It was a glorious evening.

Once again, Downtown Party Night proved to be a great time because of all the people we saw.

There is a scene in the Chevy Chase movie "Funny Farm" in which the town's people dress up in 1940s attire and engage in activities such as ice skating and caroling to impress a couple interested in buying a house in town.

You have to watch the movie to get the plot but the point is that the town becomes much nicer, if just for a few hours, by deciding to act nicer.

It's a well-known principle that if you want to feel a certain way, you have to first act a certain way. Feeling follows action.

I think the ambiance of being downtown after dark with so many stores open on the Saturday after Thanksgiving puts people in the Christmas spirit.

Bringing back the tree lighting ceremony after a decade, the carriage ride drawn by real Clydesdale horses, shopping downtown followed by a nice meal in a restaurant all led to a feeling of optimism, tranquility and, yes, even love for our fellow man to the hundreds that crowded Main and Washington streets.

Linda and I enjoyed the tree lighting ceremony and dinner at China Inn before working our way through the stores.

Everywhere we went I saw smiling faces and people greeting one another. I saw many people I see each week but somehow, everyone was more relaxed, more friendly than we have time to be in our daily lives.

Well done, merchants! Your Party Night was well done.

* * * * * * * *

IT'S TIME TO to bid farewell to a young man who grew up in this community. For several months Jonathan Streetman (Chuck Streetman's son) has been taking photos and writing news stories for that other newspaper in town.

He is going to Jasper to continue his career in journalism.

I have not come to know Jonathan well, but I can tell you he is a great competitor and he has a bright future ahead of him.

On a personal level, I wish him well and speaking as a competitor, good riddance! (That's high praise from one who has gone head to head with him on many stories.)

Best wishes, Jon!