As I was driving along I-65 just before 6 p.m. Tuesday it was just about dark and I was tooling along at about 60 mph.

There was car to the left of me and just a car length or so behind with nothing on my right.

Then I spotted something in the road just a couple of feet in my lane so I darted to the right. It looked to be a ladder in the roadway. The poor driver behind me wasn’t so lucky as several feet of the ladder was in his lane.

I immediately checked my rearview mirror and saw the driver had tried to swerve, but ran over the ladder. For a moment I thought they were going to lose control as they swerved wildly left, then right. I was afraid that the car might actually roll over on its side. Then miraculously the driver regained control. It was possibly the best driving performance I will ever see. I am willing to guess they were in need of a change of clothes upon arriving at their destination.

Once again I received one of those subtle reminders at the fragility of our existence in this life and how life’s routine can change in an instant. It’s all about rolling with the flow and adapting to change and occasionally being just plain lucky.

Such changes can be welcome or an obstacle in the road. I am now writing for a third editor in the nine-plus years since this column began. Writing a column is a very private endeavor. Being an editor is a very public occupation. The two must harmoniously co-exist for a good working relationship.

While I have not met my new boss face-to-face as of this writing, I hope to do so soon. Our initial e-mail exchanges have been very pleasant and the honeymoon period will be ongoing for a while longer.

Every editor has a philosophy as to what they want the final newspaper product to be. My previous two editors could not have been any more different in their approach to my column. Both times we each adapted and the end result was mutually satisfactory and the column kept going. As a writer, you want complete freedom. As an editor you have to use your best judgment to maintain control. I would much rather be the writer than the editor, although at times the clash can be frustrating for both parties.

My new boss has relayed his philosophy and I fully intend to honor his request. If you notice a certain shift in style or subject matter, I hope your interest remains. I fully intend to inject some humor occasionally with some more local flavor. I hope to interview some people I find interesting around southern Indiana.

I would like to interview a guy who I think would make a great mayor and ask him if he sees himself as an intellectual. I would like to ask a man who has been a success at everything he has tried in life what was his biggest failure.

I would like to tell the story about a friend who is very prominent on the Jeffersonville police force who started out in life at the bottom with nothing and has become one of our city’s most important protectors.

It is my hope to tell another story about a friend who now is a successful businesswoman who has pretty much done it on her own unless you count the hundreds of hours of time her devoted husband had donated for no pay. I would like to interview the person I think of as Jeffersonville’s First Lady.

Along the way I would hope the new boss would allow some of my eccentricities to appear in print. Anytime I can make someone laugh, cry or think, my weekly verbal sojourn has been a success. I still think this form of writing is the closest thing to magic I will ever do.

Each week a blank piece of paper ends up with a story or theme. Many times I have no idea when I start what the finished product will be. I often suspect that it is not very satisfying to some. I do hope that sometimes it makes for good dinner table talk or office cooler fodder. For me it takes the place of expensive therapy.

Much like that ladder in the road I didn’t necessarily see it coming. I am excited that as far as I can tell I will be afforded the weekly space for a while longer. I consider that both an honor and a sacred trust of sorts. As always I welcome and value your feedback and am humbled by your continued readership.

Trending Video

Recommended for you