Greetings! I hope everyone had a safe and happy Christmas and enjoying the new beginning of the New Year, 2017. Here’s a big wish to each of you: “A very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year of 2017 to each of you!”

Greetings! I hope everyone had a safe and happy Christmas and enjoying the new beginning of the New Year, 2017. Here’s a big wish to each of you: “A very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year of 2017 to each of you!”

Here’s hoping you had a good, safe, happy and healthy Christmas season. I hope you enjoyed the decorations and lights, especially the large star the Shawnee Milling Company displays every Christmas, through New Year’s celebrations.

I will share some of my personal observation and thoughts regarding the Shawnee Milling Company. I had never been to Shawnee until I married Elbert Eugene “Gene” Pickens in June 2002. After traveling for several years in his thirty-eight foot motorhome, we arrived at his Shawnee home, late at night. Hungry and tired, we rushed into his home, ate and fell into bed.

Getting up the next morning, opening the drapes at the large picture window in the living room, the home where he was the third generation to live. It was home to him; he loved the place. As I looked out across the street, in front of his home, I saw a block of high weeds. Also, there was an old, former store building about to fall and cave in. As I stood there taking in the depressing sight, on the far west side of the block, homeless people were coming and going from the bushes and weeds.

The mill was dirty looking from the back side. I walked outside and the house on the south side of him needed a lot of attention, as well as a couple of junky yards behind his home. The only entrance to his home and most of the other homes, was up the alley. Several of the homes needed repairs and some yards were junky!

Gene subscribed to the Shawnee News Star. I read some of the Letters to the Editor and soon I started writing letters to the Editor, explaining and complaining about sites. Gene told me Mr. Ford’s name and I called Mr. Ford’s office, talking to his secretary. I related how I was a cancer survivor and recovering from my second cancer related surgery. I related how I would sit in my living room, which faced the dirty backside of the mill, and it was very depressing.

Mr. Ford had the mill painted and has kept it painted. Evidently, someone purchased the vacant land, because a group of young Indian men now keep it mowed and neat. The old building was torn down and the remaining metal building was remodeled. The houses on the north side of our home were cleaned up and remodeled, along with the yard of the older home on the south side of our property, has been cleaned some and the home is being remodeled.

Now, back to the Shawnee Milling Company. Have you noticed the large beautiful star on top of the mill, which stays lit during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season? It is so beautiful and is to remind us of the Star the Wise Men saw in the East.

Thank you, Mr. Ford, for lighting the Star up every Christmas, reminding us of the Reason for the Season; the Star pointing to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Now that my beloved Gene is resting with the Angels, the Star and Mill that he loved so much, in the town he loved, means more to me than ever before. Thanks for reminding us of the Star that pointed the way to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 2:2 – “Saying, where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.”