When I began jotting down my thoughts each week back in 2013, I didn’t plan on what started out as a blog meant to document my life, becoming a newspaper column.
This blog also appears as a weekly column in the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Little River News.
The first is near where I live in East Texas, and the other is in my hometown of Ashdown, Arkansas.
However, I’m glad that it did. Each newspaper was kind enough to invite me to have this space, and I am grateful for that.
Our weekly chats have allowed me to become acquainted with many new folks, most of whom have much more interesting things to say than I ever will.
I work from home, but many readers, logically, think that I keep regular hours at the newspaper office. Consequently, calls and correspondence come to the paper’s mailing address and phone number.
This creates a delay, sometimes a long one, between your letters to me and when I actually receive them.
So, if you have written me and not heard back, this is why. I respond to each person’s letter or email. Sometimes, it just takes longer than I’d like. And for that, I apologize.
I’m always humbled that someone takes the time to reach out to me. People’s time is valuable. That you would allot part of your day to correspond with me is greatly appreciated.
This week, I received several emails, a phone call and three letters. I hope that each of you don’t mind me mentioning you in today’s column, because, as I said earlier, what you have to say is much more interesting than anything I could muster.
The Internet has allowed those who were once tied to the print edition of the paper to now read it anywhere.
Rick reached out from Tomball, Texas. He is interested in publishing a book and we had a nice discussion about his volumes of poetry. His work is first class, and I hope that he follows through with making his dream a reality.
Wendy wrote me a letter from Frankston just to tell me that she looks forward to the paper and my column each week. Wendy, I especially enjoyed your Siamese cat stationary.
Jerry emailed to share his family’s cast iron story. That was in response to my previous column regarding my mom’s cast iron skillet being featured in The Pioneer Woman Magazine.
I received a lot of responses regarding the cast iron column. It would seem that most everyone has fond memories of their mom or grandmother’s cast iron. Many said that they were fortunate enough to inherit some or all of it.
The columns that generate the most response tend to be the ones that focus on the simple things. Holidays past, camping trips, or other topics that bring back fond memories.
I value all of my readers’ correspondence, but one that really touched me was from Jean in Van, Texas. She wrote about what it was like during the depression, picking cotton, and reading the classic literature that her father had managed to save for and buy before the stock market crash in 1929.
She said that the kids in her family went without shoes most of the summertime, but when her mom would order shoes from Sears for the school year, “…she wasn’t sure about sizes, so she carefully drew an outline of each right foot (standing) and included it with her order, and a mail order check purchased from our local mail carrier. This RFD man was a saint who handled all sorts of errands.”
I hope you don’t mind me including the following, Jean.
Jean was born in 1915. That’s right. Jean is 102 years old.
I am honored by each person who reads this space each week and by those who take the time to write to me.
My email is included at the end of each column, but if the Internet isn’t your thing, I love getting mail. As a matter of fact, there’s nothing more personal and enjoyable than seeing your thoughts, written in your own hand.
I appreciate our time together each week, and I look forward to hearing from you.
©2017 John Moore
John’s new book, “Write of Passage: A Southerner’s View of Then and Now” is available on Amazon.
Email John at firstname.lastname@example.org.