110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
My columns come only after I have finished all other assigned work.
The columns are a pleasure and a privilege, a sort of dessert if the main course of the meal — news articles — leaves time and appetite for more writing.
The inspiration for "Between the Lines" usually comes from a Judeo-Christian worldview, my background in American history, observations about government at all levels, and a desire to challenge readers to think about weightier matters, and to remember certain critical junctures in human experience of yesteryear.
I do not like to write just for the sake of filling up space. The reader's time is valuable, and I try to respect that. I am grateful and honored if someone tells me he or she appreciates a column. I am also pleased to hear from someone who may disagree with me; after all, the reader did take the time and trouble to read what was offered as food for thought.
I also do not believe in talking down to readers, but my hope is they will consider issues bigger than American Idol. There is a tendency on the part of many Americans to focus on the tantalizing and the trivial, without really seeing the bigger picture and viewing issues and events in the larger mosaic.
If I write, for example, about a historic event, my purpose and intention is to stir the reader to develop a frame of reference that links the past with the present. I have heard it said Americans today have a "microwave memory," meaning if something happened more than three minutes ago, they may not recall it.
If America is to survive, its people must be aware of their history, so as to avoid the mistakes of the past and to honor and rededicate themselves to the principles of their nation's founding.
If the principles and values of such leaders as George Washington, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock and Thomas Jefferson are out-of-date, we may wake up one day and discover — to our shock and surprise — that the America we took for granted no longer exists. If we do not care to preserve the legacy bequeathed to us, we stand to lose it.
Anyone who writes a column assumes a special responsibility. Not only must he or she be honest and accurate and organized in his/her presentation, but he or she must set a high standard and seek to raise the level of public discourse. Personal attacks and abusive or repulsive language should be avoided.
We owe it to our readers and ourselves to set a high standard and to cultivate literacy.