THANKFUL THURSDAY EVENT
Politics and companies continue to hold a strange power over even the smallest events.
Published on 09/03/2018 | Author: Charlie Neil
Wyoming is widely considered one of the business centers of the United States, which you wouldn’t know by living here. That’s because businesses register here, but a lot of them don’t have any physical presence.
When I was going to high-school a lot of our events and programs were sponsored by these huge corporations. Multinational banks, gigantic department stores – you name it.
Well, there’s a good chance Rock Springs wouldn’t have existed into the modern era without these businesses’ help, so during my senior year, the school decided to thank all the companies that kept us afloat with a banquet.
It was a huge deal, and they really went all out. The students were drafted into making flyers and banners, the band practiced classical music for weeks, I think they poured more effort and money into it than they did our graduation.
They called it the Thankful Thursday Event.
I was on the invitation team. They set us up in an old storage room; a hot, dusty place filled with old lockers and broken furniture. The principal’s administrative assistant was in charge of the project. She drafted the letters, and three classmates and I folded them and stuffed envelopes.
Then, we put them in a basket to be mailed at the end of the day. There were well over a thousand, and even with a sense of urgency in our work cause of the looming deadline, it took us weeks to get them completed.
So after months of tireless preparation, Thankful Thursday was upon us. It was huge, practically everyone from town was there. All the teachers, the professors from the university, almost everyone’s parents, a Mormon stake president, and even a smattering of trailer trash from out west of town.
Do you know who wasn’t there though? Anyone from the corporations.
Not a single person.
It was insane, and everyone acted like it was normal. The mayor gave a speech thanking all of the companies that weren’t there, followed by this convoluted award ceremony for their largest sponsors.
“And although no one from such and such company could be here, they send their regards and we’re proud to award them… “ etc, etc.
Then they would just package the awards up in the same boxes they pulled them from.
Everything was so bizarre, and my curiosity got the best of me. Maybe it was the weeks of preparation for nothing, or the discomfort I felt regarding the whole ordeal, but I snuck away from the celebration to visit the storage room that I had spent the last couple of days in.
It hadn’t been used since we finished and looked as desolate as ever, but I decided to poke around a bit. That’s when I noticed one of the lockers had a new lock on it.
My sister taught me how to pick locks in middle school after I locked our shed closed with the key inside. She got me a lock picking kit that year for my birthday. She said it was a more valuable skill than people gave it credit for.
After scrounging around for something to use as a tensioner and retrieving a bobby pin I had in my pocket, it took a few minutes, but I picked that sucker.
That’s when I found them.
Stacked from the bottom to the top of the locker were boxes filled to the lid with our invitations. Each one stamped, addressed, and still sealed.
They never sent a single one.
Maybe it was from all that work we did for nothing, the fact that the entire banquet was a sham or a combination of the two, but it really disturbed me.
Getting the feeling more and more that I’d seen something I wasn’t supposed to, I quickly closed everything up the way I’d found it and went back to the celebration.
I spent the rest of the night with some friends to ease my mind, but it was no use, I couldn’t stop wondering about those unsent invitations.
The next day at school I decided to check the room again.
There was no lock, the boxes were gone.
No one ever mentioned or even alluded to the strangeness of that night, and I checked another box on my long list of Rock Springs oddities.