Cherokee up to the task at hand

Friday, August 1, 2014

We question the wisdom, wherewithal, dedication, and passion of the hand-wringers and whiners among us concerning last week's alleged business decision by Tyson Foods, Inc. to close the Cherokee Tyson Deli plant, knocking a reported 450 workers out of their jobs.

Painted its blackest, the closure of the plant - a 50-year stable/often unstable staple in this community - is an economic blow to Cherokee from whence it may never recover.

We say, hogwash.

It's all meaningless blather, corporate bombast and more of the universal symbol of total failure of lemmings mindlessly leaping over a cliff to their demise down below.

We proudly proclaim, because we've lived here and witnessed it, that this community has much more than the mettle needed to withstand this latest economic blow.

Since the national agricultural and financial collapses in the early 1980s that saw Cherokee dwindle from a population high of 8,000 to a reported 5,500 in 2010, this community has stablized at an estimated 6,000 thanks to savvy businesses, dedicated patrons, and an undying mantra of our sole survivors rolling up their sleeves and saying, "OK. We've been blind-sided and punched in the gut. Now, what the #@$^* are we going to do about it?

And leaders step up.

At least in this community they do.

And we fight the fight and right the ship, however long it takes. And we take solace in each other because that's what people do who are cut from our cloth.

The cloth more than 150 years old.

The cloth arriving here on the backs of the first fearless settlers.

The cloth that led the railroads to Cherokee that nurtured its development.

The cloth that continues to this day to attract a special breed of men and women proud and devoted to call Cherokee their home.

Tyson Foods just tore a hole in that cloth.

And we thank God for those among us - on the job as we speak - who are more than willing and able to rush in to repair it.