The Nacogdoches Convention & Visitor’s Bureau will be celebrating 25 years in 2021, and they are getting a kickstart on the celebration. The CVB is asking for everyone in Nacogdoches to write and send a love letter and/or pictures to Nacogdoches by November 26. Submissions will be put into a book that visitors and residents can view again and again.
Executive Director Ms. Sherry Morgan came up with the idea during the early stages of the pandemic and wanted to bring the community together.
“Our mission here at the CVB is really not geared towards the community, our purpose is to bring people into our community to stay in our hotels,” Morgan said. “And so, with COVID, people’s travel stopped, and we found ourselves suddenly with the mission of providing some kind of service to the Nacogdoches community.”
The team at the CVB wanted to use this as a way for citizens to distract from COVID-19 and give them some time to sit back and think of the good times they had here in Nacogdoches.
Anyone in Nacogdoches can submit a letter or picture, including students, teachers, adults and anyone who has a great story to tell. The CVB is accepting all stories, no matter the length.
“It could be just, ‘I was walking down the street and this nice old man gave me 20 dollars’ or something like that,” Creative Content Director Ashley Morgan said. “Something random that just kind of describes their experience here. We just think that’s so special and that’s something we hear from visitors all the time is the people here are just so kind… And we want to showcase stories like that. But, we want to hear people’s love stories, We want to hear about how they landed their first job or you know, met somebody important in their life that lives here, something like that. Any story is important and significant.”
People who want to submit a letter but don’t know how to start their submission can look at the list of writing prompts here.
Sherry Morgan is one of many people who, after graduating from SFA, decided to come back to Nacogdoches and got a different perspective of the town.
“I first came to Nacogdoches back in the 90s,” Ashley Morgan said. “I got my masters here, and I worked there on campus. I was the hall director at Kerr Hall. And I never had to leave campus, everything that I needed was right there. And so, I didn't really get to know Nacogdoches, just the town.”
She has submitted her love letter to Nacogdoches and expressed her love for a town she thought she was meant to leave behind.
“My love for you is matched only by my gratitude for the bounty of blessings you have bestowed upon me,” Ashley Morgan said in her letter. “You have provided me with a job that allows me to flex my creativity in passionate promotion of you. I get to tell the world all about you, my dear. You have demonstrated to me that it is okay to trust and love again by bringing the sweetest souls along to tempt me outside of the protective walls I had carefully constructed for protection. The best people in my life – across the entirety of my life – have resulted from my time with you. Because of you, Nacogdoches, I know what love and friendship truly is.”
The CVB hopes to have a celebration where everyone can attend, but it cannot be certain with the pandemic.
“But fortunately, we have the whole year to celebrate, even if it’s later in 2021,” Ashley Morgan said. “We are definitely planning to have more celebrations and other events.”
People can submit their stories to email@example.com and have until Nov. 26. The staff at the CVB said they understand that the world is uncertain and scary at the moment; they just hope this can bring some peace to the public.
“It's not meant to add stress to anybody, but really, just to provide an outlet, and maybe like a refocus of energy because it's really easy just to lean into those feelings of despair and hopelessness,” Morgan said.