To the Editor:
I felt compelled to write a letter describing how the Tennessee Gas Pipeline changed my life. I'm a single mom, restaurant owner, and an overall hard working American. In the spring of 2011, I heard the pipeline was coming to town. So like any other business owner, I thought "opportunity to make money." So I went down to the yard in Beach Lake, PA. Introduced myself and welcomed them into our town. I hoped if they got a day off they might stop in and have lunch at my restaurant. Well it worked!! They started to come in and eventually asked me to come out to the yard and set up a little breakfast stand. That way that didn't have to stop in the morning, they could just go to the yard and get breakfast there.
That's when everything changed! This group of men and women became family. I learned about their families. How they missed their children and loved ones at home. They were trying to make better lives for their families, by sacrificing their own. They worked many, many hours in all kinds of weather trying to get their jobs finished. My daughter, who was 13 at the time, would go with me to help out. She would write down their names and something about them, so that we could remember all of their names. Normally, I would not bring a young girl to a construction yard full of men, but these men were different. Kind and respectful. Southern hospitality at its finest. She would look forward to seeing each and every one of them, each morning.
I often do benefits. That summer was no exception. There was a young soldier, named Jeremy who was terminally ill and stationed in Texas. His dying wish was to see his family. The morning of the benefit I brought my donation jar with me and asked for monetary donations. I was hoping to raise a few hundred dollars for the family. That morning everyone gave not one's, and five's, but 20's, 50's and 100's for a young man they never met. With their help, we raised over $4,000 for him.
Tennessee Gas Pipeline changed me for the better that summer. Yes, I made money, and I worked hard for it. More importantly, I met wonderful men and women who I believe to be the soldiers on the war of energy and independence. They're trying to make us independent of other countries for our natural resources. Why should we be dependent on other countries, when we have the resources right under our feet. The gas line brings many opportunities with it. They employ many local people. They enhance businesses in many ways. They use the laundromats, grocery stores, restaurants, banks, hotels, hair dressers and many more. I only saw the good that these people brought to my life. I am not an employee of of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, but I am proud to say that they're family. When they come back again, I would recommend everyone to welcome them into your family. We are all in this together. We need to remember this is our America and these men and women are our brother and sisters.
Laurel M Gardner