For four and a half years I had the privilege of writing a weekly column in the Springfield News Sun. I have described the column as being Bombeckesque (an homage to Erma), but I also looked for newsmakers whose splash might not be big enough to get the notice of the reporters’ pool.

Occasionally the person I highlighted was someone I knew thus giving my friends a favorite phrase, “Watch out what you say, she’ll write about it.”

When the powers that were (yes, they are gone) at the paper decided I didn’t “test well enough” and dropped my column, I became rudderless. Being a writer, being published, having an audience was truly a dream. No, I wasn’t getting rich (Son’s allowance was greater than my pay). I did it for the love of writing, of playing with words, of maybe making a small difference in someone’s life.

Modern technology has presented this opportunity to continue what I started in my column. I’m still experiencing doldrums and don’t write as often as I should. I just received a nudge in the form of an e-mail.

While I was teaching, I knew that if I could have an affect on one student, one time, I would have been a good teacher. The following e-mail gave the same effect – just when I needed it (Thanks, “A”).

Hi Linda,

Frank and I went out to dinner with some friends who were bemoaning their 16 year old son’s inability to procure a summer job.  We realize how lucky we are that Tom is working at Freshwater Farms this summer.  It has made a world of difference in his attitude, and his feelings about himself.  Here is how the job came about:

1.  With Tom being born a preemie, I didn’t go back to work for almost two years.  To help fill in the financial gap, I started baking for the Farmer’s Market in Urbana, where I met Dave Smith, from Freshwater Farms.  Dave was instrumental in getting the Farmer’s Market started, and he used to bring his trout to sell and promote at the Market.    I would have tiny little Tom with me at the market, and everyone was happy to have him around.

2.  Tom won the Silver medal in the State Agriscience Fair last year, and you were kind enough to mention it in your column.

3.  Dave Smith read your column, and when I ran into him at Kroger, he mentioned that he would like to talk to Tom about his hydroponics experiment.

4.  I told Tom what Dave said, and much to my surprise, he took it upon himself to actually go to see Dave, and talk about a job.

5.  It took some pushing to get Tom to fill out the application, but he did it and returned it to Dave.  And, voila!  He was hired.  Apparently he is working out very well.   Frank stopped there yesterday to pick up a tool he had loaned, and Dave volunteered that he was very well pleased with Tom.

Thank you for the important role you played in helping Tom grow up.