The Boy Columnist

When I set out to be a writer, years ago, I wanted to write humor. Plain and simple. I’m not a particularly smart guy. My vocabulary stinketh.

I knew I’d never be a prose writer. Mostly because—technically—I don’t know what “prose” is.

But I liked humor. That was what I cared about. So that’s what I wrote.

At the start of my fledgling career, I began writing humor for a teensy local newspaper with a circulation of 2.3 readers. I wrote 600-word columns that were meant to be irreverent and sort of silly.

I was not a real writer per se. I was a jokester. I was ridiculous. I’m not saying humor writing is easy. It’s not. It’s difficult. Some people think humor writing is all about telling tasteless jokes about bodily movements. They couldn’t be more wrong. There are also tasteless jokes about religion.

So things were going okay for my writing. Sometimes people would offer to buy me a beer because they liked a column I wrote.

Occasionally, someone might cut my column out of the newspaper and stick it to their refrigerator, nestled between their grandkids’ artwork and their reminder for an upcoming appointment with the proctologist.

I had fun being irreverent. It suited me. I once got invited to speak at a dinner for humor writers and cartoonists, and the emcee introduced me as a “humorist.”

Nobody had ever called me that before. I was so flattered. A humorist. Me. Unreal.

So I wrote columns about how my mother-in-law once walked in my house when I was naked. And about how she once told my family at Thanksgiving dinner that her son-in-law was a cute little “ding-a-ling.”

I wrote a column about a man who had llamas attend his wedding, who enlisted a goat for his best man.

I wrote my journalistic tour de force when I hired two highly trained culinary judges (my cousins Ed Lee and Tater Log) and we tested 13 brands of American and Japanese mayonnaise to determine the best tasting product (the winner was Duke’s).

So life was good.

But then something happened. My writing somehow became more serious. I can’t pinpoint when this happened. I don’t know how it occurred. I am sort of embarrassed to admit it.

Because I never set out to be serious. People who try too hard to be serious make me gag.

Still, each morning I was receiving serious emails from readers who were going through super serious stuff.

People who had lost loved ones, people who were depressed, people who felt they had nobody to listen to them. And this newfound connection with people altered me.

I once got a letter from a kid whose parents were both murdered. He was writing to say he was terrified of going into foster care. He asked me to pray for him. “I’m scared my new family won’t like me,” he wrote.

I received letters from law-enforcement officers who admitted that they were struggling with mental health issues. Fact: Twenty-six percent of U.S. police officers report mental health symptoms.

Then came the pandemic.

Hoo boy. My inbox exploded with mail from people who were really suffering.

I got an email from a woman during the pandemic who had multiple heart attacks from chronic anxiety.

I got letters from nurses who were ready to quit their profession, from teachers who already had, and I received mail from pediatric cancer patients, or people who lost loved ones to COVID.

And, of course, I received a daily offering of hate mail from random religiophiles, most of whom had the amiable personality of a stepped-on snake.

Then came the racial unrest. Then political discord. Then fighting in the streets. Online arguments. Memes about Charmin. Mass shootings.

I do my best to write columns to fit the kinds of interactions I have with those who take the time to read my stuff. But sometimes I wonder if I haven’t lost myself along the way.

Where did that young humorist go?

And now here I am. Middle-aged. And I’m a completely different guy than when I started this column. I’m still writing, yes. But I don’t know what I’m doing anymore.

Sometimes I don’t know what’s going on in the world. Most days I don’t even know who I am.

But then along comes a letter from a young man named Taylor. Taylor writes:

“Good morning, Mr. Dietrich! I’m not sure if you remember me. I live in Hartford, Alabama. You’ve been to my town a couple of times and every time you visited I spoke with you. I’m the ginger kid who was in Boy Scouts and liked to write.

“I wanted to let you know I’ve found my calling and got my dream job as a reporter at the ‘Geneva County Reaper’ newspaper. I wanted to say thank you for all the inspiration you’ve given me about writing and living life and all the stories you post every day. I appreciate everything, and you are most certainly a reason I’m a writer today. Thank you.”

