Water Cooler 12/8/2018 – Open Thread – Local Feel-Good Stories

We’re in the season of Advent and preparing for Christmas, so it’s nice to look at some good news for a change. My apologies for making this a longer WC than I would normally write.


Here are some things that happened in my town recently. When we moved here 26+ years ago, it was a sleepy little bedroom community. Like everything in Texas it has exploded. Population was ~750 in 1980 and is ~65,000 now. Sometimes I wonder if we are losing the “small town” feel, but often I thankfully realize we are not.

Helping a family in need
A local man built up his barbecue business from scratch and is becoming well-known. When Texas Monthly’s next Top 50 list comes out, I would not be surprised to see him on it. He does much in the community and is a big supporter of small local restaurants.

A local deaf family asked him for a recommendation for someone to work on the roof of their mobile home. Not being one to think small, he went kind of crazy with it. He later said to excuse him at the end of the clip because he was “slicing onions”. Right. It all turned out great an this family will have a much merrier Christmas than they could ever have dreamed.

Pflugerville Christmas Parade
My local Knights of Columbus Council has organized an annual Christmas Parade for over 20 years. The city has always provided support in terms of Police and Streets without charging us a penny, but in recent years they have added activities downtown in conjunction with it. They call their part the Pfestival of Lights (Pf for F is mandatory around here) but they call the parade the Christmas Parade in all the social media advertising they do.


It’s not shown here because they just have some downtown activites and the first part of the parade, but we always have a Santa float at the end with a “Keep Christ in Christmas” banner. We had more than 50 groups participate this year, and that’s not counting all the first responders at the front of the parade. It was fun as always, though organizing it stresses me out.

Silver Rose
Another Knights of Columbus activity across North America is related to Our Lady of Guadalupe: Juan Diego and the miracle of the roses. If you are not familiar with it but have seen the movie The Song of Bernadette, you get the general idea since it parallels it in many ways – except that Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared more than 325 years before Our Lady of Lourdes did.

The Knights “run” (more like “drive”) several of these Silver Roses across North America over the course of the year and one ends up at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe for her feast day December 12th.

For the past few years I’ve coordinated the travels of one of the Silver Roses through the Diocese of Austin, so of course one of the stops is at my parish. I try to have it at one of the Masses we have in Spanish. People line up for half an hour or more after Mass to visit the Rose. It’s beautiful to watch, especially the children.


Feel free to share your own local feel-good stories or anything else.

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