It was December 1980, and John Lennon had just been gunned down by a crazed fan outside his New York City apartment. I was not a huge personal fan (more of a McCartney man) but I certainly respected his music. A lot of timeless art had jumped out of the guy’s head.
A couple of days later I read a newspaper column implying he somehow deserved it, the dang hippie.
That’s what made me a columnist. In my newspaper, I wrote a terse response reminding old guys that even they likely hum a Lennon song now and then without knowing it. A few months later, having just turned 25, gotten married and moved, I was working for the guy who wrote that column.
He gave me an opportunity — in fact, he encouraged me — to write every week. I got in the habit and wrote a column at two other newspapers before he hired me as publisher. I wrote a weekly column at the Azle News for nearly 25 years, and after I left, I had a column at my next stop, the Wise County Messenger.
In February 2015, I finally stepped away from the newspaper business. But I still get ideas, thoughts that need the refinement and discipline of being written in order to come into focus. I don’t know if I’m right-brained, but I’m definitely write-brained. This is how I think.
My daughters suggested a blog, so here I am. I can’t stop thinking, but unless I write, these ideas will never be fully cooked. Some of them likely won’t be anyway.
You be the judge. Let me know what you think. Let’s have a conversation where, for the first time, I didn’t have a deadline and you didn’t have to buy a newspaper.