He was sitting at the computer developing a program to run laser labels when the postman came with the mail. This is an exciting time for me because each day’s mail always brings letters from readers around the country. This particular day I had a couple of letters from readers up in Indiana and as I was reading parts of them out loud. Robert commented, “I bet you get lots of satisfaction from writing your column and hearing from readers about how it is helping them and making a difference in their lives.”
I said, “Robert, this is the most important part of all, much more so than the money I earn. There are millions of people all across this great nation who need a word of encouragement, a good idea or a poem or concept they can use themselves or share with their children and grandchildren. And based on the letters, I know I have readers from the very young, middle age folks and those who are senior citizens. Yes, I get tremendous satisfaction from doing what I do.”
The conversation ended as I returned a phone call to the editor of the newspaper in Canyon, Texas, who is interested in running my column. I tell you, technology is wonderful. I gave her my Web address as we spoke, she keyed it in and up popped my website that contains everything she needs to get started: the columns, a mugshot and a nice debut article. I might add, I love the people in Texas because they are good people and we have a large number of papers there who run this column. In West Texas, where Canyon is located, we run in communities like Sweetwater, Big Spring, Dimmit, Borger and Hereford. Incidentally, the paper in Hereford has a neat name, “The Hereford Brand.”
When I think of West Texas and the wide open spaces, I’m reminded of the old boy who left a small West Texas community shortly after World War II to go to New York City to seek his fortune. And speaking of technology, in those days there was no Internet, computers or television, and very few people had a telephone. Anyway, this old boy had been gone from home for about six months and his mother got worried about him because he had not written her. She did not know if he was alive or dead.
Then one day, she heard that another young man was also going to New York City so she got in touch with him. She said, “My son went to New York City about six months ago and I’ve not heard from him. If you see him, please tell him to write his mother.” This young man said, “What’s his name?” She said, “John Dunn.” A few weeks later this second young man was walking down the street in New York City and he looked up and saw a sign on the building across the street that said, “DUN & BRADSTREET.”
He thought to himself, “This must be where John is ...,” so he walked across the street, went in the front door and the receptionist greeted him and said, “May I help you?” He said, “Where’s John?” She kinda nodded her head and said, “Down the hall, second door on the left.” He went down the hall and started in the door and about that time he met a man coming out so he said, “Are you Dunn?” This man said, “Yes.” This old boy from West Texas then said to him, “Write your mother, turkey.”
Technology is sure a wonderful thing, but here is a case where I don’t think it would have helped much.
(Editor’s Note: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. He may be contacted at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)