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Monday, January 4, 2010

Newspaper thoughts in a small town

Just read a letter to the Editor in our local paper. Typically these are rants by locals about some issue and they can be painful to read. The grammar is poor, the opinions are rather shallow, biased, prejudiced or just kind of crazy. I think the editor at the paper leaves these imperfections on purpose to make fun of the individuals who write in (and they must include their full name AND address).

An example is a young woman Meth Addict in her early 30's who periodically writes in to tell everyone reading how wonderful it is to be sober/clean and the whole town should be proud of her...seriously. But everything she says in her letter tells the reader that she obviously is not sober nor drug free. I've heard from friends that she recently lost the rest of her teeth. She now looks like a survivor of a concentration camp, not the pretty young woman I first met 3 years ago. She is dying right in front of us and jails, treatment-centers, 12 step groups, nothing has been able to keep her off of the Meth. It's so sad and frankly tragic that I truly believe any compassionate person, editor or not would find a reason not to print it but they still do, every desperate word. It's sick and I can't find any reasonable reason one would have for printing it other then they think it somehow will discourage people from doing drugs....I think there must be a better way.

Other then that extreme example most letters are folks writing in to bitch about something they disagree with and as I mentioned, they are mostly entertaining for there flaws then anything else.

So imagine my surprise when I read today a wonderfully written letter from a fellow bitching about the Amish using their buggies on our roadways. At first I figured this would be another typical whiner/type letter and it started that way: "The horses shit all over the road, the buggies go slow and are dangerous because cars can't see them, they aren't insured, they damage the road, etc". But then after listing all the reasons they shouldn't be allowed on the road, he used facts to back up the issues he mentioned. The he followed that up with some suggestions to eliminate or help with the problem. I was truly impressed...especially since I drive for a living and use those roads frequently and happen to agree with most of what he said.

Perhaps this letter will start a trend and subsequent letters will follow this pattern but I suspect that won't be the case. So most likely starting tomorrow with Tuesday's paper we will get to read about hungry squirrels devouring some lady's bird feeder seed or the weather forecasters on TV getting the weather wrong AGAIN or how the President is surly a Communist, etc. And I'll sit back and smile 'cause these are the folks who I live with each and every day in Coldwater Michigan, USA....

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