Why I Subscribe to the Winston-Salem Journal…

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I am a newspaper person. I am not sure there are very many of us left, what with being able to get all the news from AOL or Yahoo. Or even Facebook.

I like to read the paper with my morning coffee, and I like to read it from back to front. I have a vision of me sitting on the bench in my front yard with my steaming cup, on early summer mornings, reading my newspaper.

That’s what I’d like, but it doesn’t actually happen that way. Most days I don’t even get the paper read. Some weeks, I have been known to read my favorite parts of the entire weeks’ papers all at the same time on Sunday evening. I probably should cancel my subscription, and have actually done it once. I think about it every one of those busy weeks when I can’t get to the news. Still I like to get the paper delivered every morning.

There are three reasons why I subscribe to the W-S Journal. Those three reasons are Sharon Randall, Scott Hollifield , and “Funky Winkerbean.” Each time I consider dropping my paper, I can’t make myself do it because I would really, really miss what each of these writers have to say.

Saturday is Sharon Randall day, and she’s found on the Editorial Page. She writes like I wish I could. She makes the mundane seem spiritual. Each column is a vignette of her lovely life, and she is so genuine. Today’s column was about visiting in her hometown church, where she knows no one anymore, and how it still feels like home. Previously, she wrote about a wonderful teacher who worked with her husband. I loved that one, especially. I wrote her once when she wrote about a desert sunset, and she answered my email.

Monday is Scott day. His work is found where the advice columns usually are, but aren’t on Mondays. I am not sure how widely syndicated his column is, but he lives nearby in North Carolina, according to the information at the bottom of his piece. He is funny and self-depreciating. Often he writes about monkeys, and I have to laugh because I am afraid of monkeys, but his words make me feel as if I weren’t.

Every day is “Funky Winkerbean” day. I began reading Funky when he was in high school, and so was I. Now his group of characters have grown into adulthood, some successful, and some not so much. The popular girl is now nice to and friends with everyone. The socially awkward kid is a published author. The bully is a kinder, gentler football coach, and the goofball kid is a comic book dealer. They still hang around with one another in the Pizza Parlor that Funky now owns. I missed many years with these folks, so I have some gaps, and I don’t want that to happen anymore.

You can see my dilemma. If I only took the Sunday paper, I’d miss both Sharon and Scott. If I only took the weekend, I’d still miss Scott, and I’d also miss Funky and his group on the weekdays. I’m pretty committed to my peeps.

Hmmm, just thinking, it’s nearly summer time. I might make that bench-in-the-morning fantasy a reality!

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