Jan. 9, 2013 —
To go or not to go.
That was the dilemma I faced as a high school senior while trying to decide if college was right for me.
My older brother chose to go into the Navy rather than college. Our folks were proud of him but I sensed some disappointment about college.
My favorite teacher in high school kept telling me that the time would come that the best paying, most secure jobs would go only to those with college degrees.
I’m not sure I believed him at the time but he turned out to be a prophet.
He told me that going to college had changed his life forever. His statement kept running through
Less than two weeks before the fall term began, I reluctantly applied to what is now a community and technical college.
My elderly, widowed grandmother offered me free room and board at her home and my mother agreed to co-sign a private bank loan for tuition and books for the first year.
I held a few temporary jobs before getting on as a part-time newspaper reporter. Being young and dumb at the time, I partied too much and used up my college money.
I asked my grandmother, who had an eighth grade education, if I could continue to live with her while I worked to save money to go back to school.
She was obviously disappointed but said I could stay on.
The next morning I picked up the phone and heard my grandmother in conversation with one of her sons. Neither knew I was on the line.
She asked him how, at her age, she could get a $5,000 loan on her home which was debt free.
My uncle, who managed her finances, asked why she needed that much money. I almost dropped the phone when she responded:
“Keith needs help with his tuition and I don’t want him to drop out. He might never go back.”
I was too choked up to speak when she walked into my bedroom and sat down on my bed. She started to tell me about the money.
Through my tears, I hugged her tightly and told her that I loved her but that I didn’t need her money.
I made a solemn promise to her that day that I would continue to work and finish college, regardless of how long it might take.
Eight years later, when I finally graduated with a four-year degree, she was the proudest person there.
Jan. 9, 2013 —
To go or not to go.
- Wednesday's Post
It’s hard to fool an old snipe hunter…
For openers, I’ll define the word “snipe.” It’s actually a small, coastal bird but often is said to be an animal that lives in the forest and is difficult to see and to capture. A “snipe hunt” has been a rite of passage for generations of Boy Scouts and other young folks who’ve attended summer camps in the country.
- Thoughts on the deaths of those we revere “Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” I have often reflected on those immortal words of John Donne, the great English poet, while trying to cope with the deaths of family members, friends and other persons important to me.
A story of drug addiction…and hope
“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.”
These famous words of American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr have been around a long time. I have admired their practicality but now I am aware of their power.
How not to become a professional gambler
I don’t recall exactly when I decided I wanted to become a professional poker player. I was trying to be a college student and work full-time but couldn’t shake the notion of being a “card sharp”.
Every columnist needs a fan like Gerta
It started with a phone message from a female reader in Indiana who said she wanted to meet me because I was the last item on her bucket list.
Lifting our eyes unto the hills for help
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.” That first verse of Psalm 121 came to mind this week when I heard that Gov. Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers had called a summit meeting in Pikeville on Dec. 9 to start planning the future economy of East Kentucky.
Recalling the indelible moments of our lives
The dictionary defines “indelible” as “unable to be forgotten; memorable.” Each of us has experienced indelible moments in our lives, sometimes without realizing it at the time.
A proud old soldier who did it the right way
My favorite soldier, like most other veterans, resented the anti-military, anti-American slogans and protests which divided our nation during the Vietnam years.
Have you ever bumped into an old friend?
It was a beautiful summer afternoon with blue skies, bright sunshine and temperature in the high 70’s. As I drove toward my office after a business luncheon, traffic was relatively light on the five-lane street. I noticed a vehicle slowing in the inside lane as I approached in the outside lane.
A happy ending to an unhappy journey
The young woman stood nervously on the front porch of the strange house. Her mind flashed back several weeks to the time her mother had casually commented as they drove through the neighborhood that her grandparents lived in that house on the corner.
- More Wednesday's Post Headlines
- It’s hard to fool an old snipe hunter…