By Shirley Mays, Editor

Hello Vail Voice Community!

It gives me great pleasure to join this esteemed paper as its editor. When my baby sister Lucretia approached me with the possibility, I was honored. You see, I have admired from afar the work Lucretia has done with the paper and looked forward to reading its contents over the last 20 years.

I’m a mid-Westerner, having grown up in the tiny unincorporated township of Wilberforce, Ohio – the middle sister in a middle-class family of three girls. We grew up in a traditional family where education was exalted as a necessary prerequisite to a productive and joyful life. I internalized my parents’ message that I was one to whom much had been given so much would be expected of me. That philosophy has shaped my perception of life, and that perception is what I will share in this column.

“When you’re alone and life if making you lonely you can always go downtown! When you’ve got worries all the noise and hurry seems to help, I know, downtown!” Those of us of a certain age will remember these lyrics from the 1964 song, Downtown, by Petula Clark. That song was buzzing around in my head the other day as I pondered our current state of affairs.

Of course, many of us can’t go downtown now; we can’t go anywhere! Shops and restaurants are still operating at reduced capacity, exercising at the local gym isn’t an option, and watching summer blockbuster movies in our favorite theaters are a thing of the past.

However, we can create our own “downtown”: that space where we go within, shut out the noise of the world, and remember the simple pleasures that can bring us joy. Turn off the 24-hour news cycle, take a break from social media and engage in all those activities you promised yourself you’d do if only you had the time. Try a new recipe, read that 1,000-page novel, call your one friend you haven’t seen in forever. So, let’s commit to tap into our inner strength, our inner joy, and make this day the best one ever!

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