43 years, 11 months and 30 days …

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 28, 2009


Ted Kennedy, called the “Lion of the Senate” will be buried today at Arlington National Cemetery. President Barack Obama will deliver the eulogy and, while the political itch might be too hard to overcome, we can hope he waits until after Mr. Kennedy has been buried to launch his “Do it for Teddy” campaign regarding health care reform.

As I write this column, I can’t help but wonder what sort of life Mary Jo Kopechne might have had if she had only passed on the offer of a ride from Mr. Kennedy back on July 18, 1969?

I wonder if her family viewed him as a hero?

It’s a shame Sen. Mary Landrieu wasn’t disappointed at her town hall meeting in Reserve on Thursday, since she went in to it expecting worst from those in attendance. And the shouting came.

No, shouting doesn’t get us anywhere — regardless of our respective position, but the use of their “inside voices” by those concerned doesn’t seem to have captured the attention of Mr. Obama’s foot soldiers.

Some time and some place, we have to step back and take a deep breath. And we need someone to throw us a financial life vest, as well, for the conditions our spend and spend and spend friends of the president have gotten us into.

Just Wednesday the White House said the 10-year tab would be $9 trillion — but like so many other things we’re heard over the years from Democans and Republicrats over the years, that was wrong.

Try $11.7 trillion! Go to the site http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np and look at the numbers!

That’s worse than the guy who has to have that new boat and signs a contract at 29 percent interest. No, he can’t pay that back and neither can we, as our GNP is only $4 trillion!

Think about it … even if there was no interest and we did nothing but put every cent of our GNP towards it, we would need three years to pay it off!

And what happens when China and others start to take more of our debt? What happens when the Government Motors part of the auto manufacturer is used as collateral so we can bail out the failing snow ball industry or some such malarky.

Folks, we’re in a ton of hurt and all of the printing plants can’t print money fast enough to keep up with the way this president and Congress is spending it and giving it away.

Back on Sept. 2, 1965 my high school football coach asked me to call in the score from our game. I did, to four different newspapers and, about a month later I got four checks for $8 each — $2 a game.

Since then, I’ve covered a guesstimated 2,500 games — from a Bambino season opener to Nolan Ryan’s 5,000th strikeout. I covered football during hurricane squalls in South Texas and baseball during a spring hailstorm in the Texas Panhandle.

I’ve covered school boards and U.S. presidential races … smuggling (people and drugs) along the Texas/Mexico border … agriculture (with and without rain) and the oil and gas industry.

I estimate I’ve written 2,000 or so columns … and used my two-finger typing technique to knock out several billion words of a variety of typewriters and computer keyboards … but this is the final column (for now) as the employee of a newspaper.

Wednesday — 43 years, 11 months and 30 days after that first football game — will be my last day to lock the door.

I can honestly say that being a newspaperman was fun. I’m sure I’ll miss it, but I’m already finding things to keep me busy.

(John H. Walker is editor and publisher of L’Observateur and may be reached at (985) 652-9545 or at john.walker@wickcommunications.com.)