No, Taylor.

Thank you.

76 comments

  1. PMc - June 22, 2022 6:32 am

    Well done Sean, kindness matters and every once in a while we get to see how much.
    Peace and Love from Birmingham 🙏🌻

    Reply
    • Richard Baker - June 22, 2022 11:14 am

      Amen to that

      Reply
  2. Ann Thompson - June 22, 2022 9:17 am

    And I thank you too. It’s good to have different perspective….and humor is a perspective that humans need….and have lost with all the “hate” being spewed about. To laugh at ones self is good. Sure better than beating yourself up. To use words creatively is a gift. Please continue to share your talent. Enjoy the day.

    Reply
    • Richard Baker - June 22, 2022 11:15 am

      Yes!

      Reply
  3. Ed (Bear) - June 22, 2022 9:47 am

    Hi Sean,

    Your post today reminds me of me. So does Taylor. I like you, sometimes don’t know who I am. And like Taylor, I’m inspired to write by your writings. I love you and hope you will bear with me for a moment here while I thusly write something about myself.

    I have always aspired to be funny same as you. But life has a way of seriousizing things. Yes, I like to make up words. It’s a free country. Or at least it was when I was growing up. I’m 70 now and the world has changed. I think mostly because I got old. You’re getting old too. Everyone is, ever since they were born. Those of us who make it past the “funny” stages of life seem to become more aware of what’s not funny. So we change and adapt. Cause that’s how God made us roll.

    I have all but stopped watching the news. But I read your posts every day. You help kickstart my morning. You are a bright spot in my day. You’re still funny. You have managed to hang on to the natural humoristing that you do, much to our benefit. You are a humorist with a knack for helping others feel better.

    Your yesterday’s post from Eleven, hit me like a ton of bricks. Eleven needs just what you gave him/ her. We all do.

    Thank you for reaching oldenhood Sean of the South!
    https://www.eds-art.net/meetings/#time

    Reply
    • Te - June 22, 2022 11:42 am

      Hey, your comment is so spot on. True, true, and aren’t we all eagerly looking for something encouraging these days.

      Reply
    • Holly Rabalais - June 22, 2022 12:06 pm

      I’m not nearly as ancient as you, Ed, 🙂 but your thoughts are spot on.

      Life had seriousized me too for a while, and I stopped writing because I didn’t understand the point. Storytellers, humorists, artists–sometimes we wonder if anyone is listening. The fact that I also read this column every day to “kickstart my morning” underscores the answer: yes.

      People are listening. They need stories of everyday people offering hope, compassion, and wisdom. Sean consistently gives us that every day (at which I marvel because I can’t even managed to crank out an article once a week!). I say “gives” because his words are a gift. (Sean, this reply was meant for Ed, but if you’re reading, I just said your words are a gift–don’t stop writing!)

      Thanks for *your* words, Ed. I am adding seriousized to my made-up-words dictionary. You may also like this one my once-young son made up: crambled. Think of a gaggle of geese all crambled together in an elevator. It’s a bit more serious than “crammed.”

      Reply
      • Ed - June 22, 2022 1:52 pm

        Thanks Holly!

        As you said, this comment section is for Sean so I am flattered and grateful that you would write to me. We love Sean and want him to know that.

        I like your son’s word “crambled”. He sounds like a fun son. But have you seen what a mess geese can make? Especially crambled in an elevator!

        I don’t know how Sean can write so many good works as often as he does. He’s some kind of writing wizard! He obviously loves his craft. Fortunately for us!

        Reply
  4. Eileen Twiddy - June 22, 2022 10:12 am

    I read your post every morning to start my day. Yes, sometimes it is humor, sometimes it brings tears. But always it strikes a chord deep inside. Because you see the important in the simple every day things. And you point it out. You touch people & reflect on life. Your writings have touched me. Thanks for your writing , Sean. Don’t ever stop.

    Reply
    • Richard Baker - June 22, 2022 11:17 am

      Amen!

