I’m guessing that, by now, you have a pretty good idea about the theme of this issue. But, in case you’re new to this publication or region, let me explain: Every August we pay tribute to the people/places/things that make the Arlington/Mansfield/Kennedale/Grand Prairie area special via our Readers’ Choice All Star edition. It’s our way of extending a laurel and hardy handshake to a variety of entities that have found their way into the hearts of some 60,000 loyal readers – and a means to show our readers that what they think matters.

(It’s also a way for me to sneak in a tribute to Mel Brooks.)

When we introduced the All Star issue six years ago, we were somewhat uncertain how it would be received. To be frank, there was more than a little angst that some of the All Stars would emerge victorious by a vote of 4 to 3. In the formative months, we were just happy when someone said, “I didn’t know Arlington had a magazine,” because that meant that a conversation had begun talking about Arlington having a magazine.

Fast forward to the issue you hold in your hand now or are reading, in way-cool style, via the Internet. The All Stars presented this year, beginning on page 30, made their way into this publication via some vintage Smith-Barney “EARNing” the recognition. In quite a few of the more than 160 categories we presented on our ballot last spring, our vote tabulators were up long into the night hoping that they carried all the “ones” correctly – there were literally tens of thousands of votes to sort through. And when you’re talking about something as important as what our readers think, we certainly wanted to make sure we accurately reflected that collective voice when we put the respective winners and honorable mentions in place on these pages.

One of the recurring themes among our readers was that they not only liked a lot of things in the area; they liked the area. They liked its eateries. They liked its salons (hair, nails and otherwise). They liked its doctors and its lawyers and its financial advisors and its roofing contractors and its “pool guys.”

And they made it clear that they love its spirit, however it manifests.

As is the case every year, you’ll see some familiar folks and places posed in our Winner’s Circle. But you’ll also see a lot of newcomers. For every Dr. Joan Bergstrom, for whom one wellness category should probably be named, given her frequency at the top of “votes received” list, there’s a Christopher Chappell, who settled into town and decided he wanted to make people healthier and created a medical practice that does just that – so much so that he and Resurgence Wellness are All Stars during the firs

Yale Youngblood, Editor

t year they were on the ballot.

There’s a bottom line to this edition, and it’s this: A lot of people and businesses in this community do good things.

And our readers appreciate that they do.