college-bound students here (I call TVCC the “University of Henderson County”).

When I finally reached the high school and the Youth Art Month Festival, I was just in time to watch some of the students putting the finishing touches on their sidewalk masterpieces.

“Sidewalk masterpiece” is not a typo. These students were making beautiful pieces of art with sidewalk chalk. The event has become so popular, that nearly 100 students wanted to be included this year.

That was just on the outside of the school. On the inside, there were works of art from students in elementary through high school. Some would have looked great on a refrigerator — some would have looked great hanging above the mantle as the main piece of art in the house.

There was more going on around town Saturday, much more, and even more going on in the cities surrounding Athens. But by the time I got back to the office, got all the pictures downloaded, and wrote a story about the art festival, the day had run out and my wife was calling for me to come home and spend time with my family.

So what’s the moral of the story? That this is a good place to live, and we’re blessed to have all we have in Athens.

Are there troubles here and problems to solve? Yes.

But in your haste to yell about what’s wrong, don’t forget to be thankful for the blessings.

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I guess Sports Editor Benny Rogers hasn’t been busy enough working 60 hours a week and driving back and forth across the state to cover the high school basketball playoffs lately, so his byline was seen in the February edition of “Texas Coach Magazine.”

Benny was paying tribute to former Malakoff coach James Goode.

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AND FINALLY ... Remember to vote.

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