NUMBERS PLAY an important part in our daily lives.

The dates on our calendars are numbers. When we call someone on the phone, it’s  numbers. When you try to balance your check book, it’s numbers. The scores in athletic contests are numbers. I’ve often said, “Numbers tend to make the world go around.”

Today’s Snippets will address some numbers that have recently made the headlines and might affect your daily life—  

In 2010, restaurants in the United States numbered approximately 945,000.

The approximate number of persons employed at these restaurants was 12.7 million.

This year’s State Fair in Dallas set a new record in the amount of money spent for food and amusement rides – about $37 million. The previous high was in 2007 — $29,174,230.

Donations to the nation’s 400 largest charities in 2009 revealed a decrease of approximately 11 percent from the previous year.

In 2008, 50 percent of college students had at least four credit cards with an average total debt of $3,173.

The recently appointed President of Texas Wesleyan University is 54-year-old Frederick G. Slabach. He’s a former Dean of the Law School at the Fort Worth university. He will assume his duties on January 1 as the 19th President of the 121-year-old university.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas is the largest accident health underwriter in Texas. The company had 27.3 percent of the 2009 market in the state. That’s the word from the Texas Department of Insurance.

An 8 percent increase in tuition will face students enrolling at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth in September.  

Eighty percent of the students enrolled this fall at Tarleton State University were  assisted with some type of financial aid. Of this number, 1,250 were on scholarships.

And the numbers go on and on – only a few news stories are ever written without numbers playing a major part.  

THE OCTOBER 12 column on P.E. (Pete) Shotwell, long-time high school football coach in Texas, continues to stir memories of residents in the Cross Timbers area. Ben Baty of Stephenville recently advised Ye Old Columnist (YOC) he had a relative to play for Coach Shotwell at Abilene High School in the early 1940s.

WHAT’S ON the horizon in the coming weeks for Snippets? Here’s a review of future columns for the four Tuesdays in December —

On December 7, Snippets will feature a column on one of the most memorable days in the history of this nation.

Then on December 14, Snippets will address a story entitled “His name was ‘Rabbit’.”  This unique individual  died in the tragic 1953 Waco tornado. The vicious storm claimed 114 lives and injured more than 600.

December 21 will find Miss Mandy Chilton writing Snippets. It is entitled “Mandy’s Christmas Dream.” This story appeared in this newspaper last December, and a number of you out there in Readerland asked YOC to repeat it.

On the final Tuesday in 2010 – December 28 – Snippets will extend the ”Welcome Mat” to the New Year, 2011.

’TIL NEXT TIME — “Love is the selfless desire to do good for some one else.” – Mike Hanna, Chaplain, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital, Stephenville.