      Reply
  5. Ernie in River City - June 22, 2022 10:35 am

    I have been a writer – in one form or another – for nearly 40 years. Mostly in advertising. Marketing. And corporate communications for nearly 15 years. Trying to improve writing has made me a reader. And reading has made me appreciate the work of truly good writers. People whose words jump through the brain and touch the heart. You are a truly good writer. You are also truly good. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Richard Baker - June 22, 2022 11:19 am

      Takes one to know one. Nice commendation from you, Ernie

      Reply
  6. Sally Patrenos - June 22, 2022 11:09 am

    Isn’t it funny how God always puts just the right person in our path at just the moment when we need it the most?!

    Reply
  7. Camille - June 22, 2022 11:12 am

    I read all of your columns, I’ve read your books, I’ve never been disappointed. You rock, sir!

    Reply
  8. MR - June 22, 2022 11:18 am

    Sean, you are a perfect combination of serious and funny!

    Reply
  9. Richard Baker - June 22, 2022 11:22 am

    We were told Barnabas means “son of encouragement “. You are this , Sean. And we need more of this sort of person in our world. Well done, sir

    Reply
  10. daniel a beck - June 22, 2022 11:27 am

    and thankyou,you help make each day better for me, thank you !!!

    Reply
  11. Paul McCutchen - June 22, 2022 11:32 am

    Keep writing Sean. I rarely read or watch the news anymore so a nice spark in the morning is your column, When I was young we used to get the local newspaper. It would give you the news and a few fun articles written by the editor. Even when I went off to college I continued to receive the four page newspaper. After I finished reading the paper it got passed around. Most of the people told me they enjoyed reading my small town weekly paper because of the articles written. There is always someone who might skip the news just to read the columns, people like you, have written. Don’t swing for the fence every time. A man told me once all he wanted was his batters to get a base hit because after four batters he would have the bases loaded, one run, and no outs. He was telling me to work for the home run and not to swing for the fence every time at bat. I think a large number of your articles have hit the stands for a Home Run.

    Reply
  12. Fran - June 22, 2022 11:37 am

    👏👏👏

    Reply
  13. Te - June 22, 2022 11:38 am

    I have found that writing is a compulsion, like eating chocolate when you know it will give you zits or refusing to drive the speed limit. You just can’t resist doing it, even when you know you’ll never be published and nobody will ever read your stuff. I write novels. Can’t stop doing it. Can’t get published either, but that doesn’t stop me from starting a new one that I might never finish. So far I have 7 in various stages of completion! I have finished 1 which took me nearly 20 years to perfect. (Editing is the secret to all of it.) So it probably doesn’t matter that you have become a successful (and funny, BTW) columnist. You’d have done it anyway. And reading your column is how I start my day. Every day. I like your funny stuff, but the ones that stick with me are the serious ones: Gettysburg, and (now) Lincoln’s cats, Ellie Mae and dying children, poignant stories about people going out of their way to help others. I don’t consider myself a failure because I can’t get published, so you don’t even fall into the category!

    Reply
  14. peggy hayes - June 22, 2022 11:59 am

    You are still funny. You have a genius way of addressing serious issues with appropriate, healthy humor. Thank you for that! You help make difficulties more bearable.

    Reply
  15. Ann - June 22, 2022 12:03 pm

    Obviously you have no clue the impact you have….please don’t second guess yourself on the value of your writing….you cover every area of life yet still manage to add humor, even in the more serious columns. Keep on doing!!! Everything is gonna be alright…bless you and thank you.

    Reply
  16. Kip - June 22, 2022 12:14 pm

    You really see people Sean. You bring people together in a world where we’re increasingly being pulled apart. You make me laugh and cry and at the same time, remind me of the goodness still out there.

    Reply
  17. Pamela Williams - June 22, 2022 12:16 pm

    ♥️

    Reply
  18. sjhl7 - June 22, 2022 12:24 pm

    Great news! We could use a lot more writers like you Sean. You make me want to get up in the morning and see what you have created and sent to my inbox. Your stories are real life and full of love and caring as well as humor and entertainment. You are wise beyond your years and you readily share your wisdom with us all. Thank you!

