It has been my honor, and a privilege provided to me by the Kokomo Perspective, to present my thoughts to the citizens of Kokomo and Howard County for over 10 years.
But sooner or later, everything must come to a close, and I have reached that ending. I am retiring as a writer, using the term loosely, from the Kokomo Perspective. Most people don’t know I have received no compensation for my missives over the years, and that is just the way I wanted it.
I don’t remember how I started writing for the Perspective, but it has been a very rewarding experience. Some people agreed with my viewpoints. Some took exception. Some even laughed, but I loved them all. I often told many of my readers if they agreed with everything I said, they must be nuts. I think my favorite readers were the ones who took exception to my comments because it opened a new train of thought. I will miss all responses however vile or demeaning they might be.
I have returned to my childhood home of Gadsden, Alabama, leaving my second home of Kokomo, Indiana. Connie and I lived in Kokomo longer than anyplace since leaving Alabama, 21 years. We both love Kokomo for taking us in and providing us with 21 years of wonderful experiences with friends and especially best friends.
E.P. Severns was my best friend among the many friends I had in Kokomo. We had an exceptional relationship. When 9/11 occurred, both E.P. and I wanted to do something positive for our city to relieve some of the pain we all felt over these horrific circumstances. I happened to notice a small American flag and flagpole in front of the Kokomo Fire Station on East Boulevard. I asked E.P. to join me in providing a new flagpole and an appropriate memorial to the victims of the attack on our country.
He readily agreed. The new pole was erected, and a suitable monument was placed. On that 9/11 monument are the names of E.P. Severns and John F. Floyd. It gives me great comfort to know that my name and E.P will be inexorably linked as long as the monument stands before the fire station.
I noticed E.P. was a nominee for Person of the Year by the Kokomo Perspective. He did not receive that singular honor. That is most appropriate because E.P. was not the man of the year; he was the man of the century for Kokomo. E.P. did more for his beloved Kokomo than any dozen of the other nominees, and that is no reflection on the other candidates, all good men. Someday they may measure up to E.P.’s contributions to Kokomo but not for a long time. E.P. was truly “a man for all seasons for Kokomo.” I miss my dear, departed friend, E.P.
And who could ask for better friends than Rex and Ivan Gingerich? Both Ivan and Rex are the finest men I have ever been associated with, and it is an honor to call Ivan and Rex my friends. I could ramble on about my many cherished friends in Kokomo, but they know who they are. I think what I will miss most in Kokomo are the many people of Kokomo who I never got to meet but understood if I had a need they would be there. That is what I have always loved and respected about the people of Kokomo and Howard County.
I sign off with trepidation. This is the ending of one of the final chapters of my life, a very good chapter.
May God continue to bless the wonderful people of my “second” home town, Kokomo, Indiana.