It's time to re-read the year's mail . One of the greatest things about
writing a column is finding that somebody reads it. Most of your
comments have been friendly, informative, funny or all of the above.
There are, of course, a few who think I'm nuts, but you can't please
everybody. One of the mottoes hanging over my desk reads, "If you can't
annoy someone there is little point in writing."
I have made several new email friends this year and I enjoy reading
everything that comes along. I try to answer them all, but don't always
succeed and I hope you will forgive me.
Here is an update on last year's story of Ariel, the little wild colt
who had the misfortune to be born to a mother without much sense of
place. Mama was standing on the edge of a cliff when she gave birth and
the little newborn tumbled 60 feet. Ariel was rescued and adopted and
is alive and well. The "Wild Horse Lady" keeps me informed.
I have one correspondent who always writes when he thinks I have strayed
from the firm Religious Right Party Line - which I do religiously. I
strayed with football and prayer, and he said, "For a court to suggest
that it is somehow OK for a student to pray over a school lunch . . .
yet students may not choose to honor community tradition and give an
invocation before a football game opposes EVERYTHING this nation and its
founding fathers stood for." Gee, football wasn't even a tradition in
A more rational man wrote, ". . . you're wondering which would have
shocked Thomas Jefferson more, seeing a football game or hearing a
prayer at one. Jefferson was a Deist. I think he would have been more
shocked by prayer."
I had a long letter from a man who should be very happy now. He said,
"Al Gore doesn't scare me-- it's people like you that actually believe
his B. S. that scare the Hell out of me." I won't quote what he said
But there is lots of wonderful mail.
A woman from Montrose liked the column on etymology, my protest at
"nouning" and "verbing" our perfectly good language. She writes of her
6th grade English teacher and adds, "I just turned 70 and I can recite
very rapidly the 22 intransitive verbs at the drop of a hat." Wow.
That's about 21 more than I can manage.
Oh yes, one local couple named their new puppy after me. I'm not sure
what that means.
In one column I mentioned my mother's favorite Senator, Peter
Dominick. Much to my amazement I received a message from his son,
"Sandy," who lives in Arizona. He wrote, "I just want to thank you for
bringing my father into the 21st century, for me, and my wife and
children, who never knew him, and for your readers who probably never
knew him either."
After my 86th birthday column I heard from several eighty-something
women. One said, "I just had my 80th. . . Don't ever forget that you
are a blessing to women who dare to THINK." Another one said she hopes
I live to be 100. These reminded me of Gloria Steinem's comment, "One
day an army of gray-haired women may quietly take over the earth."
But we do have to elect a female president first.
Dr. Laura stirred up less furor than I had expected. Most of the mail
agreed with me, that she ready for retirement. I got several copies of
a tongue-in-cheek e-mail letter to Dr. Laura. It starts off with,
"Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law, and
I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can." The rest
of it is true but probably not quotable here!
The response that I treasure the most came from Phoenix when I received
a copy of the Arizona Civil Liberties Union Annual Report. The
President's Report quoted my column in full, the one against posting
the Ten Commandments in every school room . My son John, who is
President, wrote, ". . . she said it better than I can." Respect for
the First Amendment runs deep in my family.
You can't write a column in a vacuum,. Thanks to everyone who wrote.