Life is in the eye of the beholder

Sometimes people ask me why I don’t write meaningful stories. I’m kinda baffled by that. And I know exactly what they mean….

By meaningful.

They want me to elaborately pontificate on why Democrats and Republicans don’t seem to “get along” as well as they used to. Or explain in graphic detail the underlying causes for all the commotion over women’s rights or what constitutes a marriage these days or which side of the abortion fence I’m standing on or how come gas is four dollars a gallon or is Gibbs ever coming back to NCIS…..

I recently wrote a story about teaching my grandson how to shoot a BB gun. You don’t think that was meaningful? It certainly was to me! And I hope it was to every grandfather….or grandmother….or big brother….or favorite uncle who ever dropped down on one knee and helped a young protégé sight down a barrel.

I’ve written a hundred stories about me and Bobby Brewer. He stayed at my house so much in those early years I thought he was an extra brother. We survived Indian attacks, kamikaze raids, all night pillow fights, spelling bees, junior high football practice, fighting all those screaming girls off our backs in those long ago high school days…..

OK, I might have made up the part about the screaming girls. But the point is every moment we spent together was about the most meaningful thing in my life at the time. AND I can double dog guarantee you, those wonderful memories are even more meaningful each time I recall them!

Let’s not confuse news media’s seemingly insatiable hysteria to incite our senses with sensational “coverage” of the most controversial people, situation, program, law, thing or conflict in America….with a “meaningful story.” To me, there is a heap of difference.

Someone berating their senator for his stance on voting for, or against, raising taxes on anyone making over $400,000 is certainly news worthy. But Buddy Wiggleton putting his arm around my shoulder, after my very best girlfriend left me flat, and consoling me by saying, “Kes, none of us ever understood what she saw in you in the first place” is priceless! Or, you could say meaningful. At least, I’ve never forgotten it! 

And, believe me, I am not making light of some of the serious differing of opinions in our nation today. We’ve got problems that need attention. But just maybe all the clamoring, sign waving, finger pointing and “it’s my way or no way” attitude might be a big part of our troubles. 

Gosh, I wonder what would happen if, instead of shouting at each other, we shared our very best meaningful story.

I know you must be tired of hearing about Leon and David Mark. But I’m telling you, I re-love my two brothers all-over-again every time I write their names down in a column.

And it is the very same when I mention Jackie Burns, Joe Williams, Cynthia Wheat or anyone of a hundred great kids I was privileged to grow up with. I became a teacher and a coach because of some early mentors in my life like John Camp, Sterling Givens and Chick King. Every one of them, in their own right, is a meaningful story!

Maybe we need, as an individual and a nation, to redefine our thinking on what constitutes “meaningful.”

I have no idea about the relationship between Republicans and Democrats today. And honesty, I’m not exactly enamored with either group at the present moment.

My Dad explained women’s rights to me years ago; without saying a word. If any lady walked into a room where he was seated, he immediately stood up. I understood how special they were! And when I saw the tears streaming down my Mother’s face as she was picking that gravel out of MY knee, I got a glimpse into their hearts.

I didn’t have a clue about marriage until Cathy explained all the benefits to me. And, after 48 years, I’m beginning to believe her!

The abortion fence would become a bit clearer if someone could explain to me if it is murder or not. If we can answer that question, the solution becomes fairly simple.

Gas prices were 23.9 cents a gallon when I started driving. And I’d never heard of Saudi Arabia. But I think that country, the Russians, Exxon and greed might have something to do with the high price of oil today.

I keep watching every episode of NCIS…..hoping they will finally get themselves into a mess that only Gibbs can get them out of!

And while we are waiting for gas prices to go down and Jethro to reappear I hope you don’t mind if I keep passing on a “meaningful” story every now and then…..hoping I can tell it in such a fashion that you will “catch my drift”……


Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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