    Reply
  19. Trudy - June 22, 2022 12:26 pm

    Sean, I don’t think you realize the number of people you impact daily. You help so many of us. I read your column every morning before I even get out of bed. I went through my mother’s dying process the same time you and Jamie were dealing with the transitioning of Mother Mary. It helped me tremendously to read your columns. My father just passed away last month, who by the way, found his father hanging from the barn rafters on Christmas morning when he was 14 years old. I feel like I can relate to your life story through what my Daddy had to endure.
    Thank you for your morning email. I look forward to it and pass it on to others. You are loved, admired and need.

    Reply
  20. Sondra - June 22, 2022 12:31 pm

    I enjoy your column everyday. Thank you for caring about all of us.

    Reply
  21. Donna - June 22, 2022 12:34 pm

    Sean, you make me smile and laugh out loud sometimes. You make me cry tears, sometimes sad ones and sometimes happy ones. You make me think. I look forward every morning to reading your words. You are real. You are my friend, one that I have never met in person. Thank you for being who you are.

    Reply
  22. Joy Jacobs - June 22, 2022 12:37 pm

    I don’t think you realize how much we all love you. I look forward to reading you every day. You are humorous, poignant and soetimes sad… just like the rest of us, only God gave you the gift of sharing yourself to us. ❤️

    Reply
  23. Diana Kinser - June 22, 2022 12:48 pm

    I’m not a young man like Taylor; I’m a 67-year-old grandma who writes a blog and just published her first book (God’s Fruit Salad). You have inspired me to be more down-to-earth, to tell relatable stories, and to write from my heart. That’s a wonderful model for all of us at any age! Thank you! And keep writing just the way you do. We are all listening. (Grandma-D.com)

    Reply
  24. Dale Parsons - June 22, 2022 1:05 pm

    Thank you for you. An inspiration for sure.

    Reply
  25. Don Gardner - June 22, 2022 1:06 pm

    Thank you so much for each and every column. I’m blessed that I have not been through some of the issues many of your readers have experienced, but through reading your column, I think I have become more compassionate about those who hurt that way.

    Reply
  26. Suellen - June 22, 2022 1:31 pm

    Writing is definitely a gift and one that you’ve been blessed with beyond measure. I’ve read thousands of books in my life and I’ve always thought I’d like to be a writer but I wasn’t given that gift. I don’t feel I have a “voice”. I’ve heard that real writers write while I stare at an empty page. It sounds like writing has always been a solace for you and I hope it doesn’t become a chore where you feel you have to please all of us. Write from your heart. Write what makes you happy. Either people will like it or they won’t but you’ll be happier.

    Reply
  27. Crazy transformation lady - June 22, 2022 1:36 pm

    I find {in my middle age} that the less I know about who I am means that I am ready to pivot to whoever I need to be. I think it means you are a competent professional human. It is incredibly uncomfortable, holding all that uncertainty but it’s a muscle that will grow and grow. Transformation has this spot in the middle where everything dissolves. Chaos. Trembling. Once you know that this means you’re doing the whole ‘human’ thing correctly and quit being scared of it, you find that it is really beautiful. Beauty. Tender chaos. I can’t wait to see what you become. I have a feeling it will be special, because it already is.

    Reply
  28. Anne Arthur - June 22, 2022 1:40 pm

    You are the reason I still write. Your sense of kind-hearted, funny humor keeps me smiling.
    We can send those nasty snake-stepping commentators to hell because they will never get that you are saving many people’s days.
    Write on, Sean. Write on.

    Reply
  29. Patricia Gibson - June 22, 2022 1:42 pm

    Sean, you inspire me every day and I thank God for you❤️

    Reply
  30. Heather Miller - June 22, 2022 1:43 pm

    Taylor is written proof that while we think we are a nobody searching for a reason to be here and wandering around with air for brains, we have actually made a difference in one person’s life. It’s phenomenal that one person actually listened to us, and took away only the good from our presence.

    Reply
  31. Margaret Byrd - June 22, 2022 1:47 pm

    None of us know who we are anymore. These past few years have changed all of us. I feel like I fell down Alice’s rabbit hole and can’t find my way out!!! Keep on keeping on and keep on writing. Your followers will share with you what you need to hear and respond to.

