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Aug. 14 will mark the fifth anniversary of this column. It has outlasted a few editors, one newspaper and three laptops. This column has won an award, has been shared internationally by some readers and has even generated one or two letters of fan mail.
As some of you know, this column was never intended to be a regular thing. I had been joking with a friend who was and still is an editor and he told me to go ahead and send something to him.
I did, and it wound up printed in that Thursday’s paper. I figured I would write another one and see what happened and the same thing happened. I figured eventually someone would tell me to stop, but no one did — so I kept writing.
That original editor moved to a larger paper and the editor who took over decided I could stay. The first editor told me I could come over to that paper as well and my column would be in two papers. Well, five years and God knows how many columns later, here we are.
I have said all along that as long as there is a single reader, I would keep writing. I like to mention that there are a few more readers than just one. In fact, there are a lot of you. More than I ever thought there would be.
I’d like to thank each and every one of you personally, but the newspaper doesn’t have that kind of room. The people who do the bridge column still don’t like being the butt of my jokes, so I don’t imagine they would like being bumped for the guy who makes dumb jokes.
I have already been on the obituary page, but I don’t think any of the folks there would complain. When they put me on the obituary page, I try to make sure the column is sufficiently solemn. Funerals and sophomoric humor don’t really mix.
You have gotten to know my family pretty well in this column. I admit that some of the anecdotes have been fictionalized to a degree, but each one is based in truth. My wife is still much smarter than I and Cooper is the Greatest Cat on Earth.
From the letters and comments you have sent, I have gotten to know some of you as well. I’m grateful for the interaction. Some of you like me and some of you don’t. I understand that. I don’t take offense to the negative comments about the column.
I have learned that Ricky Nelson was correct and I have, in fact, learned my lesson well. You see, you can’t please everyone, so you have to please yourself. For the record, the more inflammatory you are, the more amused I am. It works like that.
I have done a single public speaking event and had a wonderful time. The majority of the crowd remained awake for the duration of my talk. I plan on doing another once things start opening up again. I may have a thing or two lined up and I am really looking forward to meeting more of you. You are the reason this train keeps rolling.
This columnist received a North Carolina Press Association award in 2017. I was quite honored and surprised to win. I don’t do this for awards. It’s nice to have one, and I do have one. It doesn’t matter if I win another one in the future. As I mentioned, I don’t do this for awards. I do it for the writing and to keep print journalism alive and well.
I’d love to have my picture on the side of a city bus. Perhaps a billboard. I know it’s a little pompous to want either. Maybe just once. On a small bus.
Maybe one of those little signs on the newspaper box instead of a billboard. It’s my one concession to ego.
It could be worse. I could be on television.
Joe Weaver, a native of Baltimore, is a husband, father, pawnbroker and gun collector. From his home in New Bern, he writes on the lighter side of family life.