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On Second Thought

What’s next?
Thursday, July 28, 2022
On Second Thought

I have had a job since the day I graduated from high school, snagging my first position as a customer service clerk at the City of Iowa Park. I worked there a year before joining the Leader staff in 1984.

I never got that gap year I hear younger people bragging about. So, this go ‘round, I’m taking a gap week before I return to reality, and during that week I will reach back to the year 1983 for inspiration since that was the last time I was unemployed.

I will most likely begin by slathering myself in baby oil and lay in the blazing hot sun in my back yard while listening to She Works Hard for the Money by Donna Summer blasting on the cassette player.

I‘m feeling younger just thinking about it.

After that I will probably clean, paint and fire a bunch of ceramic decorative items while watching


And one night I’m sure I’ll meet up with former IPHS class members for a lake party, where something called trash can punch will be consumed. Then I will sleep for two days.

That should satisfy my gap week longings.

But then what?

I recently came to a realization of something I should have already known, but did not because I am really the least self-aware person you may ever know.

The realization was this: I have to tell stories.

I live my life in three modes, the first being present with who I’m with and what I’m doing. The second is completely in my head, and I mean completely. It is the only introverted part of me.

The last, which I only noticed on a recent road trip to San Antonio where I barely existed on beef jerky because I couldn’t find a restaurant for three hours, is that when I’m not doing the other two things - and sometimes even when I am - I constantly have a running narrative in my head where I’m telling a story.

That time it was a story about how I was kicking myself over the missed opportunity of a corndog at the Sonic in the last town at the edge of civilization; and the next time it might be digesting a conversation between myself and a survivor of a mass shooting. My brain is just wired to tell stories.

I love to write, and now I know why. My head is crammed with stories, and it relieves the pressure when I write. Or something like that.

So, I’ve long had a dream of making a living writing and that will be my focus. That is my what’s next – a lot of freelancing, and a lot of work on personal writing projects I’ve had on the back burner far too long.

Good things are ahead for each one of us here at the Leader, after years of having the privilege of recording the history of Iowa Park in real time.

The closing of the Leader is not a chapter ending for me, it is an entire book. Like all good books I hate it when I get to the last page, and this one was a classic.

But there are more stories to be told.