In defense of my fellow Conwaynians

Published: 7/31/2020 11:22:31 AM

John P. O’Rourke, in his despair after losing the latest race for selectperson in Conway, recently lashed out at its citizens in a My Turn column [“A malicious, vacuous and ungrateful community’”] that was unfair to say the least.

His branding of us as “a malicious, vacuous, and ungrateful community” is most unkind and completely wrong.

I have been lucky enough to have been involved with the citizens of Conway for all of my life. As a youngster I was fortunate enough to have been shown the community volunteer way by members of the Conway Community Swimming Pool, the Conway Sportsmans Club, and the Conway Fire and Ambulance Crews.

How could Mr. O’Rourke have missed all the incredible people who do so much not even looking for a pat on the back or an “atta boy.” Conway is a diverse and changing community for sure, and conflict does and always has been part of our lives. This will not change. But through it all, Conway has always thrived on the wide array of volunteers who give their all to keep us going.

From the volunteers who man the fire and ambulance departments to the people who somehow make the Festival of the HIlls continue each year (providing scholarships for town kids), people have never stopped giving.

Don’t forget all the fathers and mothers who have coached, kept the books, and supported all of Conway’s youth sports programs as long as I can remember. Some continued long after their kids had grown. And how about all the people who give time to town committees. These people volunteer with no pay. Some for thankless jobs like the Finance Committee. They make recommendations at most town meetings that make fiscal sense, but are largely ignored, yet they forge on. I could go on forever, but I am already testing most modern attention spans.

To John P. O’Rourke I offer these two tidbits. First, most wounds are self-inflicted. The first step is to be able to admit your mistake. The second step is to own up to it and learn from it, then move on.

Second, thanks for being a good American. Your loss can’t be your fault. It is everyone else’s. Sometimes the best example is a bad example. You are being a bad example.

And John, thank you for your service to America and Conway.

Jimmy Recore writes that he loves being a resident of Conway.

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