Letter to the Editor: Playing the ‘Glad Game’

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When I was a little girl back in the 1940s, I read the Eleanor Porter children’s classic Pollyanna, and my life changed. I adopted the heroine’s, little Pollyanna’s, practice of finding at least one thing a day to be glad for, particularly if the day was bleak and especially bereft of happy moments. I discovered for myself the wonderful benefit of turning a bad day into a good or at least tolerable day by playing Pollyanna’s game.

My glad moment this past Wednesday, Jan. 19, came when I went to the spot in front of Book ‘n’ Brush after my art class to catch my Twin Transit LIFTT bus to go home. The City of Chehalis and the Renaissance Team had surprised me with a beautifully painted bench right in the sheltered area that protects the big store window from rain and extreme weather.

There had been a bench in that spot for a while, but recently the City of Chehalis did what it normally does each winter and took up the painted benches and put them in storage so they could be repaired and protected from the winter weather. When I left class on Jan. 12 to wait for my bus, I was shocked to discover that the bench was gone. No bench on which to sit and rest my arthritic joints as I waited for the LIFTT bus!

When I returned home on the 12th, I called the City of Chehalis to see if there was a way to possibly get the bench back. The space where the bench sat in front of Book ‘n’ Brush is sheltered, so the bench is protected better than most of the other benches are. Cassie Frazier, the administrative assistant at city hall, suggested I talk to Andrew Hunziker, with the City of Chehalis. I left a message on Mr. Hunziker’s answering machine and he called me back. He promised that by the next art class day, there would be a replacement bench waiting for me. And he kept that promise!

Yesterday, Jan. 19, when I left Thelma Hauge’s art class to catch my bus, there sat in the spot in front of Book ‘n’ Brush a colorfully painted bench with shiny black wrought iron armrests waiting for me and for anyone else downtown who might need to sit and rest. The team of Andrew Hunziker and Annalee Tobey, executive director of the Chehalis Community Renaissance Team, working together, had taken this citizen’s request seriously and had fulfilled it just as Andrew Hunziker had promised.

Yes, Jan. 19 was a “Glad Day,” for I saw for myself that the City of Chehalis does take the needs of its citizens seriously and does respond when possible. Thank you to the owners of Book ‘n’ Brush, Beverly and David Hartz, for providing a sheltered spot for the bench, thank you Andrew Hunziker and Annalee Tobey for working together to replace the bench, and thank you to everyone who strives to make Chehalis a great place to live! And thank you, too, to little Pollyanna who wanted people to be glad about the good things in life.

Jean Fairgrieve

Chehalis