    Reply
  32. Jan Noel-Smith (@JanNoelSmith) - June 22, 2022 1:56 pm

    Your readers love your optimism, your wry sense of humor and your raw humanity.
    You’re a bright spot on my morning reading list, and one I NEVER skip. Whether you bring me to tears or giggles, you soften my heart and make me remember other people are humans too. Thank you Sean!

    And thank you fellow Sean readers. Your comments and stories are part of the reason Sean of the South is daily reading for this ol’ gal. You are wonderful, caring folks, friends.

    Reply
  33. Christiana Roussel - June 22, 2022 1:56 pm

    It is funny– that turning point you allude to? That is when you found YOUR VOICE. It is uniquely you and shows out when you deftly weave together heartbreak and humor, with daily observations about the human condition, from this little corner of the world. It lands well. 🙂

    Reply
  34. Nancy Laird - June 22, 2022 1:57 pm

    Sometimes all it takes is two simple words to make someone’s day; to pull someone out of a blue funk; to coax a smile from an anguished face.

    Thank YOU, Sean Dietrich. You make me smile almost every day, except those days when you make me cry.

    Reply
  35. Helen De Prima - June 22, 2022 2:17 pm

    I write because I can’t not write. Sometimes readers say kind things about my work.

    Reply
  36. Donna Loughridge - June 22, 2022 2:21 pm

    Sean, you have evolved to writing about the human condition. You are our outlet to process the roller coaster called life. You’ve become the 21st century Mark Twain and Will Roger’s. Don’t ever stop. We love you!

    Reply
  37. Ruth Mitchell - June 22, 2022 2:32 pm

    When I grow up, I want to write just like you (I’m 77!). For years I was an Erma Bombeck wannabe, but life happened—a good life nonetheless! I love your writing.

    Reply
  38. Susie Flick - June 22, 2022 2:39 pm

    Great column today and from all the comments so far today, you seem to bring out the “writer” in many!

    Reply
  39. Richard Owen - June 22, 2022 2:45 pm

    As far as your concern about how you have changed, I have a story about change in my life. I was fresh out of the US Navy having served 8+ years in submarines in 1976. I found out that one of the presidential candidates was a former submariner so I thought what the heck. Fast forward to 1981, Carter is trying for re-election with mortgage rates running at 20% and my wife and I trying to sell our first home to transfer to a new job. That was the last time I voted for a Democrat. I have voted for a few independents since then but my values, I guess, have changed since those past years.
    So, don’t worry about how you have changed. Enjoy them and understand them. If a certain value doesn’t work, I have faith that you will realize it and chuck that “value” to the curb.

    Reply
  40. Linda Willson - June 22, 2022 2:52 pm

    Of course Dukes won the contest. I use Dukes every day on my tomato sandwiches! BTW, you are an inspiration to many of us so don’t deny us, keep writing!

    Reply
  41. beachdreamer - June 22, 2022 3:24 pm

    Dear Sesn, I think we all lose ourselves at one time or another as we try to find our way. Especially now, in this strange and confused world we live in. Your column today reminds me of how many times I’ve said, “You never know how far your words will reach!” I’m trying to start up my blog again , so much I want to say…then that old self critic hovering over me begins all the negative stuff…whose gonna read it? Does anyone really care what you have to say? I love words…they’re so important, how and when and to whom they’re said. They really can change a persons life! Taylor I’m sure is only one of many who have been influenced by your words. So don’t stop, Mr Dietrich ! Keep sharing your amazing gift. God bless you.👏👏👏👏

    Reply
  42. Cynthia Russell - June 22, 2022 3:36 pm

    YOU MATTER!! YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE TO ALL OF US WHO HEAR FROM YOU DAILY!! JUST THINK OF ALL THE ONE WHO READ YOUR COLUMN DAILY & NEVER WRITE.. I ENJOY SPENDING TIME WITH YOU & KNOWING I AM WITH SO MANY OF YOUR FOLLOWERS.. THANKING YOU FOR DOING “SEAN of the SOUTH” THE RIGHT WAY.. FROM THE HEART TO ALL OF US!!

