When I was a kid, knee high to a grasshopper so to speak, never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that I would one day venture into the field of print media.
Actually, in those days I wasn’t really a dream catcher of any sort. I had no desire to make the world a better place or write a novel or otherwise make a name for myself.
In fact, I seldom finished my homework.
My father, being a dad and all, wanted me to excel at something.
He tried to make me into a fisherman because that’s what he excelled at. For his sake, I tried to be one, too. I honestly did.
But after a few hours of sitting with a fishing pole in hand, I would slip away and pick yellow buttercups or wander among the Brown-Eyed Susans that grew in simple abundance on the banks of that old Horseguard River. Or I would just lose myself in a world of imagination and forget all about fishing.
My dad, much to my relief, finally gave up on his dream of me being as passionate about the sport as he was.
One day I came home from school after my teacher had told me I had some skill as a writer.
“My teacher said I was a good writer,” I said, all breathless and excited.
Did she mean your handwriting?” he replied.
“No,” I said, indignantly. “Writing stories.”
“That’s nice,” he replied, briefly raising his eyes from his paperback western. My dad loved paperback westerns and he read voraciously when he wasn’t fishing or hunting or watching a ball game.
My father may have eventually encouraged me to be more than a fisherman, but, sadly, he passed away when I was only 15. As a teenaged orphan, I found myself adrift in a sea of uncertainty, with no clear direction to follow and certainly no compass to guide my way.
Anyway, as the years came and the years went, I finally ended up in a newsroom.
I was greener than grass, miserably unsure of myself and painfully missing the comfort and security of my own kitchen.
That was more than three decades ago.
But, sometimes, in spite of the huge gap of years that has taken place between being inexperienced and having experience,I still feel miserably unsure of myself.
I was covering the silent and live auction which was part of the Gull Lake Junior Golf Foundation’s fundraiser last Friday. I slipped into the event unobtrusively, taking pictures, staying on the sidelines, jotting down a few notes, just being mostly invisible.
And then out of the blue when the auction was over, the owner of the golf course took the microphone and said he wanted to acknowledge me, the media, for all the work I had done, the stories I had written and the coverage I had given the event.
Suddenly, I became painfully aware that all eyes from the crowd were on me.
All I could think of was that the last time I had brushed my hair was a really long time ago. I think it was before I left forwork that morning, about the same time I attempted to put on a little makeup, but couldn’t find my lipstick.
I felt my cheeks burn. I got all shy. I looked down at my notebook.
It was like being in front of the camera instead of behind it.
I have mused over the incident in my mind this week and I have come to the realization that even when people are simply only doing their job as best they can, the words ‘thank you’ are an awesome, delightful bonus and, of course, merit a simple, but heartfelt reply.