Where oh where did the time go? Here I am, whipping out the last Don’t Rush Me column for this, the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Eighteen. This year has been a good year for me, your hero and leader and as is my habit, I like to summarize the past 12 months in column writing – what columns had the most reach, most reader commentary and just my favorites.
Before I blather on further, thank you readers for reading and caring enough to write me back once in a while! I have included dates so you can go online and re-read if you are inclined to. So, without further eloquence, I give you 2018 a year in review.
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There were four chapters in the hallowed halls of Don’t Rush Me-dom that stand out for me. What made me most proud was a column I didn’t even write. For the first time in 32 years and 1,600-plus Don’t Rush Me’s somebody pinch hit for me. I loved it when 18-year-old son Sean Rush, my son, wrote the May 2 column. In the column headlined, So, another Rush asks where has ‘community’ gone?, Sean opined, “Community, which has been the backbone of civilized life since the beginning, is changing. While my town (much like this one) sports at least six or seven churches in a one to two-mile radius, there is a surprising lack of community spread between and outside these places. Despite all of the religion being offered (during school lunch we even have the To Be Honest Pizza option, or as we call it, the Jesus Pizza option) a sense of bitterness has seeped into the minds of many of my fellow students…”
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In 2018, the Clarkston community voted me Business Person of The Year. It was (and is) quite an honor to be recognized. I truly believe in supporting local business and work hard to make our communities strong ones. In the May 23 column, headlined, Why local biz is important to me (and should be to you) I implored folks to support local business, as local business supports local residents.
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I must have had a lot of fun in May, because on May 16, I had a ton of fun creating a fictional story about the real-life experience I had on my first morel hunting expedition. The column was headlined, Don’s quest for the great white morel (fake news or fact?) The story started thusly, “. . . there I was late that Tuesday night, bellied up to the bar, sipping on a sarsaparilla, minding my own business at a little hole-in-the wall joint in a little nowhere town, just a bit north of here . . .”
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Another favorite was the June 13 Don’t Rush Me where I got down to the brass tacks and opened up the debate. Wrote I, “I need time to ponder the issues that really matter to everyday Americans: Addams Family or The Munsters?”(FYI: I came to the conclusion most guys liked the Munsters while the ladies preferred the Addams Family.)
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You readers also were “touched” by a number of columns this year – which is what a column is ‘sposed to do. A column writer’s job is to get the reader emotionally involved. Whether it’s to make folks laugh, cry or make angry we in the column business want to pull your strings! Using Facebook metrics, the top five Don’t Rush Me‘s of the year were in order: 1. #MeToo, buzz kill, politically correct crowd is sucking the fun out of everything (December 12) with a reach of 2,300; 2. Come take a peek at the Clarkston Corner (October 3) with a reach of 2,200; 3. Mamas let them kids play in the dirt (July 18), 2,200 reach; 4. Say Stage III Anaplastic Astrocytoma 3 times fast (January 24) with a reach of 1,800; and, 5. April 11’s Father and son conversations can be fun, if not enlightening, with a reach of 1,100.
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As far as years go, at least no one called me fat, or mean, or stupid in 2018 (so, I got that going for me). However, there were two columns that inspired enough debate to help me write extra columns with reader commentary. My March 28 column, Kids, controlling the narrative gives you the edge – Don’s for young American’s, gave me enough fodder from readers to “write” Part 2 the following week, and so angered Richard L. from Lake Orion that he canceled his subscription.
Back to school with Don and a whole lot more, published on the first week of school, September 5, where I publicly asked why so many parents drive their kids to school, garnered enough response to fill two more week’s worth of Don’t Rush Me‘s!
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Headline writing is an important part of the newspaper business and over the years my headline writing prowess has led some to label me a “yellow journalist.” Here are my favorite Don’t Rush Me headlines of 2018.
#MeToo, buzz kill, politically correct crowd is sucking the fun out of everything (Dec. 12)
- Connecting the dots with Don can be fun (Aug. 22)
- Transgenderism is nothing new at Casa d’Rush (Aug. 8)
- Snowflake Nation revisited, or why we are soft (April 4)
Stuff to think on Valentines Day: taxes, crickets, and the end of the male species (Feb. 14)
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It has been too quick of a year. I hope you had as much fun as I, and if you didn’t I wish you happiness, health and the best 2019 anyone can have. If you have a favorite Don’t Rush Me, please let me know which one. Until next year, slow down, relax, chill – smell some roses and keep loving.
Comments emailed to DontRushDon@gmail.com