Last Friday, Carol Conlee brought Jaston Williams and his manager by the office prior to the beginning of his fabulously successful weekend of fundraising for the Odeon Theater. Jaston and I have a number of acquaintances in common from Austin, and we really enjoyed having a few moments to chat about those special people in our lives.During our conversation, I explained to Jaston why I already knew that his weekend in town would be a good experience. He had been through Mason before, and is originally from a small Texas town; but, I explained to him that Mason was unlike any town he might have visited in the past.I've gone through this with others over the years. It's always somewhat the same - trying to convince people that, no matter what they may think, all small towns are not created the same. And, when it comes to being special and unique, Mason leads the way on many levels.One of the first is the strange "six degrees of separation" that people in Mason seem to have with the rest of the world. Travel anywhere in Texas, in the United States or in the world, and start talking about our little hometown. In a short while, you'll see someone's head swing about as they hear the conversation, and then they'll chime in to share their own stories and memories of having hunted in Mason, having floated down the Llano River, having eaten at one of our restaurants. It would seem that everyone has a connection to our town.Then, there is the way that Mason advances while still staying remarkably the same. Our square, our neighborhoods and our countryside all retain a wonderful hint of the people and the world that have made us what we are today. And yet, we are innovative, creative and open to change that may serve to benefit us in the long term. We know how to adapt and update, while keeping our integrity and our soul.Unlike many small towns, newcomers can, and do, move here and make successful lives. If they are individuals that want to work within the community, they are welcomed with open arms and invited to participate in clubs, organizations and causes, even though they haven't lived here all their lives. Mason has survived and succeeded when many other small towns have withered because they know that you can't shut out new ideas, new people and new blood.And, when visitors are here, they find something different than they might in towns of comparable size. Visitors, no matter their origins, are welcomed and taken by the hand as Mason residents don't just show our town, we show it off. Give the people of Mason an opportunity and they will act as tour guide for the town and county. We enjoy explaining about some of our favorite places, and about some of our favorite people. And, the more eccentric the tales, the happier we are to share them. And in Mason, our eccentricities abound.Near the end of Jason Williams' appearance at the High School, he was asked if he had gotten any inspiration during his time in Mason. He shrugged and smiled, and responded with a noncommittal, "Maybe....." I think he was keeping his cards very close and probably got a lot of new ideas. And, I would be willing to bet he will be returning to Mason for further inspiration in the future.
It’s all just my opinion.