December 20, 2017One of the problems, I think, with aging actors, politicians, etc. is that they never seem to know when it's time to get off the stage. They hang around too long and tarnish their reputation. The same is true for aging columnists.
A few days ago I turned 70 years old. My health has been rather precarious and, frankly, it's not as much fun to write this column as it once was. Ideas are getting harder and harder to think of.
Accordingly, this will be the final "All the Liblong day" column, at least for now.
But what a ride it's been. Two hundred-sixty- eight times I have shared with you some of my memories and thoughts. In fact, I think I have written about every memory or experience I ever had. Well, at least those I could share in a family newspaper.
For you Baby Boomers like me, we went down Memory Lane together remembering some of our favorite TV shows, music, fads, etc. If you're not a Baby Boomer you now have an idea of what our generation was like.
We also shared some historical notes by re-visiting the JFK assassination with Secret Service Agent Clint Hill, riding the rails of the early railroad, whistle stopping across the country, and learning of local men and women in the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II and Korea.
We looked back at some local businesses like Hurd Lock, Terry's Market, Meuleman's Hardware, Ebeling Dairy and even the Almont Library. Lots of columns were about the little area that we call "home," the Tri-City area.
Sports was another well-visited subject including high school, college and pro teams.
Stories of Michiganders who were notable public servants were favorite subjects of mine. We included Republicans and Democrats alike. People like Sen. Phil Hart, Gov. William Milliken, Governors John Swainson and George Romney, President Gerald R. Ford among others.
Holiday stories were popular. And you shared with me your favorite movies, actors, etc. That was appreciated. It was fun having readers be part of "the act."
We even talked about our favorite toys when we were kids. My Tonka fire truck that looks just like an old Almont truck, still sits downstairs remembering when we put out fires together.
And remember the time we were trying to make a "junkyard" and destroyed some new little metal cars I had received? That was a painful one. Literally.
We shared some laughs when we wrote about going to the circus and of the many clowns I've encountered along the way.
And we shared tears when I had to write about losing close friends and my special kitty cat, Tiger. I never hurt that bad.
Thanks to this column you know of most of my medical maladies. It was probably too much to share. But we certainly learned that aging is not for the feint of heart.
Through all of the columns over more than five years, I tried to inform and entertain you and I tried hard not to offend anyone. I thought if you could spend three minutes reading the column, at least for that short time you didn't have to think of mass shootings, natural disasters, political feuding or other unpleasantness. I hope I succeeded in that.
I wrote recently about the Mickey Mouse Club and how the Mouseketeers sang a song at the end of each show. The song begins, "Now it's time to say good-bye."
And so it is. I can't thank the Tri-City Times, especially editor Catherine Minolli, enough for giving me some space on page 9-A every week. Most of all I thank you readers who allowed me to share thoughts with you every week. Thanks for your many, many, calls, emails and letters.
I don't know what the future holds but I hope we all try to be nice to each other—or at least civil— even if we totally disagree with each other. Remember, we're all in this together.
Let me leave you with this: "May the good Lord bless and keep you, and make His light to shine upon you…All the Liblong Day!" I hope all of you Liblong and Prosper. Good-bye.
Email Rick at email@example.com.