    Reply
  43. Melanie Johnston Levy, LPC - June 22, 2022 3:41 pm

    Hard to believe you read all the comments but thank you anyway. Love, m3

    Reply
  44. bunnybeckett - June 22, 2022 4:03 pm

    I look forward to your daily posts. You still have humor mixed with the stories that you so beautifully relate, even those of sorrow or discontent. You are not lost to those of us who wait for your next posts.

    Reply
  45. virginia westlake - June 22, 2022 4:06 pm

    And yet, you have written my favorite book of the year, The Incredible Winston Brooke. A serious and funny book that stays with me!

    Reply
  46. robnrockin - June 22, 2022 4:18 pm

    Thank you Sean…for being you. You are a God send and i am so thankful to read your columns every day. You write it, i’m reading it. Thank you for sharing your ice with us -we are the grateful beneficiaries.

    Reply
  47. Larry Wall - June 22, 2022 4:21 pm

    Sean, no secrets being revealed here, but you have probably 30 million readers by now. You have been spread near and wide by us, your fans and devotees. Congrats are rightly in order for your success. You have given many of us some better perspectives on life and people.
    Now, let’s get this straight though. Age 39 is hardly middle aged. I will give you that your life experiences may have created more maturity than other folks of your age. My personal experiences(and age) suggest that middle age begins in the early 50s and continue until around 70-72, and old age will follow. If we are so blessed. So, celebrate your youth and enjoy life with your sweet and very charming, smiling wife, Jamie, who we hope is over Covid.

    Reply
  48. Carol Pilmer - June 22, 2022 4:36 pm

    For the record, I lover the way you always manage to combine humor and tug at your heartstrings stories…the combination you have created is perfect, Sean….Thank You so much for the joy and sadness you bring to my life.

    Reply
  49. Joe - June 22, 2022 4:44 pm

    You may not know who you are and maybe that’s why you can see and describe things without making them fit a predetermined mindset. Just keep on. Love your stuff
    Joe

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  50. Judy - June 22, 2022 4:45 pm

    Encouragement!!!! Better than sliced bread.

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  51. Charles mathers - June 22, 2022 5:46 pm

    Wow! I’d say you’ve come a long way Sean! You actually used the word “meme” today and used it quite correctly! I had to actually look it up! The old Sean would have been very suspicious of that word, if he even knew of it! “A piece of cultural knowledge that survives through repetition.” You didn’t even have pieces of cultural knowledge in your childhood. You just had what everybody did! You’ve come a long way, Sean! Just keep on writing about what you see everybody doing and leave the “memes” to your young reporter friend (protoge’)! I’ll be reading both your columns!❤️🤗🙏🏻

    Reply
  52. MAM - June 22, 2022 8:02 pm

    We writers live for the compliments. And we all also have our detractors, but compliments far outweigh the hate mail, not only in number, but in content and in our appreciation for them. We have to learn to ignore or reply nicely to detractors.And on a different topic, I not only LOVE your columns, I enjoy reading the comments and agree with most of them. Thanks, Sean. Keep writing. We rely on you for your insight into human nature, and I, for one, totally enjoy the zingers of humor you sneak in!

    Reply
  53. John - June 22, 2022 8:35 pm

    You are the same age as some of my kids.And I am always very very pleased when they take the time to mentor and/ or just positively effect the next generation.
    When we help others it helps us! I enjoy your work ,as a retired educator, I have seen so many times that folks don’t have to be stuck where they are. Some just need a nudge or someone to listen to them.
    I asked a class once,” How can we tell if someone is a good person ? “An over weight geeky kid who was a bit ostracized by others and made fun of for his looks, immediately throw up his hand . Thinking this will be interesting, I called on him, he sincerely replied, “ They make you feel better!” Well, your writing usually does that for me. Keep typing and caring!

