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May 31 '08
Volume 626

Twelfth Anniversary A Remembrance

This issue of Ridge Rider News marks the completion of our twelfth year of publication. It took a year or two of sporadic publications for RRN to settle into the weekly issue most readers have come to expect, regularly and consistently. As a newsletter, RRN has grown from a readership of less than a handful of individuals to now more than one hundred households.

In RRN’s infancy, we sought a means to vent some of the frustrations we were experiencing in several arenas of life. We admit the ability to "get things off ones chest," helped reduce our blood pressure, but RRN has always been more than a means to an end.

Almost from the onset, Ridge Rider News has been about leaving something behind for our descendants. We have never aspired to accumulate great wealth, and, from a young age, established personal financial goals, which we would describe simply as "making a comfortable living."

We recognize that at the time of our passing there will likely be very little money and perhaps not a great many possessions for our children to "squabble over" and for the grandchildren to eventually inherit.

However, short of some sort of natural disaster or cataclysmic event, there will be six hundred twenty-six issues of Ridge Rider News available for our grandchildren to peruse, use, or abuse. If they grow up to be materially minded, they’ll be sorely disappointed that all that we left them were the copies of this newsletter, and they may possibly cart off their inheritance to a dumpster or landfill.

We can’t control their responses, but we shall pass from this life believing they’ll find within the pages of Ridge Rider News the answers to a lot of the questions they will surely have about what things were like "back then," what sort of persons their grandparents were, and how it is they came to be so smart (smile).

Unless we are dead wrong about our grandchildren, Ridge Rider News will be seen by them as a window into the lives of their forbears, a window that’s always there for them to look through, if only they take the time to do so. Will this not be more precious to them than gold?

Lots of us have windows through which we can visit the past. In our family, our mother was the window we looked through, the one through which she shared again and again stories from her childhood. Our dad was a window, too, but most of what he let us see in his window were work-related values and the how to do things all boys are curious about. Both windows into my family’s past are treasured ones, but we feel Mom had the bigger window.

While we boast of the window we shall leave our grandchildren, we are mindful of our shortcomings in inspiring our readership to rekindle the fires of letter-writing. We once hoped for a regular exchange of thoughts and ideas from readers and have been disappointed that so few have shared anything at all.

Nonetheless, we are grateful for reader-support and the encouragement we have received from friends through the past twelve years, and we are mindful of the esteem with which many readers regard this humble publication.

Ridge Rider News was not established for enjoyment by our friends, but it was gladly shared with all who were interested in reading it. That which is to become a window for our grandchildren and possibly their children has already been a window for our friends to also enjoy the passing parade of some whom they hold dear.

Thus, it is with no little sadness that we announce this as our final issue of Ridge Rider News. Our reasons for concluding this publication are varied but include that which some might describe as writer’s fatigue.

We have long stated RRN would continue only as long as it was something fun and rewarding as opposed to drudgery. While the point of drudgery has not been reached, there is both a tiredness in our bones and the realization that our efforts are not as much fun as they once were.

We would be less than honest to not share the great stress we feel to meet our weekly deadline. While we are not accountable to anyone in this regard, we have been self-motivated to maintain consistency in our publication.

Therefore, we find this our twelfth anniversary a fitting opportunity to conclude what has been a most enjoyable chapter in our life. We have no plans to lay aside our pen forever, and we may employ it to take our web log in a different direction. We sincerely hope readers will graciously embrace our decision to close shop and will wish us well in our continuing journey along life’s pathway.

God Bless us, everyone.

Wayne and Barbara Carter

Barbara’s Bye Bye Getting My Husband Back

Twelve years ago I was just fifty years old (seemed old then, but very young now). Wayne started a hobby of writing. I had enjoyed writing since high school, but I never suspected Wayne would enjoy such a hobby.

In the early years, Sara Sue and I shared the responsibility of proofreading the articles, but as Sara entered her study for National Board Certification her availability for proofing became limited.

RRN very soon took over TV time for Wayne, and our vacation time faded to nothing. The annual cookouts soon took the place of vacation time since it took at least a week to get ready for the big event.

There have been times when Wayne touched on delicate or controversial issues for RRN, but he stated his feelings in each issue, which was his intended purpose for the journal he prepared.

