By Zachary Laux
Pine Bluffs Post staff 

Feeling welcome in a strange land


Coming into a new community can be a scary thing. It was for me when I came to Pine Bluffs just recently.

I didn’t know anything about this area. I didn’t know what the people would be like. The uncertainty caused me a little anxiety, at first. But it didn’t last long. Why? Because your community is well represented.

When I first arrived to Pine Bluffs and wrote my first column, people soon started greeting me in the street. That’s always nice, but my first impression of this community will always be when I met the outstanding Lynda Sanders and Alice Theobald.

As some of you know, I have been taking some time to introduce myself to community leaders and business owners in the area. But Lynda and Alice, they found me.

Our reporter, Charlene Smith, wrote a story about Lynda and Alice last week, and what they have been doing in the community. Her story inspired me to write about my first experience meeting the team.

If you read the story (Page 5 in the Jan. 16 issue), you know Alice and Lynda welcome those who are new to the community with gifts, including merchandise from local businesses, information and even homemade snacks, such as cinnamon rolls, (which were delicious by the way).

Lynda and Alice, who call themselves the “Welcome Wagon”, approached me at the Pine Bluffs Post office my second week in the community. I was tucked away in my new office, which is admittedly in an awkward location.

In my office, I can’t see who comes in, and those who come in can’t see me. It makes it hard to meet the paper’s customers. However, this particular day, while I was typing away on a story, I heard the bell ring, indicating someone had entered the office. Dave Clark, our page designer, greeted the customers as usual, and asked if there was anything he could do for them.

“We would like to meet the new publisher,” I heard from my office. “Where is he?”

I began to prepare for the encounter. I stood up from my desk, and began collecting all the knowledge I have of newspapers and advertising, prepared to answer any questions they may have. But it turned out there was nothing I could do for the ladies. They had something for me.

As I approached the counter I was greeted by the smiling faces of Alice and Lynda of the Welcome Wagon. They gave me a bag filled with information and business merchandise. But the best thing they gave me, and most delicious, was the homemade cinnamon rolls.

After we talked, they asked me for a contribution to their baskets, a contribution I was more than willing to make - a free subscription to the Pine Bluffs Post.

We said our goodbyes and Lynda and Alice left.

I don’t think I had ever been greeted like that in any community I have lived in, and my encounter with Alice and Lynda will always stick with me.

What this Welcome Wagon is doing is important for Pine Bluffs, because it shows there is pride in this community, and it really does help businesses get their name out.

Additionally, the efforts of the Welcome Wagon show a spirit of kindness, which is hard to come by these days. I’m glad Alice and Lynda stopped by to welcome me to Pine Bluffs, because my impression of this town is now that much better. Keep up the good work, and if there is anything you need from me or the Pine Bluffs Post, give me a call at 307-245-3763.


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