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Letter to the editor

March 10, 2017 at 4 a.m.


I turned 67 years old this week. I was so busy the last couple of days that I actually thought my big day was the day before. My wife brought me back to reality by asking where I wanted to go for the celebration. I said, "Anywhere is fine with me."

She said, "You pick out a place." I did.

I was born on another planet. The more I watch the news, listen to people talk and observe the way we dress, the surer I am that my first few years were not spent on earth.

When I was under 10, people wore suits, ties and leather shoes. If you were a lady, dresses were worn even to go to the grocery store. Mom and Dad took me on the train to see our relatives. Dad was in a brown suit and Mom had on the works, including high heels. Even poor folk were dressed. We didn't want anybody to think we were poor. If it had not been for Dad's poker playing ability combined with his oil field job, we would have been.

Nobody sued anybody. I spent part of my preschool years walking between rows of pipe destined for the oil field.

Dad worked in a tin warehouse. A crank phone was posted to the wall. Employees came and went. Nobody suggested that 'Carter's boy' shouldn't be on the job even though I was about 6 at the time. Later that same year I would fall off the top of a railroad boxcar.

Dad picked me up while trying to think what to tell Mom. I didn't hear the conversation. I didn't walk very well for a while. I recovered. No paperwork was filled out. Nobody pressed charges for trespassing on railroad property. An old man in a DeSoto gave Dad and what was left of me a ride home.

This birthday I received more Facebook wishes than cards. A nice lady at church bought me a decorated cupcake for my big day. No one wore a suit or dress at my birthday lunch.

I opened the front door and there, on the porch, was a box addressed to me from Amazon. A note said, "Dad, I love you." The chocolates came from Las Vegas. My boy lives in Oklahoma. His name was not on the box, but I knew.

To those of you who wonder if you'll reach 67, you probably will if you don't drink like a famous country singer. Eat a few vegetables, go for walks, pray every now and then and you'll have a good chance. Don't let the newscasts and the laptops and the language throw you. People are still the same as always. They want to be loved.

By: Thad Carter, Marshall

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