I have written about people of all religions and sexual
preferences in the past, but not in an offensive manner. Except
once, when I upset the LGBT community in the California city
where we lived. My flippant remark not only upset some readers,
but I learned the hard way that a close colleague in our newsroom
was a lesbian, and it took a long time for us to become friends
I should have heeded the old maxim: Never discuss politics
or religion in a column or over dinner in a public place.
My first column of 2017 got some negative feedback from
two readers. Unthinkingly, I had lumped forgers, thrice-married
people and atheists all in one sentence as not desirable.
I wont apologize to the forgers, but atheists and
people who marry and divorce more than once dont deserve
One letter writer, who is an atheist, explained that I
must not know any, and that they are not bad, ashamed or
vile. She didnt need to tell me. I had lunch with
a young family friend Friday who mentioned she is an atheist,
but did not comment on my column or any hurt that it may have
caused. For her graciousness, I am thankful. And to those offended,
The columnist likes getting letters, but some mail
is unsolicited. For example, this pile came during the recent
political campaign, all of it now in the landfill.
More recently, I avoided commenting on the deplorables,
as candidate Hillary Clinton characterized half the Donald Trump
supporters. Sadly, I still receive Obama-bashing emails forwarded
from who knows where, and the anti-Trump hate mail is flowing
to my inbox even before he takes office.
Now I want to mention something on the lighter side. A
letter was forwarded to me from a circuit court judge in the
60th Judicial District in Indiana last week. He had written the
NIU campus newspaper as an alumnus from the 1960s, commenting
he had recently come across a copy of the alumni publication,
Telescope. He noted that the publication contains
a photograph of Barry Schrader. ... While Barry probably didnt
know me, everybody on campus knew Barry. It was rumored that
if you had a cause that needed support, you could go to Barry;
and if he agreed with your cause, he would support it.
That was all well and good, but then he continued: On
the other hand, if you needed a cause to support but didnt
have one, Barry had a whole pocketful of causes from which you
were welcome to choose. Barry may take issue with that rumor,
but I suspect there is more than a kernel of truth here.
It was signed The Hon. David T. Ready.
I am befuddled why someone who has been out of college
55 years and hardly knew me could say such a thing about a fellow
Huskie. I am trying to figure out who put him up to it, or whether
it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek.
I guess it could have had a kernel of truth
to it, but only way back then ...