Visitor Praises Jennings
To the Editor:
The first day I drove to Jennings, instead of through Jennings, I stopped at a gas station on Highway 90 to get directions to the hospital. The two ladies there gave me perfect directions and, when I told them my father had been brought into the ER, they said they’d pray for him. They didn’t know me and I didn’t know them, but I felt as though I’d found friends.
My dad stayed in the ICU at the local hospital for about 12 days. I asked the staff to treasure him the way that I did. They treated him like he was their own. He was in so much pain it was sometimes hard to make him hear, but they spoke softly to him and comforted him as best they could. More friends.
I spent two nights at a local hotel and was stunned when, on the first night I registered with tears in my eyes, the clerk came around the desk to hug me. The waitresses at the a local restaurant watched over me and asked about my dad (I had told them that I was staying with him) every time I went in for lunch. More friends.
Driving in Jennings was amazing. No turn lane on the main road? It was proof to me that Jennings is the nicest, kindest town in this state. If you put your left-turn signal on in Lafayette without using the turn lane, people try to run over you! Not in Jennings. Patience is a virtue there, especially on the road.
Strangers behind cash registers, walking the hallways at the hospital, driving with me on the roads, and whenever I stopped anywhere were the nicest people I’ve ever met. Coming back to Lafayette was a huge letdown. I cringed every time someone threatened me on the road here and refused to return a smile.
On my last day there, I went into the gas station and had to tell my new friends that my dad had passed away. They both promised prayers for me and my family and they both had tears in their eyes. Jennings is the best kept secret in the state and possibly the country. Please, never change. Please greet every stranger as if he or she is a family member. They will never forget. I will never forget. You made the hardest time of my life and the loss of my father easier that it would have been anywhere else. God bless you all for your big hearts, smiles, and welcoming arms.
Sharon Pangle Baker
P.S. I’d overheard a woman in Welsh say she wouldn’t take her dog to Jennings. Good! She was too mean to live in what is now my favorite place in Louisiana.
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