I don’t believe I’m alone in thinking that the prospects of our town are vanilla. Maybe that’s what we’re going for as a community, and you know, vanilla isn’t always a bad thing. Vanilla is consistent. Vanilla is easy. However, vanilla never really knocks your socks off. You rarely hear someone describe vanilla as something you have to go out of your way to experience. In a ever-shrinking world that’s always looking for the next big thing, this type of consistency is a death sentence. We cannot allow Hickory to continue down this path.

If we don’t work as a community to step outside our comfort zone, then we should get accustomed to future generations finding more dynamic communities to call home. We have so much potential in our little slice of North Carolina that nowhere else in the world can offer. I often find myself wondering: Why do I have to describe where I live to people as a town about an hour outside of Charlotte and on the way to Asheville? Why are we not coming up with a story that people from all over the world long to seek out? Why are we still hoping that vanilla will miraculously make us stand out in the crowd?

We need to cut a new path on a road less traveled. No, it’s not easy. No, it’s not going to always fall in line with tradition. No, we’re never going to all agree on everything. However, if we run out of people interested in hearing our story, what happens to all our traditions anyway? We need a change, and we need a breath of life into our community. Otherwise, we will become a smaller and smaller dot on the map. That’s why I support a candidate like Carmen Eckard for Hickory Council.

Carmen has proven that she can tell a story better than most of us, and that’s exactly what she has done with Foothills Digest. She has found a way to turn our little slice of North Carolina into something exciting and interesting that the rest of the world can enjoy. I can’t say that I always agree with everything Carmen says or does, but I can say that if there is one person I want fighting on the front lines to tell our story, it’s Carmen Eckard and her extreme passion for the community she calls home.

Calvin Reyes


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