As the world settles into its new normal, I have had the opportunity to reflect on this statement and the community of Blanco. Being an outsider at the start, only being allowed to participate in Blanco because of my wife, Michele, and our two children, I have been blessed to meet many members of the community in different settings. First, I only knew Blanco from the Blanco County News and from the stories Michele would tell. My kids were happy, my wife was happy, and that was good enough for me. As I have been reflecting at this time, I thought about when we attended our first football game in Blanco. As we were walking in, I was going through the litany of rules and worries about taking a first and fifth grader to the game and their anticipated “ditching” of their parents as soon as we were in the gates. My background made me cautious, Michele’s motherly concern made her fearful of what was to come as we planned for a strategy for corralling our children. As we entered, a parent by one of the gates must have heard us talking. She told us with a big smile not to worry, “There are adults at every gate, your kids won’t be going anywhere without you, we will all make sure of that.” I did not know it then, but there it was, “Panthers Don’t Let Panthers Fight Alone.”
Years have passed since that time at the gate, and many challenges have been presented to my family. However, each time I think about one of those challenges, I can also remember the support Michele or myself received from the community of Blanco. We were not fighting alone; we had the support of others to give us strength, encouragement and faith. It is not only when we were facing these challenges that we would get this feeling; it also came at times when we were celebrating the good times in Blanco as well that we knew that we were all in this together.
So at this time I would like to express my sincerest thanks to the community of Blanco who did not let us fight alone. I have seen the shirts expressing support for Michele on people who are complete strangers to me while shopping in San Antonio and smiled. We enjoyed prayers and well wishes to nourish our souls and meals from many gracious families to nourish our bodies. We have been offered options of support that will help get us through these times ahead and that means a lot knowing we can count on so many. Those who worked with Michele have done so much for our family and should know that Michele considered them to be a part of her family. All levels of the staff at the school district have been supportive with the women in the front office of the High School going above and beyond. Thank you all for what you have done and giving true meaning to the phrase, “Panthers Don’t Let Panthers Fight Alone.”
Patrick, Felicia, and Vanessa Skillman