As another year passes my motivation is knowing that there are still people out there who appreciate reading…without conforming to the lunacy of fear, political correctness, and liberal waste.
Today I observe my 64th birthday…a little sore, a little stiffer, and a little slower than last year. I’m having an MRI later today for a torn tendon in my shoulder. Nice.
Nonetheless, 64 is highly significant to me, because for one, there are so many people that I’ve known and befriended over the years, some very special people who I loved and who loved me, that never made it this far.
In another sense the number “64” stands out for the fact of my life-long fascination with the Civil War…and 1864! That was the year of the great battles in the wilderness of Virginia – Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg – that helped usher an end to the War…that helped define the entire 19th century and our current civilization.
But I also think of 64 for the fact of the year just passed…63. My 63nd year, in comparison to many of the previous 62, was a very good year for me.
Like the words of the old Sinatra tune from 50 years ago, it was a year when dreams came true, when hopes were realized…many hard days and nights rewarded. It was a year when the end began to justify the means.
This website suddenly boomed in relevance. 19.8 million times people viewed something…the editorial content, the photos, or the ads…on Press Pros Magazine in 2015. And the projection is that at the current rate of increase that figure will nearly double in 2016. That’s amazing.
As you listen to Frank sing (Stan) I’ll tell you what made it such a good year…the fact of the people around me who dreamed, and allowed for, the age-old goal of success, even if just a little. Barack Obama and the federal government did not help us build this. But rather, Hal McCoy, Joe Neves, Greg Hoard, Doug Harris, Nate Jenkins, Jim Morris, Bruce Hooley…and a very good associate editor, Julie McMaken Wright…helped make it a very good year.
That, and the patience of a great spouse who sacrificed, who endured Friday and Saturday nights without me…a writer’s widow, if you will…while I chased the next football, basketball, and baseball story.
Like the words of the song, I write this realizing that at age 64 I’m in the autumn of my years, which is OK. I’m fortunate enough to see the previous 63 for being, as the song says, that vintage wine from fine old kegs…from the brim to the dregs, the years poured sweet and clear. Those were some very good years.
My hope, of course, is for more, just like you…like all of us. But, I worry. Like the saying goes, the future is promised to no one and realizing one’s dreams is hard…disheartening. And while I’m encouraged for the short term by a good year, I’m concerned for what lies ahead.
Business is tough. It can be discouraging. The incentive for showing a profit is often lacking. Why dream, why work, why sacrifice and suffer to create means, and then give it all away?
Recently, one of the presidential candidates came out and asked for higher taxes on the wealthy to pay for a new program guaranteeing free college for everyone in America. That’s so wrong; because it robs people of their will to achieve…of appreciation for the journey, not just the destination.
It just seems wrong to make some suffer…so that others might enjoy that chauffeured ride.
I’m concerned for the creation of new success, of new wealth, in our country. It’s what pays the bills of an evolving society…Social Security and Medicare…not going back repeatedly to the same source of old money. That said, we’ve made wealth a dirty word, and millionaires an endangered species, and we cannot exist without making new ones – without the creation of new money.
And does that not worry you? Have you thought of it in those terms? Do you even care?
Mind you, Press Pros Magazine is not flush, and hardly wealthy. We just pay our bills and move on. But like anything that truly works in society, the wealth is one that’s shared…by our daily commitment to be better than yesterday, and by those who tell us they eagerly look forward to the next story, the next opinion, and the next new feature.
That’s my motivation for 64. I like having people say they still enjoy the act of reading; and of knowing that someone out there is still willing to conform to the best traditions of our culture without conforming to the lunacy of fear, political correctness, and cultural waste.
Thank you all…for making it such a very good year!