Today, July 1st, marks our 50th anniversary as owners of The Elba Clipper, and it was also a Thursday. After seven or eight years of being an employee of the newspaper, it ‘only’ took a couple of signatures and years of long hours at work for the newspaper to become our responsibility. It also became the sole source of income for Heddy and me to house, feed and educate our three children. It has been a great run, full of ups and downs, mistakes, floods, tornados, hurricanes and other disasters, not the least being the recent death of wife Heddy. However, most of those pale against the jillions of memorable events that continue to build onto our enjoyable passion of newspapering in Elba, Alabama. We have been associated with some of the finest people in the world. The occasional jackass that life casts upon each of us was, and is, always considered a challenge . . . . an opportunity to convert them into friends and supporters. The news media seems to be magnets for these flustered individuals but surprisingly in many cases our efforts were successful and lifelong friendships were formed! And as Freud said, “Perhaps, with luck, I will make it, more or less intact, for another few years and be granted the liberty to continue to love and work, the two most important things.”

Lots of folks will be vacationing during the 4th of July time period. HGTV recently featured an interesting collection of “Best Small Towns to Visit” on their website, singling out one community in each state. Flipping through the pictures and reading the short promos of each of the 50, it dawned on us that this would be a great adventure plan for anyone who likes to travel . . . . . visit them ALL. Of course, visiting, and exploring all fifty sites would have to be over a period of years, but how old will you be in those few years if you don’t venture out? We found dozens of intriguing things that visitors would really enjoy seeing and/or participating in the ongoing activities. Oh, the Alabama community selected was Fairhope, on Mobile Bay in Baldwin County. We can testify to those who have never visited Fairhope that this former ‘small town’ would be a great place to start someone’s fifty state visits. As with most of the ‘50’, park your car and enjoy all the nooks and corners of the beautiful communities.

Our publicized comments several weeks ago about getting COVID-19 shots clearly upset one person on social media, somewhere out there in cyberspace. After several exchanges of e-mails, we suggested that clearly neither of us would change the other so we should just agree to disagree and move on. That calmed things down a bit but didn’t end the negative e-mail ‘quotes’ he, on a regular basis, continued sending from previously unheard of distractors that he considered experts . . . . . many who were self-proclaimed experts with wild ideas that had already been debunked by those we consider well informed in the medical field. It finally became necessary to block his e-mail address from our computer, something we have never before done to any person who disagreed with our writings. Right now, there is still a nagging guilt feeling about that action, but not enough guilt to unblock him.

Senator Jimmy Holley said Monday morning that he is hanging up his spurs . . . . after 40 years in state government, the acknowledged master of legislative procedures is not running for another term. As our chat moved on to more unofficial comments, he added that wife Mary is on board with this decision. If the truth were really known we would suggest that Mary has long been concerned about his health and is thrilled at the ultimate decision to officially retire and probably strongly encouraged it. But, ever the loyal wife, if he had decided to continue in the Senate, she would have continued making the weekly drives with him to Montgomery as she has done for some time.

Oh, the names of ‘wantabe’ replacements for Senator Holley are already hitting our e-mail and message accounts. However we will let each of them decide if and when they are going to make their Senate seat dreams and plans public information.

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