Some weeks in and around the area from Melissa to Howe (affectionately known as the corridor) are busier than others. Count this past week among the busiest of busy times.

It is my distinct pleasure to report on a variety of cool and unique happenings in the corridor, and over the past few days I have gotten to experience a couple of different events which have provided sheer fun and thought-provoking introspection.

The first of the two events was simply a good ‘ole time. The wonderful folks at Melissa Christian Church invited yours truly out to their 135th anniversary celebration. Yes, 135 years of service. Think for a moment about what life was like 135 years ago: the first telephone exchange was built in New Haven, Ct. and Thomas Edison patented the phonograph and made electricity available for home usage while the Ford Model T wouldn’t be introduced for another 30 years. And there was Melissa Christian Church getting its start in the community. Wow.

Back to the present: the organizers of Sunday’s anniversary bash threw a fine party complete with food, music, food, drink, food and…did I say food? Yes, there was lots of food, though the fact that I was serving as a judge in the Heavenly Cook-off Challenge may have contributed to that somewhat. I was graciously invited to serve as one of three judges of whatever charred meat was plopped on the table in front of us. Along with my esteemed colleagues – Don Hixon, well known and respected in the corridor, and Collin County Commissioner Chris Hill, whom I can say the same for – we ate our way through t-bone steak, salmon, venison, brisket, pork, ribs, beans, potato salad and multiple desserts.

My life is a tough one.

At the end of the day, Boy Scout Troop 413 brought it and took home the Golden Skillet for first place. Congrats, guys, you earned it. And thanks again to the church for having me out.

The other event I speak of took place on Monday at Van Alstyne Middle School but had a whole different impact. I had heard of Rachel’s Challenge but didn’t know that much about it. Thankfully, I can say that is no longer the case. Rachel Scott was the first person killed at the Columbine High School massacre on April 20, 1999, but she was more than a victim. As her family read through her journals and writings in the horrible days after the killing, they re-discovered their little girl and the world got a glimpse of someone who was amazingly prescient.

Scott is impossible to properly describe in this short space; she wrote of changing the world, dreaming big, finding the best in others and standing up for those who needed it the most. She lived what she wrote, with stories coming out after her death of Rachel befriending the new kid and standing up to bullies picking on a special needs student who was one day away from taking his own life until her intervention.

She also wrote in the weeks before her murder of the fact that she was aware her time on earth was about to be cut short. That was truly haunting.

The presentation at the middle school urged these young kids to be the best they could be and find the best in others. It challenged the students to end the cycle of school bullying and to start a chain reaction of kindness. I won’t lie, I got misty-eyed during parts of the program and I left the school vowing to go home and tell my wife I love her and to be a better person than I’ve ever been.

So, all in all, it’s been a fairly amazing couple of days here in the corridor. Hope you can say the same.