There is a book on my shelf titled “Call Me Ishmael, 801 Memorable First and Last Lines in Literature,” compiled by David A. Spector. I like reading it from time to time. I have read some of the books quoted in there, but not all of them. One of the opening sentences included in the book is from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” by Truman Capote.
“I am always drawn back to places where I have lived, the houses and their neighborhoods.”
I feel the same way. Other than when I was in college and the first few years of my marriage, I have lived no further than 20 miles from where I was born. I like it here and I like writing this newspaper column. I will continue to live in Scott County, but for now I will move off this page.
I would rather have done this in person, but it has to be this way. I am taking a break. For several months this will be my last article/column/piece/story (pick your favorite name for what this is – but remember, it’s a family newspaper). Think of it as if I’m taking an early summer vacation that may extend through October.
I’m giving up this space for awhile to chase another dream. It’s not about needing more space; 24 column inches every week has suited me well. I am not going to another paper or anything like that. I just have to take some time away from publishing this column.
Can we still be friends? It’s not you, it’s me. I’ll take the time off, but one way or another I will return (provided the editor allows me to).
And lest you think I have run out of ideas – don’t be silly. I could tell you about my former life as a garbageman in Minneapolis, or the time I asked a chauffeur to drive my two brothers and me around Milwaukee while our sister was receiving her diploma from Marquette. Perhaps I will write about the time my friend, Jeff, and I ate a dinner salad with our fingers at a restaurant (they had forgot to give us silverware, and they ignored our pleas, so we just played along). I will tell you what I did the summer of 2010.
In this space I have tried to be meaningful, thought provoking and entertaining. I have written these 600 words with you in mind – kind of a conversation through the paper if you will. Some of you actually liked what I wrote. Your kind words mean very much to me. I will not forget them or you. So forget everything you know about memory loss, but please don’t forget about me.
I insist – to the point of being pouty, that my wife and kids always say “good-bye,” before they leave, even just for a run to the store, because – well, just because. But on the other hand when I am at a large party (more than 20 people) I prefer to slip out the door unseen (they call me “The Breeze” – not really but that would be a fun nickname). I think the quick escape is better than the traditional long Minnesota goodbye (hanging on a car door while running along side clutching a pan of bars).
It’s a weird thing, but I feel like I’m leaving you and I don’t like it. I didn’t want to just slip away from this space without saying goodbye. So have fun. I’ll see you around.
The last line is by Dr. Seuss.
“I’d make a few changes,
If I ran the zoo.”