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B.J. DRYE COLUMN: Stuffing this column with lots of thanks

It is good to show appreciation throughout the whole year, but Thanksgiving is especially the time to express it.

So here are a few things for which I am thankful this year.

I’m thankful for vets, both kinds.

I’m thankful for the vets who care for our four-legged friends, and apparently our birds. I’ve never saw a bird go to the vet, but on one of the many trips over the last year I finally saw someone give the vet the bird, their bird.

My little furry brother is still overcoming bladder stones, a condition that began last Christmas and has continued at just about every holiday this year. He really needs to find a new way to celebrate the holidays.

I’m thankful for the vets like my dad. I’m thankful for the people who help vets as well. They have really helped him stay as mobile as possible this year. I really am seeing him be as healthy as he can be given the circumstances, though he could stand to lose a few pounds.

I’m thankful for Badin for trying to honor native jazz legend Lou Donaldson.

He is one of the reasons I have come to love jazz. Anyone who doesn’t know who he is or why he needs to be honored needs to Google his name and listen to some of his music. It is great to have a musical great from here.

Speaking of jazz, I am thankful for records coming back into style. I spend way too much time and money listening to them, but everyone has an addiction.

Speaking of addiction, I am thankful that our county is getting some help in the opioid battle.

We are a long way from the problem being solved, but hopefully we have made some progress this year.

I am thankful for Jim Hathcock for knowing just the right style for my hair for at least 34 years.

I am thankful for not only the employees of The Stanly News & Press, but also the many contributors who help throughout the year. Writers like Toby Thorpe and Imari Scarborough do not know how much they are valued. Contributors also include Shannon Beamon, Jo Grey, Sarah White, Juliet Richardson, Johnnie Harris, Vanessa Chambers, Ellen Gaskins, Larry Hunter, Roger Thomas, Lewis Bramlett, Braidyn Davis, Emma Nantz, Abby Furr, Shelia Simpson and many others — all of whom help us by bringing something to the table.

I’m thankful for being able to share the stories of people such as Davis Fort and Bear Knotts.

Even though I never talked to them, I was able to tell the world about them for a final time.

I’m thankful for Alan, Paul and Elton for providing memorable entertainment this year, and I still like Willie even though he canceled out due to his health. Not that I smoke, but I may never get to smoke weed with Willie. For that, he is probably thankful.

I’m thankful for Dawn and Ray for exposing me to Mama Ricotta’s and a new love of Gorgonzola on pizza.

I’m thankful for Coach K still being Coach K.

I am thankful for my two best friends. They know who they are and they have always been there for me. I will never be able to repay them for what they have given me, but they know I’m working on it daily.

B.J. Drye is editor of The Stanly News & Press. Contact him at 704-982-2123, bj.drye@stanlynewspress.com or follow bjdrye1 on Twitter.