by Kim Evans for the Herald-Times
It’s hard to believe, but this is my 28th and final column. A year has blown by, and I find myself writing the parting words I knew I’d eventually be searching for.
I am not fond of good-byes; yet, the time has come. In doing so, I’d like to share some notable moments from my past year as a community columnist:
The online poster who threatened to report me to Child Protective Services after reading about me letting my toddler daughter play naked in the yard back in 2001, citing my poor upbringing by a mother who threw peanut shells down a man’s pants.
The gentleman who sent me letters warning against the elusive “I-me-my” syndrome, complete with clippings of my column in which each of these pronouns was circled and counted. I continue to wonder how one is supposed to express one’s opinion in the third person; however, I was flattered that this reader took the time to write and compare me to Bob Hammel, although I never broke his record “I-me-my” word count.
A large number of online comments followed my column about mothers balancing work and family. I was excited that I seemed to touch on a sensitive topic and stir a public conversation.
I gained confidence in writing about the poor public relations on the part of the Bloomington Area Arts Council and their dealing with the funding shortfalls for the Waldron Arts Center.
I thank the BAAC board member who invited me to meet and discuss my ideas for bridge-building, even though I did not accept the invitation. Suddenly, I felt the responsibility of having my opinion published in a public forum.
While the MCCSC budget cuts largely felt too overwhelming for me to tackle, I was able to write about my Bradford Woods memories. There are still columns to be written about the importance of art and music education in public schools.
It was fun to have my column about the long journey through the College Mall ending in a double rainbow linked online to photographs of the rainbow submitted by H-T readers.
My biggest honor came after my graduation address to sixth graders was published, and I discovered my words had inspired individuals to quote excerpts from this column at local life celebration and graduation ceremonies.
This is when I truly felt the power of connecting through the written word.
As I look back, I see a body of work I can be proud of.
This gig has allowed me to develop my writing voice, and for that I am very grateful to Bob Zaltsberg for the opportunity.
I also would like to thank the H-T editors for writing great titles for me on those occasions when I drew blanks.
A big thank you goes out to my writing community at Women Writing for (a) Change, whom often listened to these columns in draft form and continue to celebrate my words.
Also thanks to my Friday night women friends for all their support; and my family, particularly my husband, Trent, for his constant encouragement, and my daughter, Olivia, for her extremely helpful feedback on my drafts.
And finally, I thank the entire Bloomington community for helping this be such a great place to call home.
Farewell for now.
Starting in July, you can find me blogging monthly for the Poplar Grove Muse and here on Cozumel Dreamin.