By Ray Day
As a local columnist for the Tribune, I have written about many different things – the time of my childhood, the times of my elders, the city where I live and my own family.
I even had two front page stories about our daughter, Patricia, written by the Tribune staff, who so graciously, along with Channel 6 News, told the story of her death and what we did as a memorial to her and all cancer patients who have passed on since 1994.
This is a wonderful newspaper, with good people telling it like it is.
When I wrote my story of Patricia Ann, it was to alert everyone to the fact that cancer is out there and it can be defeated. I never put that story in print, as it was long. I thought, one day, I would turn it into a book if I found someone who would back it.
As for my weekly column, I do it because I like doing it.
The Kokomo Tribune has printed 720 “Uncle Ray” columns. People from several generations read my column and email me how they like it.
Believe me when I brag about readers. Every once in a while, I’ll meet old-timers and ask a lot of questions about their lives. Once they get started telling how it was, you can see the sparkle in their eyes as they relate how hard it was in those times, and how rewarding it is to them that they made it through some rough times and now reap the results.
If you meet up with one of the older ladies, you will find hearts of gold nestled inside those rough and tough bodies. Two of the things I found out about those who are my elders is that they believe in being honest, and they believe in the bond of a handshake.
Many times I have wanted to go out and visit with writers like Bill Hall, Tom Hamilton and Jeff Hatton over in Greentown. Just recently I met up with Mr. Hall while visiting my brother, who had cancer. I found a man of distinction, honesty and knowledge. I told him I would be back, but my brother went Home, and I went down with some illness not known.
It started with the chills, the skakes, legs with no strength in them and cramps all around the middle section of my body. So since I can’t get out there to see him again, I hope someone will visit with him, pick his brain and gain knowledge from one who has written about his time and before.
We have a wealth of knowledge in the minds of people who have lived it, and we need to ask them to relate back to us. It is a treasure unopened that could help us learn the nuts and bolts of life.
In my lifetime I have been blessed knowing many people who believe as I do that you need to let those younger know how it was in your day. A lot of youngsters today are going the wrong way in life, as they experiment with the killing effects of dope. Many could have turned the other way and made something of their lives, if only someone cared enough to enlighten them with the happenings of yesterday.
Oh, I know I am not that pure person who never did anything wrong, but I know that the education I received from my parents and teachers kept me from crossing that destructive path.
You need to open your eyes to how things were yesterday and change accordingly.
I want to say, thanks and God bless.
Ray “Uncle Ray” Day is a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.