Another year has come and gone. Christmas trees are being taken down. The stockings hung by the chimney with care have been ravaged by children with no care for the stockings at all. Many are still recovering from New Year's Eve parties. Football game have been won and lost to the delight to some and disappointment of others.

It has been a privilege, a pleasure to cover Ashville. To name all the people and events would require more words than my editor allows. There is so much about this town that make it  special place.

It is a place steeped in history with museums where citizens of more than a couple generations can find the archives of their ancestry. The John Looney House, standing since 1820 and built in part by a veteran of 1812, and the celebration of John Ash Day are stellar examples of a town's population that not only appreciates but celebrates its hometown history, they preserve it. They celebrate it and pass it their children.

Maintaining this sense of honor and hometown identity requires the work of dedicated and devoted citizens. Ashville Spirit Club awards these citizens Community Service Awards every month. Their community service resumes are vast, varied and impressive. They are a large part of what makes Ashville what it is.

The city's schools have distinguished themselves. And they have done so among and against larger schools. To paraphrase Coach Tyler Cole, "They realize they are representing something bigger than themselves."

He was referring to the basketball team, but it can be said about most of Ashville's sons and daughters. It is that which gives the city its sense of hometown identity. Well put, Coach.

Asheville defies the stereotype of the small, sleepy Southern town.

The celebrations and events are numerous. Schools, churches and the library provide regular functions and activities. Yak Creek is a beautiful place to spend all but the coldest days of the year. There are restaurants for whatever you might be craving including the Two Sisters Cafe, a stellar example of a thriving family owned business in a world of chain stores 

Sleepy? Ashvillians don't have time to sleep!

So thank you, Ashville. Thank you for letting me share in your sense of community and history. Thank you the education. Thank you for being you 

Can't wait to see what you do in 2020!

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