When I hear the term “kick-start” it brings back many memories from the late 1960’s when my parents begrudgingly allowed my grandfather to purchase a Honda 90cc motorcycle for me. For several years I enjoyed riding mostly back roads of central Lincoln Parish. Everyone of those rides started with a kick-start to get my motorcycle off & running. Not all my trips resulted in a good outcome- there was some close calls and some minor scrapes, bumps and bruises-but those are long forgotten overshadowed by the countless hours of good times and great memories.
The recent HGTV segment featuring Minden was part of a series of six communities across our country and was billed as a Hometown Kick Start. Minden was chosen over some 5000 other communities that submitted information on their communities. Thanks to the initiative and tireless efforts of Rachel Longfellow Miller and Sara McDaniel-Minden made the final cut.
As I watched last Sunday night’s segment on Minden-my takeaway was that the segment focused on people and not places. Granted, the venues chosen certainly added to the segment, but the focus was on Minden people. And in my opinion-HGTV gave Minden a kickstart! It highlighted Minden’s most attractive feature-the people who live here and who do their best to “Love Their Neighbor”.
The comments made by some involving the “secrecy” surrounding the Minden project are just part and parcel of reality-tv. Anyone even remotely connected to or informed about the project had to sign a “Do Not Disclose” document. Our segment was filmed when COVID was still front and center on the minds of the HGTV network executives and production staff. Everyone connected to the project was tested and retested throughout the entire time the Minden segment was being produced. As for the venues chosen- it seems obvious to me that the HGTV folks wanted to tie together a theme of people really trying to make a difference in the lives of people, not just a difference in a building, home or public space.
Kickstarts can be really good things- especially when I think about our community. The following examples come to mind and I am sure I am missing some outstanding endeavors so I am asking for some grace if I missed yours-
- The Minden St Jude Auction
- Evergreen Presbyterian Ministries
- Teen Challenge and The Broken Bean
- United Christian Assistance Program (UCAP)
- Minden Foundation & Minden Charity Classic
- Project Reclaim
- Cultural Crossroads- The Farm
- Dorcheat Historical Museum
- Joe LeBlanc Food Pantry
- Seeds Women’s Center
- Webster Parish Men and Women of Courage
- Mercy’s Closet
- We’re Here
Thank you, Rachel and Sara, for your efforts that have allowed millions of people to see what most of us know and appreciate- our people. People committed to helping others overcome-thrive and flourish as God intended! May this kickstart challenge all of us to take advantage of the opportunities our community provides us to “Love Our Neighbor”.
Just like the kickstart of my 90cc Honda in the late 60’s I believe the HGTV Kickstart is going to lead to many good outcomes for the people of Minden and Webster Parish.
A Grateful Citizen, Ty Pendergrass