I must confess to each of you that never in my lifetime have I been as confused as I have been for the last 60-65 days.

From the beginning of our precautions at the city, it always seemed to have a point where it looked like an end was in sight. My first target date was for Easter Sunday, then my grandson’s birthday, May 2. Now it is May 23 and Memorial Day weekend, and the invisible virus is still not only the lead story, but the generator of doubt in nearly every household.

The encouragement that keeps my spirits up is the way each one of you (or nearly each one of you) has self-policed and more than abided by the rules and suggestions that have been presented to you in your businesses and personal life.

From the onset, Lufkin Farm & Nursery had the social distancing and number of customers in the store down to scale and it was well received and customers abided by the written rules and tape on the floor.

When the governor reopened the restaurants, Lone Star Charlie’s and IHOP stationed off the tables and booths and allowed only 25% of the facility to be occupied. The grocery stores stayed in line with customers per square foot, the big box stores worked their way into compliance and it all seemed to help, but our numbers continued to grow.

In all my electric utility days, we had many weather events in the seven towns my family lived in, and in every case the lights came back on. The real reason was because you could see the damage and knew where to start and what to use to repair the damage.

I am not saying that this virus is an item that no one could imagine, but it certainly has been exasperating to get our arms around.

Everyone in our medical fields have all done their best to slow the progress down, and each doctor, nurse, technician and the whole medical force in Angelina County needs to be commended for their dedication and willingness to stay the course until this virus chooses to slow down.

Of all the entities involved in helping keep our numbers in line, the churches and religious community have certainly done more than their part in keeping the numbers down by adjusting their activities and functions. Bless each pastor and church leader for a job well done.

We will recover, but please do not relax for a minute in the next few months.

To all the graduating high school seniors and college seniors, thank you for your willingness to adjust and understand the importance of social distancing. Our first-born grandson should have walked the stage at Baylor University last week, but instead his name was listed on the scoreboard in the football stadium. We are not only proud of him, we are extremely proud of his maturity to adjust and understand that no one wants to carry this virus out in to the surrounding community and interrupt the life of another person or family. This is not a time to be self-centered or selfish. Bless you all.

Please be aware that the widow of U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, B.A. Bentsen, recently passed away. I mention this precious lady because she was a native of Lufkin, and as she traveled all over the world she always claimed Lufkin as her hometown. She was a graduate of Lufkin High School and after marrying Sen. Bentsen, moved to McAllen, but she will always be from Lufkin in our hearts.

She still had some personal ties to Lufkin and we wish to honor Beryl Ann Longino Bentsen for gracefully carrying the city of Lufkin all over this world. Rest in peace, Mrs. Bentsen.

As we pause to remember our heroes this Memorial Day weekend, please continue to pray for our city, county, state and nation. We have many, many unselfish and caring volunteers who help make our lives safer and less stressful and we need to pause and say thank you.

Please continue to practice social distancing, wash your hands and stay away from everyone when you do not feel well. We will get through this mess, but until that comfortable day arrives, be nice to each other and say a prayer of thanksgiving for your neighbors and friends who love you.

Bob Brown is the mayor for the city of Lufkin. His email address is mayorbobbrown@cityoflufkin.com.

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