I Wonder About Lisa; Ohio and My Life After Graduation Essay

It’s High Time for The Cold Truth

to be told about my life in my Post-Graduation Days that came on and near May 24, 1972. Only God Himself knows just how much that I had grown to dread those days after I graduated from Hamilton High School which is located in Hamilton, Ala., and both the high school and town are both named Hamilton.

I Dedicate This Piece

to arguably, the best news editor, ever, to a young woman by the name of, Lisa Herring. I was blessed to make her acquaintance at the then-Itawamba County Times, in Fulton, Miss., and I was working for their sister newspaper, the Hamilton Progress. There it goes again with that Hamilton thing.

Herring was so intelligent at her news editor position that she was moving to somewhere in Ohio to be married by another guy with an equal I.Q., and even while I am looking back, I wonder if she is still married and her husband has the name ‘Hamilton’ inserted in his name? As Lisa said in her last column . . .I Wonder. I also wonder what you will think when you read this: Herring told the publisher, Rubye Del Harden, the owner of the Itawamba County Times, that if she, Rubye Del, could fax her the news copy and she, Herring would edit and fax the finished product back to her. When I read (most) of Lisa Herring’s column, I Wonder, how many of the former Times employees, even with a high I.Q., would make such a claim as to work in another state and fax the news copy for her to edit? Really? I wonder.

To clear-up a bit of misinformation at the beginning of this nerve-tingling narrative, I remember the Wednesday, May 24, when my dad asked me: “You have any plans about your graduation?” I was stunned. My dad had never before said something this deep and I do not want you to think that he was a silly fool. Quite the contrary. He was a multi-talented guy who could build anything or do whatever needing doing . . .all self-taught.

“Dad, I guess that I will just get a job,” I said. “I do not have the money to attend college,” and there it was. The final nail in the coffin. I felt cold and lifeless. I would wager you right now on or off the clock that Lisa Herring NEVER felt cold or lifeless. I wonder why?

Right Now, This Minute, I am Wondering

what would have happened on or before Friday, May 26, the final day of my high school? I wonder. And if I had taken a job or maybe get myself a student loan . . .would that have been enough to get me through our local junior college that was located in Phil Campbell, Ala., nowhere near Hamilton. Okay?

Instead, I went to work for a short time at a Hamilton-based factory and worked there for two and a half years. Then I went to work for another plant. Both of these jobs did not pan out. Then I went to work for another Hamilton-based factory: Toll-Gate Garment and I worked here until I married my wife in June 1975. Then I was blessed to go to work for our local newspaper: the Journal Record, where I went to work calling on area merchants to take care of their Display Ad needs.

Talk about growing to hate a job, I hated this job during the first month of my Display Ad Sales Position, not because I hated the merchants. No. I like all of them. It was some of them was able to create such colorful lies used mainly to get me to leave their businesses. I wonder . . .if these church-going people ever let it enter their minds that when you say something that in your heart you know is wrong, isn’t this telling lies? I wonder.

Seriously. I really wonder what these lying merchants were telling?

Seriously, Would You Like to Know

the truth about my Class of 1972? Well for the first eight years, my mind was a blur. I did not know who was friendly, who would knife me and how to get by with it, and how to cut school and get credits for it? I wonder. See how this fits?

My class, I have to say, were nothing short of a snot-goggled, two-faced, highly-in-good with our teachers, if you can call them that. But these old geezers held on until the Marion County Board of Education began to mail-out those dreaded letters about Retirement Being Mandatory . . .that cleaned the coop like a hungry fox. I never wondered what they did after retirement . . .nor did I care.

A Mild Statement

for you to look at and take into the fact that it is only an opinion—not a loosely-tied Phraseology where I might pose as a person with such an I.Q., that I could have made something with my life.

I wonder. Such an humble two-word statement, but it carries such a deep, if not, philosophical questioning that can touch the hardest hearts.

In my younger life, I had two near-death accidents and no one but God Himself saw me through these tragic moments . . .now I am not in any way, telling you that I am a wonder, but I have witnessed and lived through a few wonders. To this, I have heard that a famous songwriter said years ago. . . “into this world of many wonders, another wonder came . . .” and this stayed with me.

I remember well when our senior teachers asked which diploma are you going to work for? We had two choices, vocational and academic—the vocational was what I and a lot of my friends wanted for we did not have parental funding or other sources to help us with these huge college bills . . .so I wonder now, would I have worked hard and then graduated from college? I wish that I could answer you, but all that is left is . . .I wonder.