A Letter of Thanks

Dear Margaret,

Now that you don’t have everybody nagging at you six ways from Sunday about everything under the sun, maybe you’ll have time to read a little letter of thanks.

This might not mean that much to you since I’ve only lived in Jackson for fifteen years, but whenever I go to the Welty Library, I see your name on the dedication plaque near the door and the date—February 10, 1986—and I think how remarkable it is that you served on the city council for almost four decades. Now, I’m just a hillbilly hack and a lot of people are probably going to jump on me because they don’t think it’s my place to say so, but I think it sheds a bad light on the people of Jackson that nobody has given you a proper send-off after all your years of public service. Oh, I heard they had some little piddling thing in chambers at the city hall, but back where I come from we’d prop you up in a red Cadillac convertible, tote you around the town square a time or two and feed you a nice chicken dinner. Of course, you’d probably have to listen to every pompous ass in town say something, too, but God knows you’re used to that.

I also want to thank you for being a good neighbor. You and Al always stop by the garden on the corner when you see me out in it (more often than not with my fanny in the air) to ask me about what I have growing and how I did this or did I want something y’all had. It tickled me to pieces when Al told me you’d asked him what that white fluffy stuff was I had growing in the big concrete bowl. He said you’d probably never seen cotton growing up close because you’re a city girl, and don’t you fuss at him for telling me, either; four out of five people who pass by the garden in the fall ask the same thing. You both have always had a kind word, and that means a lot to someone with no family in a city full of strangers.

Thank you, Margaret, and I’ll get around to bringing you some zinnias once they get good and started. I planted that cactus kind this year!

With much fondness and gratitude,

Jesse Lee

7 Replies to “A Letter of Thanks”

  1. You are so right, Jesse. Margaret has taken care of us for a long time. We were lucky to have her as a council person and we all continue to benefit from her and Al’s friendship.

  2. Jesse, I do no know Margaret, but I wanted to take the opportunity to tell you how beautiful your zinnia photograph is. You and I both share a sincere love of flowers. If we have anything in our flowers at the corner of Court and Commerce that you would like a cutting or start from, please call us at 601-316-8316 – Marsha Lewis

  3. That is a lovely tribute, and I echo your sentiments. Margaret’s service has been a treasure to our city and Ward 7 and our neighborhoods are so much the better thanks to her leadership and dedicated service! THANK YOU MARGARET!!

  4. Right on Jesse! Margaret and Al were my next-door neighbors when I first moved to Jackson more than twenty years ago. As Frost might say, “And that has made all the difference.”. The whole family is “good people”!

  5. Margaret has given her all in every way in all her years helping guide our city. She has delivered in rain and snow in sickness and in health both her own and our city.
    We will miss her wisdom, her ability to bring disparate people together and her joy in giving back to us.
    Many of us Belhaven citizens including our children worked hard to get her elected that first time. She did all the heavy lifting after that. She will be missed and I’m one here to tell you so. We won’t forget!’ All our thanks and ❤️

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