My greatest joy in writing this column over the last year has been hearing from you. Your emails have covered the emotional gamut, ranging from pure delight and appreciation to unbridled anger, even disgust
I’ve read them all.
As a result, I’ve grown as a man, a father, a husband, and especially as a citizen of the United States of America. Aristotle once said, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
And therein lies the beauty of this column: our weekly interaction has given me a chance to learn, to grow, and for that I am thankful.
So, for the final installment of 2018, I want to go back and share some of the best responses I’ve received over the last year. I’ve derived much wisdom from your thoughts. Thanks to all who’ve responded. I look forward to hearing from you in 2019.
“I used to be naive enough to think that if you follow Jesus there is only one way! I was so wrong. Merry Christmas. Feed hungry, house homeless, love the unlovable.”
—Sue Hanson, Russellville, Arkansas
“Have you considered what kind of a coach Hillary would make? Instead of a nation that is returning to greatness, you would be wearing a brown suit just like everyone else and you would not be allowed to publish your thoughts. Just a thought!”
“This got me to thinking: Friday night is more than just the football team. Each part has to sacrifice time, money, and sometimes even body. Each group can sustain injury in practice of their part. Even the parents. I tore a hamstring, pulling a cooler out of a trailer. Bad. If you want to see a picture let me know.”
—Johnny Johnson, Arlington Texas
“In your column, you articulated something that strikes me as a theory of democracy. You told about being a third-generation teacher and about how your values were in contributing to the common good, as opposed to personal wealth. There’s nothing more democratic than that idea, and I fear we’re in danger of losing it. It heartens me to see young people defending that notion.”
—Heber Taylor, Galveston, Texas
“HELL, DO I HURT, ELI!”
—John McCauley, Clarksville, Arkansas
“I live on Social Security and a small pension. Medicare pays only a portion of my doctor and hospital bills and I have to work out payment plans for the endless bills. But my generally liberal views automatically characterize me as an elitist. Our upside-down, inside-out era has created a new class — elitist paupers.”
“I would substitute the phrase ‘threw up’ for the word “puke.” Otherwise, you captured the attitude of aging athletes.”
—Richard Peel, Russellville, Arkansas
“Good article. My favorite subject is: ‘The thought process of our village idiots when it comes to the game of football and the young men who play and coach the Game.’”
“It’s true, what you say. Men do feel useless. There’s some Bob Dylan lyric that goes something like ‘If the thoughts inside my mind could be seen / long ago they would have put me in the guillotine.’”
—Alex Taylor, Morehead, Kentucky
“I don’t really remember any of the scores from my junior high or high school games. I don’t really remember any of the half-time speeches either, although I remember a few times when the coaches went postal, cussing up a storm, throwing chairs and stuff. But, I remember most all the guys, the good ones and the not so good.”
—Steven Thomason, Benton, Arkansas
“When I told my assistant coach I was emailing you regarding your articles he couldn’t believe it. His exact words were, “He must be good, because in 20 years with you, you have never done anything like that.” I’m kind of old school and just keep my comments to myself. I’m just a country guy at heart.”
—Rickey Smith, Fort Smith, Arkansas
“Boy, Straw, what a gem of an essayette is this essayette!”
—Johnny Wink, Arkadelphia, Arkansas
“I had to make a choice, a long time ago. I decided I did not believe in a God of fear, but a God of love. I decided that — although I am well aware that I am finite and fallible and mortal, that I cannot define ‘the truth’ — any code that required me to give up thinking in order to follow it was a false code. Not just misguided or mistaken. False. Flat-out wrong.”
—Jack Butler, Eureka, California
What’s your take on what you just read? Comment below or write a response and submit to us your own point of view or reaction here at the red box, below, which links to our submissions portal.