Chicago may be Sinatra's kind of town, but Tyler, Texas is my happy place.
Last week a survey was revealed that showed Tyler is one of the happiest places in the United States. The Rose City came in at No. 12. If you only focus on the top 10 in the list four are cities in the state of Louisiana.
This Cajun conundrum would be curious if you only focused on weather, geography and tradition. But the secret sauce has to be those people must be happy because of all the delicious spicy food they get to eat day in and day out.
Some of them are probably happy just to dodge being eaten by a gator. Of course any year LSU beats Alabama on the gridiron would probably have the whole state frothing at the mouth for a good six months.
Maybe they are just glad Bobby Jindal has fixed the roads. When I was a kid, you could cross the state line and tell you were in Louisiana because the medians were not mowed and the roads were terrible. The weeds on the roadside were 6 feet high.
It's not hard to understand how Tyler made the list, and I won't complain that we got beat out of the top 10 by the likes of Houma and Shreveport because that wouldn't trigger happy thoughts.
You could surmise many reasons for our happiness here. We have to be a fitter city after the past few years of focus on healthy lifestyle and the thousands of pounds lost in the process. We have a good climate and are blessed with many options of places to live, worship and the pursuit of happiness.
Does it ever make you wonder why people leave?
What makes you happy about living here? Send us your thoughts on why Tyler is a happy place, and we will offer prizes for the best answers. Prizes may include coupons for ice cream, a Pharrell Williams CD, including the song "Happy," and we'll get our gang to see if they can find one of those T-shirts with one of those smiling yellow emoticons.
On a different happy note, last week was the last regular meeting of the B.U.N.S. book club. My club and its members have been a joyful and edifying process. Many people will tell you that being a member of a book club will cause you to read books you would have not otherwise read. This was certainly true of many of the books we encountered together during the past 4 1/2 years.
Fiction has never been my favorite type of reading fare, so I was challenged to muscle through some of the selections until we could get to the history and biographies that were the meat of the matter for my tastes. Special thanks to the devoted and well-read members who faithfully attended and participated in the best and worst of weather. Of the members it would be my estimate that David and Virginia Demic were the most voracious readers. It was hard to pick books they had not already consumed. John, Val, Ruth, Dolores were part of the almost perfect attendance and participation club and my mother, aunt and grandmother were faithful attendees as well.
You will all be missed, but I will keep you posted on what I am reading and hope you will do the same. Presently, I am listening to several books at once. They include "Necessary Endings" by Henry Cloud, "Leading Change" by John Kotter, "The Demographic Cliff" by Harry Dent and "Things That Matter" by Charles Krauthammer.
I wish each of you every happiness.