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Greetings, readers of the hometown newspaper.

In this season of giving thanks and counting our blessings, here is a "Thumbs-up" to an apropos quotation from the book, "Quiet Thoughts, Reflections on the Meaning of Life," and written by David Goodman:

"Something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for, are the true essentials of a happy and meaningful life."

And here is a "Thumbs-up" to local World War II veteran Fred Randle, 97, and fellow members of Merrill's Marauders who will be honored with the Congressional Gold Medal thanks to a bill enacted into law last month with U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-District 4, as one of the bill's sponsors.

Our grateful citizens will continue to salute all Arkansas and American servicemen and women who have served and sacrificed to defend this county's values and freedoms.

Speaking of service, we send out another "Thumbs-up" to Garland County Election Commission Chairman Gene Haley and Commissioners Ralph Edds and Kay Ekey for their many hours of due diligence and hard work in making certain the early, absentee, and Nov. 3 voting procedures went so smoothly.

And many thanks as well to all of the dedicated poll workers who also ensured that this year's challenging elections were secure and a positive experience for all participants.

Here's another "Thumbs-up" is in order for recent retiree Kasey McKinney, assistant librarian in the Garland County Library's Children's Department.

McKinney spent all of her 23 years at the library in a department that has long been recognized for its outreach programs for youngsters and their families and a critical reading readiness resource.

Best wishes, Kasey. We are most appreciative of your commitment to improving literacy in our community.

By the same token, a big "Thumbs-up" is due National Park College and its four-year degree partnership with Southern Arkansas University for making possible the addition of new chemistry, physics, and engineering labs to the Lab Sciences building.

The science labs and degree partnership with SAU are evidence of NPC's vision and resolve to increasing educational opportunities for its diverse student body.

Given the still-alarming COVID-19 case numbers in Arkansas and around the country, let's remain vigilant and continue to say "Thank you" and "Thumbs-up" to local health professionals whose tireless efforts to residents' well-being is most reassuring.

On that note, this upturned digit goes to Walgreens pharmacist Robin and her able assistant who, on a recent Saturday afternoon, patiently and cordially took care of many customers at the 1404 Albert Pike Road locale.

While waiting for my own prescription refill, I observed how efficiently the duo went about their business while answering a barrage of questions from in-store and drive-through patrons.

The Thumbs Column appears in The Sentinel-Record the first and third Wednesday of each month. The newspaper welcomes readers' comments and suggestions, which should be submitted in writing with a telephone number and home address for verification and contact purposes. This information is kept confidential.

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