I was asked if I had any role models to admire, and, yes, I did.
Of course, everyone should have a role model in their parents, first and for all. I can say that, even though our parents were tough on us at times, the things they taught us were very beneficial to us as we left the nest and embarked on our own.
And yes, when I was a wee boy up there in the north end, I found some very good people to know and admire.
Henry Wagoner was the policeman in our area, and he was a man of honor who had many friends. He was very strict in how he watched us when he was walking his beat.
Old Circus John, whose real name was Wesley Byers, was another influence who made us kids better when grown up. Lee Walters was the principal at Willard School and was admired by all because of the type of person he was and how dedicated to his profession he was. And John Curry, who was a great voice of the people, gave the younger generation a good role model to have.
As I grew up and started to sort of pay my way through life, I met many people who always were thinking of what they could do to make this city a better one.
Robert Hamp at the Tribune gave me my first job delivering the paper. Frank Neal, who with Bill Borden, hired me on at Kroger as a stock boy. They presented this city with sincere thoughts on how our city could be.
Later on in my life, I met a man who will always be on my list of great human beings, and that was Coach Joe Platt. He said I had a chance to be a Wildkat my junior year, but we moved out to the country and so I did not get that chance.
But on the good side, at Western High School, I met and admired a man whose name was Richard R. Rea and, folks, here was the man who really changed my total outlook on life. Here was a man dedicated to seeing the best come out of every one of the students at Western. While there, I also met and was taught by another great person by the name of Gene Parks, who through the years was a great friend and person to have known.
Yes, I have had some very good people to help shape my life, and I would say the one who really got me to thinking the right thoughts was a man who, at the age of 95, still gives me a reason to make my life here on earth one to remember, and that is the great man, Billy Graham. The Rev. Graham has a way to get the message to you real soon. We still watch his crusade shows that are on television at 10 p.m. every Saturday evening. There is a way about this fine gentleman that sort of sticks to you, and I won’t miss it if I can.
These days as you watch television or go to the movies, you better be ready to hear some harsh language or turn it of. You just cannot find decent shows the whole family can watch together anymore. And those stars in Hollywood and New York are always getting into some mess, and you see them brag about those kids they have without benefit of marriage.
Now that line sort of sets up this next sentence: Two people of the same sex cannot have natural births, so why is it that they want to have the right to marry? Is it because they can cheat us into having to give them the same benefits as a man and woman would get? Let them live their lives the way they want, but don’t expect us to pay their way through life. That is my opinion only, and I try to treat them right, as God would want me to.
Ray “Uncle Ray” Day is a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.