Whenever you read this, be it in the fading embers of 2012 or the new dawn of 2013, please know I did not write it; you, the readers, did.
Yep, it’s that time of year (this year, last year, next year … ) for you to have your say on what I’ve said and, brother, did you have something to say.
Like one thoroughly unhappy customer who couldn’t understand why one of my syndicate’s newspapers “continues to publish” me. After all ” … his column is nothing but recycled ‘liberal’ pap using concocted numbers to justify his regal proclamations from his ‘pie in the sky’ throne.”
After a couple of hundred words more to expose me “as nothing more than a member of a biased journalistic community,” the emailing reader concluded with this pleasant good-bye: “Its’ (sic) not politically correct to name call so I will decline to call Alan a gasified windbag!” Thank goodness for restraint.
Another reader was equally charmed with a September column that wondered why the Wall Street Journal slanted the facts of two of the year’s biggest stories — the European debt crisis and the then red-hot race for the White House — away from its readers and toward its editorial pages.
“You never cease to amaze me with your ineptness,” began this reader’s email. “You think Fox News is not giving you the straight up news but trust the mainstream media which is owned by Obama and the Dems. The solid info is that Obama and his buddies … are complete failures.”
Another fan commented on my WSJ column with an email that started with “Your cheap shot at two of the most fair and balanced news sources was not appreciated but does reinforce your standing as a left wing biased demagogue.”
The email tumbled — hard to the right — downhill from there. Several readers commented on a mid-July column that questioned Congress’ increasing reliance on federally-subsidized crop insurance as they nation’s main farm policy even though it neither insures crops nor ensures the nation’s food supply.
One correspondent, who with “my husband and three children are family farmers and ranchers,” knows “that crop insurance is subsidized by the government. However, it’s also true that until recently the government worked extremely hard to keep crop price low.”
She concluded by suggesting the family will “gladly pay [our insurance] share as long as we can get back our share … ” and, “P.S. All three of my children … were highly offended by your column, also.”
One Ontario emailer informed me that I had buried a venerable farm servant that was yet very much alive.
“You mentioned in one article that Mix-Mill is ‘a long-ago brand for small, farm-based feed-making’ … It still is. Mix-Mill remains a thriving and customer-focused brand … “
Sorry, Mix-Mill (www.atferrell.com/mix-mill).
Most comments, however, arrived with smiles and pleasantries like this one from “Ruth” who confessed “I do not always understand the subject of your column … (b)ut this past Sunday I could hardly believe my good fortune at your glorious first sentence — massive red combine slumbering (in) a freshly barbered wheat field.'”
Or Vickie, who “was in DC all last week” but upon arrival home, in Lincoln, Neb., in mid-September, “decided to see what I had missed in our Sunday paper. Since I always read your column I turned to it” to read the account of the Washington, D.C. wedding of the lovely Catherine and my daughter, Mary Grace, to Andrew Foxwell on Labor Day.
“How surprised I was … because my son was not only Andrew’s roommate in DC but was the violin player at their wedding. I have met your lovely daughter … and she even made me dinner one night!”
And there’s this from Jim, “a Baptist preacher two generations removed from the farm,” “Thanks for writing about the memorable ceremonies in your family.” He signed it, “Soli Deo Gloria!”
That’s a good place to both end and begin a year: Soli Deo Gloria. And for the record, I didn’t write that either.