I have seen the writing style of the editor of RRN change through the years, but as a family, we often pull the back issues out to re-read a favorite story or research an event. We laugh over some stories and cry over others. Our granddaughters even find joy in re-reading their favorite issues.

So, now comes the close of a chapter in our lives – no more deadlines, no more late night sessions of folding letters and stuffing envelopes, no more emergency calls to refill the postage meter and no more midnight trips to the Post Office to insure delivery of the current week’s issue to the faithful readers of RRN.

Thanks to all the supporters of the product of Wayne’s hobby through these years. We have learned to claim you all as our extended family, so it is understandable that we conclude this part of our lives with some sadness, but also I have a great deal of pride in the results of what originated as a stress reliever and a means to leave a permanent recording of our understanding, thoughts, and attitudes of life as our legacy.

Thank you to Wayne for allowing me to be a part of the RRN staff, and now I look forward to leisurely walks, vacations, or just watching TV with my husband. Life goes on…

By Barbara Carter

Personally Speaking Knowing When To Quit

Writing, editing and publishing RRN for twelve years has been extremely rewarding. Think about it. How many people get to do something they love doing for twelve years? And, how many people know when it’s time to stop?

Producers of a number of successful TV programs have known when it was time to end the programs. M*A*S*H and Seinfeld are two such programs that come to mind. Both of these went out, if not on top of the ratings then certainly well before their popularity waned. Gary Larson, cartoonist and creator of The Far Side, walked away before he completely burned out.

I don’t rank my simple publication or my efforts alongside any of the above, but I point to them as examples of knowing when to quit. And, I believe I am at that point with RRN.

I’m only sixty-five, but I used to consider that as old. Trust me, it’s not old anymore. However, over the past year, I’ve experienced more lapses of memory than I care to admit. I have trouble remembering names of people, people I already know, especially if I encounter them in unfamiliar surroundings. Lately, words get stuck in my mouth, while my mind is busy trying to free them, and when they do come out sometimes the order is jumbled. It’s probably nothing serious, but I need to see a neurologist and find out for sure. If I’m standing on the brink of Alzheimer’s, I want to know it.

My sister, in my first year of RRN, asked me, "What are you going to do when you run out of stories?"

She was referring to family remembrances, but I assured her that as long as I was traveling, seeing new places, meeting interesting people, there would always be something to write about. Such is still the case, Sarah, so I want you to know I’ve not run out of material.

Yet, I don’t see RRN as a life’s work. Instead I view it as something I have enjoyed, and I feel as though I’ve accomplished the important part of my mission, which is to say I have something to leave my grandchildren.

I have not been alone in the endeavor. My wife, Barbara, has proved invaluable as a proofreader, critic, and censor, and may have contributed more articles than anyone else. My sister, Sarah Sue, whom I now refer to as Sarah (as in Say-rah), but often, to accommodate her liking, spell her name as Sara Sue, has also helped, to a lesser degree, with grammar and proofing and has contributed several articles of her own.

Friends, such as Carl Wayne Hardeman and Ralph Jones have been gracious in supplying various articles for RRN in recent years. Over the years, a goodly number of folks have shared a Christmas Memory or two, which greatly added to my enjoyment of the season, and I sure others would echo my thoughts.

Bodock Beau came into existence when Jim Hess and Lee Gordon suggested the name and the need for more humor in the early years of RRN. Scores of friends have contributed jokes and humor since Beau’s arrival. Among RRN’s more faithful contributors of humor are: Ken Gaillard, Ed Dandridge, Vickie Murphree, Dena Kimbrell, Ralph Jones, and Kim Goslin. These and others have certainly made it easy for Beau to get his column out every week.

Through the years, more readers have commented on the jokes and humor than the articles themselves, but that doesn’t hurt my feelings. I’m happy to be able to share "the sharable" of that which was shared with me.

While it’s true that some aspects of maintaining a weekly publishing schedule are stressful, it’s also true that I have found great joy in writing this newsletter. I doubt I’m ready to retire from writing, but I am ready to retire the Ridge Rider News.

Readers who have Internet access may enjoy re-reading some of the issues, so I plan to keep my website available for that purpose. I plan to post occasional articles and comments on my blog,

Thanks again to all who have supported my efforts and encouraged my writing.

Wayne Carter/ Bodock Beau


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