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Reader Appreciation Thoughts

Thursday, July 31, 2008

There is nothing that a columnist likes more than to get feedback from a certain article or column. It is great when someone gives a general statement such as, "I really enjoy reading your work in the newspaper." But it is even better when someone responds to a specific piece of work. That way we can know it was actually read.

That has happened to me several times this summer. Maybe it is because it is hot and people stay inside and read the paper more thoroughly. Perhaps we all have a little more time in the summer and can take time to respond. Or maybe I just happened to do a better job on a couple of columns and the surprise kicked off some responses. Whatever the reason, I have basked in the comments and appreciate them. (Several called or e-mailed me quickly to tell me about my intended typo in last week's column. In case you didn't find it, it was the word "worship" spelled with an "a" instead of the "o".)

Another response that is a big help to me is having people suggest articles that I could write.

I have had to turn down a couple because they were of a political nature and I do not intend to take sides in my columns. My one big exception is that I will always be on the side of the our county and its residents, but some issues may not appear equally good to all three of my readers, so I refrain from publicly supporting an issue.

Part of that reluctance comes with the years of being, first an Extension agent's wife and then a minister's wife. We were always instructed to not show our political preferences for fear that it would be a deterrent to our husbands' work. That is not as much of a practice now as it was in past decades. In fact we have two very well respected ministers actively serving on the Nevada City Council where they obviously have to take sides on issues. I applaud them for that, but I still plan to keep my column free of bumper-sticker-type issues.

My philosophy for my Senior Page articles is to write about people, places, organizations, buildings, events, and history from 50 years ago or more. In addition I will write about places that would interest those of us who are fifty years or older as well as opportunities for our age bracket for fun or education.

I don't do household hints except to pass along the cartoon, "Maxine's", premise that, "In a hundred years it won't matter. It hardly matters now."

My only health suggestion is that if you laugh 100 times in a day it does more good for your aerobic system than 10 minutes on a rowing machine.

But I love to find out about interesting people, families and organizations. It's nice to trace the history of a favorite eating-place or to share memories of places that no longer exist. It won't be long until some of the landmarks of my childhood and youth will not only be gone, but will no longer even be remembered. So while there are still a bunch of us World War II youth still around, let's keep those memories alive. Maybe the younger generation doesn't care that the present jail and sheriff's offices used to be a very elegant post office building. But we seniors can enjoy remembering the tiled floors and brass spittoons inside the imposing building.

Thanks for helping me keep these memories flowing and for keeping my enthusiasm up for writing these memories.

Carolyn Gray Thornton
Middle Age Plus