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The future A topic that is sensitive to my being

by Bob Stealey

Editor

The future. We all know what that is, especially because we don't know what it is. It's a word that scares most of us half to death and causes fear of change -- something else with which we're all too familiar.

Nearly two weeks ago, I wrote about young folks choosing their careers and, years later, discovering how closely -- or how much in contrast -- their life work has paralleled their years of planning for it.

In retrospect, in my early 20s, I would have strongly feared entertaining any wild ideas about digressing from my chosen path to tackle some other field of endeavor. It would have been taking too much of a chance. But as I see it now, actually the real chance I took was in staying with journalism as my career choice.

Most folks, when they reach a stage in life on the grayer side of "the big five-oh," don't allow even so much as a thought of a career change seep into their minds. Yet, as I'm determined to be a maverick rather than a sheep, I've thought of not only a career change, but a change of scenery.

The great American poet Robert Frost wrote:

Two roads diverged in a wood and I

Took the one less traveled by

And that has made all the difference.

In my case thus far, I've been taking the road most traveled by, I'm afraid. I must admit, "the ride" over the years has had its pleasantries as well as its unpleasantries. One of the most pleasant things about the ride has been meeting new people and making new friends -- co-workers and customers alike. But there are goals I've set that I haven't yet met. (Obviously, one of them isn't poetry.) I need to "go figure" how I can meet these goals while maintaining the status quo.

I've come to realize the metaphor that newspapermen have ink in their blood is true, figuratively put. I've certainly enjoyed writing this column, as well as editorials and narrative for "Look Back in Time" and "The People Speak." Plus recently, I've been doing some morning reporting.

Writing will always be a big part of my life. For years I have wanted to complete a book, and while my first was a pictorial collection -- my second book will also be such, but this time about Doddridge and Ritchie counties -- I'd prefer to move on to something requiring more cerebral exercising, i.e., truly authoring a book. As for what's still in store for me, I'll be doing some praying about it. I know that I won't be making any hasty decisions. But neither will I do anything to cheat myself of what life has to offer.

n n n

Recently, someone brought me an old photograph for "A Look Back in Time" that appeared to be a family. It was pasted to a page from a three-ring binder, but it had no name of a contributor or identity of the people pictured attached to it. If you brought in such a photo and have been wondering why it hasn't appeared, it may be yours. If so, please contact me with the needed information I've just listed.

Have a great weekend, one and all!

Exponent-Telegram Editor Bob Stealey can be reached by phone at (304) 626-1438, or by e-mail at rstealey@exponent-telegram.com.

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