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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



I get a ton of emails every week. From those that have notes and discussion concerning various historical aspects of railroading, to emails about current FFA and Alumni news and events they run the gamut. Occasionally there are even a few fun emails thrown in, like the notice from Publishers Clearing House offering me the chance to sign up to win $5000 a week for life and a few from poor unfortunate deposed royalty in Africa who need my assistance in helping them reclaim their fortune. A few times a year there is actually one that makes me smile and at the same time causes me to do a double take which is what happened this weekend.

This column started many years ago as Weez’s Words in the West Central Valley Voice, and after a change to this publication where it became From the Front Porch. Throughout most of that time, our friends at have run this column weekly as well as maintaining an archive of each weeks effort. It was an email from computer guru and inventor of the “goat cam” informing me that it has now been ten years that the Dexter website has carried this column that really startled me. Ten years? Is that really possible? Can I actually have been crazy enough to come up with something to say nearly every week for ten years?

Maybe the more realistic question would be have you all been crazy enough to read it? We’ve been through a lot the last ten years haven’t we? From babies we watched my kids grow up into the teenagers they are now with all of their weird habits and friends and strange qualities that make them fun to be around. We’ve been through divorces and deaths, employments and times of real struggle. We’ve seen the best in this world and the worst that mankind has to offer. In the past ten years we’ve shared joy over new things in our small towns, in that sense of belonging, and in the way people band together to make things happen. We’ve also stood together silently as we say goodbye to friends and loved ones, their stories so entwined in our own lives that a description of who we really are can’t begin to happen without including them.

We have talked about the old days, when life was not only different, but we were as well. Our lives have been enriched when we reached out to a stranger with cancer and sat quietly with our eyes closed listening to the Melody Makers. We’ve gone on road trips together, eaten corn dogs and giant hamburgers and remembered a little girl who died many years ago halfway across the state. We have debated politics, prepared for summer break and sent kids back to school. And through all those things from week to week, you sat down to read what I’ve written and through that we have made a connection and in many ways a friendship.

So here is to all those letters and words and sentences that have made up the last ten years and given me the opportunity to take you along the back roads and the town sidewalks we all know in search of stories that need to be told and thoughts that need to be shared. I’ve certainly been fortunate to be able to do this every week, and here is to hoping the next ten years will be just as interesting as the last ten. I hope that you will be with me, along for the ride in search of new and old stories to be told because as I end every week ….We’re all in this together.