Write the letter now

First, here’s hoping your Thanksgiving holiday was full of family, friends, fellowship – and to be all inclusive, femaleship – and of course some fun. This, of course, was the day set up to reflect, give thanks and count our blessings, no matter how big or small. I’m sure when you look back at the year, there is more good than bad.

I got to thinking about “thankfulness” and it reminded me of an article in the Dayton Daily News years ago by then-columnists Dale Huffman and the late Roz Young. As I recall, they both had lost a mutual friend and although appreciated while alive, never got the chance to tell them just how much. We’ve all done it. While attending a funeral for a friend or relative, you think to yourself, “Gosh if I only had a few more minutes to tell them how much they meant to me.”

So, the writers collaborated on several articles entitled, “Write the Letter Now.” In other words, don’t wait until it’s too late. Tell the ones that meant and continue to mean so much in your life while they’re still here among the living.

Give it some thought. Sure, you have a few. Like me, I’ve come up with several. The more I ponder, though, the more my list grows.

First, a big thanks to my former principal in high school Mr. D. and art teacher Mr. C. You see, I had a bit of a problem is school – I didn’t like it and it didn’t like me. Thanks to these two gentlemen for helping me stay in school and by making films in art class – something I really wanted to do – I made it to senior year. (It took me six years, but I made it.) Subsequently, my love of making films turned into a long TV career. So, gentlemen thanks for saving my life.

My science teacher Mr. M. who asked, “What do you like to do?” I said, “I Iike television.” He followed up by asking, “What, do you like to watch it?” “No, I want to be in it.” I responded. As a result, I was off on a 25-plus-year career in TV. Like my former news director at my former TV station who thought I’d be good on the air (you be the judge if I was), Steve, the operations manager at the time, suggested the idea. Guys, the public either thanks or loathes you two.

Thanks to Dale Huffman, who was both cheerleader and critic for my stories. Even though I didn’t care for the critical comments back then, I appreciate them even more now.

My neighbors Joe, Donna, another Joe and Linda, thanks for keeping an eye on the house while we’re gone and cat and dog sitting. Donna still offers the cheapest haircut in town. Thanks for being wonderful friends who happen to be neighbors.

My kids – it’s been rewarding, challenging and, of course, fun. I don’t know what I’d do without you. (But hopefully I’ll know soon when the oldest leaves my house. One down, one to go.)

My dog Ella, thank you for the unconditional love, even when I’m having a bad day. All you need is a toy and some food and you’re good to go.

To all the people that supported me during my local TV career, and now my column in this paper, thank you, thank you, thank you! More to come …

To Jeff with Erwin Chysler, John Stafford of Stafford Jewelers, Mike Dyer and Doug Mann from “The Tiger” and Karen from the Fraze, plus my friends from the Victoria. Thank you all for the support in my new “spokesman” roll.

My wife, even though we are separated, we still love each other and have fun when we get together. The focus is our kids.

To my brother Tom, even though he’s just a few years older than me, he is wise beyond his years. Thanks for the advice on just about everything.

To my Mom’s friend Pat, she helps take care of her at the retirement facility. Pat and Mom are lifelong friends from church and I would kid them when they’d get together for a church function because of the gossip they shared. I told them to start a newspaper called The Daily Blab. I was way ahead of my time because this was before the gossip newspapers and magazines filled the grocery stores. At any rate, Pat, thanks for being there.

Finally, my longtime friend and Dayton City Paper Columnist A.J. Wagner, thanks for letting me join your campaign – it was a fun run. I hope the more than 7,000 voters who supported you would mean Mayor-Elect Whaley would sit down with you to discuss your vision for Dayton.

Now, I’m sure I missed a few, but I encourage you to take some time this holiday season and thank someone who means the world to you.

Take a minute, write the letter now.

Finally, to Publisher Paul Noah and Editor Kyle Melton the of Dayton City Paper – Paul, thanks for taking a chance on me in my new writing career, and Kyle for fixing my grammatical errors. You guys are the best! (Blatant kiss-butt comments to get a free lunch.)

Cheers and see ya’ next week.



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