Matt deGrood

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. Where some might like Christmas and Hanukkah with their presents and festivities, I’ve always preferred the simplicity of Thanksgiving.

One need bring no gifts to your family gathering this week. At its heart, Thanksgiving is simply about food, family and giving thanks.

This year, especially, I think taking some quiet time alone with our friends and families will be worth its weight in gold.

It’s been a wild year both in Fort Bend County and across the world, really. There’s been a global pandemic, contentious elections and tense fights over what students are learning in school, just to name a few things that have happened this year.

Given all that, I know at our home, we’re planning on a quieter Thanksgiving, complete with good food and a chance to stop and take a breath.

But I can promise you this Thanksgiving, I’ll be sure to take some time to be thankful for the five months I’ve spent as the managing editor of the Fort Bend Star.

As a resident of the Houston area for several years now, I’d long heard stories about Fort Bend County even before I’d arrived at the newspaper. The county’s changing demographics and purple politics has quickly become the stuff of national conversation.

I’ve quickly learned there’s a big difference between reading about a place and fully experiencing it, however.

Just last week, I had the distinct honor to visit a class of recent immigrants at the Literacy Council of Fort Bend County and discuss the role journalism plays in the local community. I’ve never felt quite so underqualified as I did entering that room and talking to a group of students whose lives and stories are far more interesting than anything I had to offer.

Stay tuned to soon read a full report about that class, and the stories of those who attend it.

That visit is just the latest in a steady string of stories and news I’ve gotten to cover, edit and write about since my arrival back in June.

You have Larry Callies, whose passion for history and cowboys led him to open the Black Cowboy Museum back in 2017 in Rosenberg. And who could forget Rhonda and Beau Gilbo, whose steadfast advocacy led to them gathering enough signatures to change their street name from Confederate Drive to Prosperity Drive.

Special Olympics athlete and Sugar Land resident Derek “Tank” Schottle left me feeling inspired after I had the chance to sit and talk with him about his life and passion for sports.

The friendship of Melissa Harrington and Emily Castro and the success of their business on the television show "Shark Tank" filled me with hope that hard work can pay off in 2021.

And there were scores of Fort Bend County residents who took time and supplies and traveled to Louisiana after Hurricane Ida caused catastrophic damage to some parts of the state earlier this year.

Five months serving Fort Bend County readers and residents isn’t nearly long enough to yet feel an expert in the goings-on of the county. There are many important faces I still need to meet, and issues still uncovered.

But it has certainly been enough time to learn first-hand what a special place Fort Bend County is.

As you sit down with your families this week to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday (and read the Fort Bend Star), I hope you know how much all of you have meant at making me feel welcome for these five months.

You’ve let me visit your homes and listen to your stories, and you’ve shared your hopes and dreams and concerns about everything in Fort Bend County.

I cannot thank you enough for getting me up to speed.

And to those of you that I haven’t yet met – I look forward to doing so in coming months. Five months have already gone by, but I’m looking forward to spend many more months together.

Here’s to Fort Bend County and the multitudes it contains.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.