    Reply
  54. Sheri K - June 22, 2022 8:39 pm

    Sean, you’re one of the reasons many of us get up every morning! Your blog is always filled with love and inspiration – things that are in pretty short supply these days. We love you and share your stories, adding to your audience regularly. Your positive influence is contagious and the world is so much better because of you. Thank you for greeting me every morning with love and and a smile.

    Reply
  55. Ann Marie Bouchet - June 22, 2022 9:07 pm

    Sean, you are a writer and a darn, good one. You write about life…..in humorous ways sometimes, and not so humorous at other times… but it is real and it is honest and I wouldn’t want you to be any other way. Thank you and love to you and Jamie.

    Reply
  56. Chasity Davis Ritter - June 22, 2022 9:25 pm

    Even when it’s a column like this I still get the leaky eyes from your writings. I could just picture your smile after reading that boys letter and yup I got the leaky eyes!!! Thanks for sharing.

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  57. Linda Moon - June 22, 2022 9:41 pm

    I’m glad you set out to be a columnist. I like humor, irreverence, and silliness. I found you and your writings “by accident”. But it wasn’t really
    accidental, Sean. It was Providence, and it eventually led me to my family’s resting place where I visited those who are buried there. My daddy and his mother were two of the silliest of them all. And because of you I laughed and shed some tears there, near an old historic theatre.

    Reply
  58. Wendy - June 22, 2022 11:59 pm

    Sean, please keep up the good work! You matter to me, and I very much look forward to reading your column each day – I find it very uplifting in these dark times. I also pray for you and Jamie, for your good health, safety and salvation. Love, Wendy

    Reply
  59. Marci - June 23, 2022 12:14 am

    Sometimes you make me laugh, sometimes you make me cry, sometimes you make me think and at the start of the pandemic you gave me a hug. Just keep following your instincts and being who you are.

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  60. Laura Reynolds - June 23, 2022 1:01 am

    Sean, you’re a wonderful writer and man. My mom is 90 years old and discovered your column not long ago. She forwards “ the really good ones “ to me. So we’re either crying or laughing. Keep your chin up and remember Taylor. You’re a good man Sean Dietrich.

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  61. dbdicks430 - June 23, 2022 2:47 am

    Keep writing for all of us who need a bright spot or who need to be reminded that there is more good in the world than bad, even though the good doesn’t get the attention it should. The mayonnaise contest…why did you ever question Dukes, the one with twang?

    Reply
  62. Slimpicker - June 23, 2022 3:00 am

    Do you know the difference between humor and odor? One is a shift of wit and the other is a whiff of s**t. You probably already knew that, being a humorist and all.

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  63. Connie - June 23, 2022 11:14 am

    🥰

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  64. Pat Morgan - June 23, 2022 2:25 pm

    Louis Grizzard didn’t reply to your letter, but maybe (hopefully) said, “thank you.”

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  65. Joann Thompson - June 23, 2022 3:43 pm

    You may question who you are, but your faithful readers know. You are a gifted writer. Your writing is a gift to all of us who read your work daily. I see it as a ministry to those who are lonely, hurting, or simply in need of lifting up. God bless you and your work.

    Reply
  66. CHARALEEN WRIGHT - June 26, 2022 11:22 pm

    ❤️

    Reply
  67. Connie Cagle - June 27, 2022 7:37 pm

    I love it when God sends affirmations! Cherish this one Sean!!

    Reply
  68. Allen Berry - June 28, 2022 1:09 am

    Dear Sean,

    The definition of humorist is maybe a lot broader than you think. Mark Twain wrote some of the most gut busting lit the U.S. has ever known, he also wrote about the world that was with all the spots and blemishes. He wrote A Tramp Abroad and then wrote The War Prayer, a scathing rebuke of the Philippine American War…and it was brilliant.

    You haven’t gone anywhere, the nation has, and you’re speaking to that. You’re writing and feeling for a weary, worried nation, and you’re doing superbly.

    Your fan,

    PhDude

    Reply
  69. BMc - June 30, 2022 4:15 pm

    Just when you think it’s all wrong you find out that God is in the details. You are fulfilling your calling, doing exactly what you are supposed to do! Keep up the good work!!

    Reply

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