Here is a letter that we normally would not publish on our opinion page.
It's from the Phillips family, newcomers to the Rim country. We shy away from using testimonial-type letters like this that talk about how great a local business is. Not because local businesses are not great -- in fact, many are.
But we have to be careful for a couple of reasons: we don't want the opinion pages to be commercialized, and the opportunity for abuse is too wide open.
We're making an exception in this case because it is important for us to see the community through fresh eyes.
"We want to thank the merchants and residents of Payson for such a warm and generous welcome.
"We recently moved here and never met so many generous, helpful and caring people. Frontier School, and especially Mr. Bolt, have made the transition for our son very positive and smooth.
"Clerks in Wal-Mart have been more than friendly -- they have been amazing with all of their help. John at Computer Circuits is an asset to this community. He has helped me with my computer and printer.
"Marilyn Heron, P.A. and her office have helped us so much with our sick kids and scheduling them in. Travis at Chapman Auto Center went out of his way to help find us a vehicle that would fit our needs and budget.
"AAA Gutters worked us in so our horses wouldn't be living in a mud bath after the rains. Payson Packaging is simply a great business because of its great workers.
"Dr. Flake is a pleasure to see and has helped keep us upright while we've been moving.
"We just wanted to say thanks and keep it up. It makes us want to shop Rim country."
It is a particularly appropriate time of year to have this fresh perspective about our friends and neighbors. Sometimes, we take the familiar for granted.
There are certainly many more people here that deliver this type of hometown service. It's just one more thing to be grateful for during this season of thanksgiving and celebration.