To the editor:

There are times in life when circumstances make us stand up and take a serious account of ourselves and our community. I find myself in one of those times. I have called Bangs my hometown my entire life. While I left it three times for the purposes of education and work, it continually called me back. I am so glad that I had an opportunity to follow my heart home.

It seems anymore that I am frequently disappointed by the bad press Bangs receives, but then again I’m saddened even more by the situations that bring about the bad press. Granted, less than desirable things have drawn attention to our little town. However, those influences do not stem from the true nature of our town. I’d like to report that “Good” is still alive and kicking in Bangs, as it is in abiding citizens who are firmly rooted here. Some have lived here since birth, some chose to return home, and still others “got here as quick as they could” as the old saying goes.

We choose to live in Bangs because of the sense of family and community. There is much to be said for the teamwork consistent in a community that gathers at events such as our annual Mayfest and that rallies in the event of diversity. We choose to live here because of the excellent school system that provides our children with a foundation that will serve them well in college and careers. Finally, we choose to live in Bangs because of a strong faith base that unites people and provides hope and support in times of need.

Two recent events have touched me profoundly. The afternoon of Sunday, Sept. 28, 2008, the word came that our new high school had been vandalized. Monday morning the BISD staff gathered to take a look at the damage. We rolled up our sleeves and in two hours we had cleaned the entire area so that restocking and repairs could begin. Area churches, businesses, and individuals provided meals, water, child care, and reward money. An amazing attitude of “business as usual by Tuesday” was evident.

On an even more personal note, my niece, Shawnee Traweek, received numerous serious injuries in a bad car accident several weeks ago. Since the accident I cannot begin to list the extraordinary ways Bangs, and our surrounding neighbors in Brown County have rallied behind my family. It is overwhelming. While time has passed, and other communities might return to life as usual, the sincere, respectable people that make up this small town continue to bless and encourage us with their resources and gifts of time. They will see us through to better days, of that I have no doubt!

Bangs is not perfect or immune to the difficulties of today’s world. But our roots are deep and our resolve is strong. At the end of the day, I’m still proud to call Bangs home.

Re’Genna Gamblin