Saturday, January 28, 2012
Even when I was a teenager, I considered the Kansas City Star-Times a necessity. My parents sometimes subscribed, but they were both working and didn't have a lot of time to read the paper. I think they took it for me, because I always looked forward to its arrival twice a day. I liked Dear Abby and Ann Landers, and I enjoyed reading details of the local news. I still remember seeing pictures of the devastation after the Ruskin Heights tornado in 1957. I took the Times to school the next morning to share with others.
At some point along the way, I discovered Charles Gusewelle's columns. I think they were originally featured three times a week; I eagerly anticipated those days. When the Kansas City Star banned smoking inside the building, Gusewelle was interviewed by TV reporters at his desk outside the building. He'd had it moved outside as sort of a protest against the new rule.
As a regular reader of his writings, I knew lots of things about C.W. He had a bird dog named Rufus; he had more cats than you are supposed to have if you live in Kansas City. Sometimes he'd talk about his wife and his two daughters. Now that I think about it, it was just like reading a blog, only it was in the newspaper. No wonder I enjoy reading blogs.
Around 1990, Cliff lost his good job and we had to cut corners. We got rid of cable TV and the Kansas City Star, among other things. Anything we could live without, we got rid of. When Cliff went to work in 1993 at the job he retired from, he worked on the night shift; somebody took the Star to work and left it in the lunch room every day, and Cliff, knowing how I missed the Star, would bring it home to me. By that time of night everybody else was done with it anyhow.
It sure was good to be reading Gusewelle again.
We no longer subscribe to the newspaper, but I read Gusewelle's columns online sometimes.
Every once in awhile the local PBS station runs a special with C.W. narrating. Recently they broadcast a program where he was reading some of his writings in front of an audience, and I thought how nice it would be to sit in such an audience and laugh along with them at his humor.
And now he is coming to my little town. It's a fundraiser the Lion's Club is putting on to raise money for a scholarship they sponsor. The only thing is, I'm not sure just how "formal" this thing is. There are a couple of phone numbers listed in the article online, so I guess I'll call and find out. As long as it's casual, we're in. I'm so excited! I may finally get to see and hear Gusewelle in person!
(to be continued)