A special ‘Thank You’ to all moms
by Jack McNeely
May 13, 2012 | 492 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jack McNeely
Jack McNeely
First and foremost, I’d like to wish all the moms out there a very special Mother’s Day! I realize your efforts over the years are mostly underappreciated.

As a West Virginia native, I am proud that Mother’s Day originated in the Mountain State. Anna Jarvis held a private Mother’s Day celebration in memory of her mother, Ann Jarvis, in Grafton, W.Va. In 1908, she played a key role in arranging a church service that attracted 407 children and their mothers.

A Mother’s Day International Association was founded in 1912 to promote the holiday in other countries. Mother’s Day has grown increasingly popular since then.

Mother’s Day is now largely commercialized, with card companies, flower shops, jewelry stores, gift shops, restaurants, hotels and department stores advertising promotions and special deals for this event. Anna Jarvis, in her lifetime, unsuccessfully filed a lawsuit to stop the over-commercialization of Mother’s Day.

The National Retail Federation, the trade association that represents retailers large and small, said shoppers are expected to spend $18.6 billion on Mother’s Day gifts this year. Average spending on Mother’s Day gifts is expected to be $152.52, up from $140.73 last year.

Of course, I mailed my mother a card earlier in the week. But I know she reads my columns online each Sunday. So, please indulge me as I write an open letter to my mother, Judy Michael, a retired school cook who still lives in our holler homestead wedged between the mountainside, railroad tracks and the Big Coal River in Peytona, W.Va.

Dear Mom,

Thanks for being the best mom in the world! I am so proud of you and your accomplishments with the West Virginia School Cooks Association over the years.

Thanks for being the best cook in the world! Thanks for making me – and my friends – eat everything on our school lunch trays in grade school. Thanks for always preparing breakfast before school. I know your days were long and hard.

Thanks for all the great orange cakes on my birthday and Larry’s birthday, too.

Thanks for being there when my friend’s front two teeth got lodged in my skull and later extracted in the emergency room (a funny story, perhaps for another column). Thanks for being there for every trip to the ER; there were plenty.

Thanks for emphasizing the importance of church, family, community and scholastics.

Thanks for NOT sparing the rod; I deserved it every time.

Thanks for being so understanding about my move to Jasper, Ala. You will love the Southern hospitality when you visit this summer.

Thanks for bringing my stepdad, John, into our lives; he’s a keeper.

But most importantly, thanks for being! The world is better off with you in it!

Love, your son, Jackie


I would also like to dole out some kudos to Haig Wright and his Bama Scramble event team. Friday’s fundraiser at Musgrove Country Club was second to none.

I also spent the day with Siran Stacy at Shoal Creek last Wednesday, thanks to Todd Lee of Son’s Supermarket here in Jasper. The former standout running back at Alabama and professional football player lost his wife and three of his four children in a tragic car accident in 2007. Today, his ministry is powerful. Stacy is very refreshing in a moral-challenged world. And he carries his weight well on the links, too.

Jack McNeely is Publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle and can be reached by phone at 205-221-2840 and via email at jack.mcneely@mountaineagle.com.