Smitty’s Notes at 25 Years
Well, if you had asked me in 1997 if “Smitty” and Smitty’s Notes would be around in 2022. I would have chuckled and said “I don’t think so”. Yet, here we are – celebrating its 25th Anniversary and couldn’t be more proud of its longevity in the Winston-Salem community.
Started as a way a few friends figured out what to do over the weekend, has morphed into a multi prong effort over the years. From a event list, young professional advocacy tool, a downtown economic development vehicle, community development informer, website and people connector. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s, our community had lost its way. I figured I would do my part to make a contribution to help us find our way.
From connecting people, serving on boards, being involved in community initiatives, problem solving, trouble shooting, doing television, radio and writing columns in print. Some of what was said wasn’t pretty at times. However, it needed to be said. Our city was in dire straits, and as a native, I wasn’t going to see Winston-Salem become irrelevant. I was described as an angry young man on a mission… I’ve mellowed out quite a bit nowadays…
Things are a lot different now. 2022 doesn’t look or feel like 1997. We have moved in the right direction, and hope we continue to do so. Sure, we have things that still need to be addressed. However, we as a community, are in a better position to do so now.
Over the years, I have met some great people. Many are friends today. Some I would not have met if it weren’t because of Smitty’s Notes. I take much pride in the dinner program created called “Evening with Eight – Plus Smitty!”, which connected community leaders with people in Winston-Salem. Over 1,200 people and 60 community leaders broke bread together over ten years. I’m proud of the Smitty’s Notes Wine Tours, highlighting at the time, our budding regional wine industry in the early 2000’s.
I really enjoyed developing the “Best of Winston” Awards that subscribers voted what was their “best” in our city. Although ended a few years ago. I still see the “Best of Winston” decals on store fronts and a Certificate of Recognition on walls that makes me smile.
As we celebrate this 25th Anniversary, you will see various things in the coming weeks as part of this milestone. There will be others during the year. Most of all, I want to say a heartfelt THANK YOU for your support over the years. “Smitty” and “Smitty’s Notes” would not be here if it weren’t for each of you, my sponsors and the people who put their trust in me and all that is “Smitty’s Notes”.
In the words of a Grateful Dead lyric from the song “Truckin” which says it perfectly – “What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been”