FLORENCE, S.C.

The Francis Marion University men’s basketball team traveled to St. Petersburg, Fla., on Thanksgiving Day for a little holiday tournament at Eckerd College. Many times athletes don’t celebrate holidays in traditional ways.

The Patriots enjoyed their Thanksgiving meal at a Cracker Barrel on the side of Interstate 95. It is the price of being an athlete but don’t fret for us. We are, after all, spending the weekend steps from the Gulf at St. Petersburg Beach.

Our server at Cracker Barrel made the meal even more enjoyable. She was friendly and outgoing and, despite not spending the day with her family, constantly had a smile on her face. It made me think of all the people we see regularly who brighten our day. Many times we take them for granted, but we shouldn’t.

I try to go to a Florence health and fitness club at least three or four times a week. Sometimes I work out really early, sometimes a little later, but each time I go by the front desk, Cynthia is there to greet me.

She arrives at 5 a.m. and stays past lunch, and she knows just about every member by name.

And each member is greeted not with just a “Good Morning” but also with a little daily inspiration:

“It’s Make it Happen Monday!”

“Have a Terrific Tuesday!”

“Welcome to Workout Wednesday!”

“Be Thankful This Thursday!”

“Let’s Have a Fantastic Friday!”

Cynthia could just sit at the desk like a bump on a log, but she tries to brighten each members’ day. We go to the gym for a physical workout, but leave with a spiritual boost

I could give you a bunch of other examples, and I am sure you could, too. Debra at the Waffle House knows exactly what I am going to order every time I walk in.

“Mark, order over medium, grits, white toast.” She doesn’t mention the large orange juice because she is responsible for pouring that.

She is also responsible for supporting her family, but she finds the time to help others in her community. All the time, doing it with a bright and cheery disposition.

Joretha Evans has served the athletic department at FMU for over 20 years as an administrative assistant. Ms. Jo has helped countless students and coaches navigate life while facing her own personal challenges with grace.

We all have good days and bad. The Cynthia’s, and the Debra’s, and the Ms. Jo’s of this world help with both.

And we should be thankful for that.

A five-time APSE national contest honoree, Scott recently authored his first book,”70 Years of Thrills and Chills, Drama and Dents at Darlington Raceway.” In college, Scott played on a tennis scholarship and earned degrees from Young Harris College (Ga.) and Berry College (Ga.).

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A five-time APSE national contest honoree, Scott recently authored his first book,"70 Years of Thrills and Chills, Drama and Dents at Darlington Raceway." In college, Scott played on a tennis scholarship and earned degrees from Young Harris College (Ga.) and Berry College (Ga.).

Prep Sports Writer

A five-time APSE national award winner, Scott recently authored his first book,"70 Years of Thrills and Chills, Drama and Dents at Darlington Raceway." In college, Scott played on a tennis scholarship,

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