This past week I wrote that some organizations might want to consider scaling down their annual meetings to save money.
I still think that’s true for some cases, but certainly not all, and perhaps I did not emphasize that distinction enough or be more specific.
Since then, I have been reminded by readers of some aspects that I overlooked or failed to remember while cranking out last week’s piece.
One is that for many years New Albanians simply would not show up for some events, even if it were to their benefit to do so, unless there was something to eat. The prospect of a meal for them turned out to be a draw, and led to more participation, which might well make it worth the time and expense in the long run.
Another is that in some cases the food is donated by generous businesses or individuals rather than coming out of the organization’s coffers. That has happened with several events at least, including the most recent.
A third was that we really don’t have that many formal events here, as least compared to places like Tupelo. That being so, events with full lunches or dinners contribute to quality of life in some way.
Finally, although I have attended way more of these events than I can remember, I can’t recall ever having a bad meal (or at least the part of the meal I had time to eat). We have an excellent roster of folks who provide commercial catering as well as the culinary arts department at the school and various civic groups, and catering is a significant source of income for local businesses.
It’s nice to be able to write whatever you want in a newspaper, but that comes with the danger of fair criticism when one overlooks factors or misses a point entirely.
And as I noted before, my perspective is probably unique in that attending such events is, in most cases, work, not, for the most part, enjoyment. Some day that may change, but not now.
As Baby Houseman’s father Jake says near the end of “Dirty Dancing,” “When I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong.” At least I try.