You Stink


As an author and teacher, for over 30 years, I’m disappointed in where I see young people such as yourself taking the written word. Writing for “likes” online is not the same as writing because you actually have something to say.

I don’t need a response,


In fourth grade I was a chubby redheaded kid with 204 freckles and Bugs Bunny teeth. I was under-confident, an unexceptional student, and my main talent was that I could play a repertoire of Elvis hits on my armpit. By all accounts, I was a dweeb. But…

On the playground I was a tetherball god.

I don’t mean to sound cocky, but few could beat me. And believe me they tried. I played all the hall-of-famers. I sparred with Brad “Fingers” McPherson and cleaned his clock. I beat Ashley “Mankiller” Walker in triple overtime. I even played Mister Edmunds, our PE teacher. The EMTs said he’d eventually walk again.

My secret to tetherball was consistency. I was not a powerful player, and I wasn’t even all that good. But I never gave up. And even when I lost horribly, I would always shake my opponents’ hands, sportsmanlike, and say, “Hey, this was fun.”

And the heck of it is, I actually meant those words. Because I freaking loved tetherball.

Anyway, there was a boy in my grade named Jason Snipes. He was roughly the size of a municipal water tower with the amiable personality of a stepped-on snake.

He was your classic bully. He would steal your lunch money, coldcock any boy who wore short pants, and I’m pretty sure he started shaving at age 4.

He pulled some real stunts in his day. One time, for example, during a baseball game, Jason intentionally slid feet first into the second baseman’s leg and shattered the kid’s shin in three places.

Another time he was caught throwing claw hammers at sophomore football players. That’s right, hammers. But none of the sophomore boys dared go after him because Jason outweighed them by at least a hundred pounds.

I had my first run in with Jason in art class—of all places.

Our class was like most elementary school art classes wherein you had to wear one of your dad’s old button-downs as a smock to protect your clothes from splatters. Imagine 22 adorable fourth-graders running around wearing their dads’ oversized wardrobe. That was art class.

Jason, however, did not bring any of his father’s shirts to school. Truthfully, I’m not even sure Jason had a daddy.

So during one art period, I was minding my business, painting a landscape, when Jason shoved me. “Look what you did to my shirt, you little puke!” he shouted.

Jason’s clean T-shirt was streaked in blue tempera paint.

“I didn’t do that,” I said.

“Did too.”

“No,” I insisted. “I haven’t used any blue paint, my painting is viridian and ochre.”

“Oh yeah?”

Jason always did have an ear for clever dialogue.

The next thing I knew, he had pushed me so hard that I fell into Sandra Danielson’s life-sized sculpture of Donny Osmond.

As I lay there, staring at the ceiling, Jason stood over me and delivered the classic, clichéd bully line from every B-movie you’ve ever seen.

“I’ll see YOU after school, dork.”

Cue Hitchcock music.

For the rest of the day, I was sick to my stomach. Jason Snipes was going to turn me into creamed chipped beef. I had visions of myself being ushered into the school cafeteria in a gurney, eating pureed sloppy Joes through a sippy straw.

So I did what any sane redhead would do. I faked the flu.

They sent me to the school nurse, who got out a thermometer and said, “Okay, hon. Let’s take your temperature.”

I opened my mouth and stuck out my tongue.

She snapped on a plastic glove and said, “No, sweetie. Your other end.”

I’m skipping over a lot of stuff here, but when the nurse discovered I wasn’t truly sick, the old woman came up with an idea for dealing with this bully. It was one of the most brilliant ideas of my fourth-grade career.

“Challenge him to a game of tetherball,” the nurse suggested.

Okay. So maybe it wasn’t such a brilliant idea. In fact, this idea would probably get me decapitated. But perhaps it was just dumb enough to work.

And so it was, after school Jason Snipes found me waiting by the tetherball pole. I was surrounded by a large crowd of students, school faculty, photojournalists, news choppers, and the 60 Minutes camera crew.

I challenged Jason publicly, and I implied that if he refused to play with me he was full of a substance plentiful in barnyards and chicken coops. To my surprise, he accepted.

Sadly, Jason beat me in tetherball pretty badly. I never even scored. Then he slugged me in the face as a parting gift.

And as much as I wanted this feel-good story to have a triumphant ending, that’s not how life works sometimes. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes life stinks. Sometimes total strangers criticize your work and actually take time to email you about it.

Even so, I’m not ashamed of how I behaved that afternoon. Because not only did I stand up against a bully, I did it confidently, and in a non-aggressive way. And I became a little bit stronger because of it.

Before Jason walked off, I stood beside that tetherball with a brand new black eye and a torn shirt, and I told him exactly what I’ll tell you, ma’am.

“Hey, this was fun.”


  1. Patricia Gibson - December 6, 2021 6:27 am

    Sean, some people are amazing. The lady from Maine is not required to read your column. Therefore why would an insulting critique be necessary. It isn’t!!And she is rude. I hope she has a better day.

    • Shannon Melton - December 12, 2021 3:25 am

      When I was in grade school I was in a music class with a music teacher just about as hateful as your Lady (?)of Maine woman .
      I was singing away and I just happened to get the hiccups and so every couple of words I’d sing then I’d hiccup. Well it was kinda funny to me so I was kinda laughing with the students around me. Next thing I know the music cop comes over and slapped me as hard as she could on my left shoulder. She then snatched me up and told me to straighten up then sat me down hard. I burst into tears. At the next class we were singing again and she came over and stood in front of me and said she could hear “somebody “ singing out of key. I was so afraid she was going to hit me again I just started mouthing the words and continued to do so for the rest of the year. That moment scarred me for life. I was petrified of taking any kind of music class for fear the teacher would hit me. I would have given anything to have stood up to her. I always wanted to be able to sing a song from beginning to end and now it’s too late as I’m 65 years old. However you still have your life ahead you. Don’t let any lady of Maine bitches stop you from doing what you do. All I know is every day you make me laugh and cry and you have a way of saying things that I so relate to. That’s all that matters.

  2. Susan H Poole - December 6, 2021 6:31 am

    She is no “lady.”
    Nuff said….

  3. Lisa K Riley - December 6, 2021 6:31 am

    Classy, Sean. As always. Thank you.

  4. Sandi. - December 6, 2021 6:33 am

    I agree with what Patricia said, except the person who wrote from Maine is obviously not a lady; She’s a little girl grown up tall and somebody apparently licked the red off her lollipop, so she is whining and complaining. She should act her age instead of her shoe size.

  5. April Ellington - December 6, 2021 6:43 am

    Good Job. I can’t understand why people waste their time tearing others down. The rest of us love your stories!

  6. NancyB - December 6, 2021 7:18 am

    Sean–I can’t believe people actually write some of the comments they do to you. If they don’t like what you say, why you say it, or when you say it, keep right on scrolling. It isn’t necessary to leave a comment each and every time. I’m grateful I wasn’t her student as she probably ran her classroom like she writes her “notes of appreciation.”

  7. Tracy - December 6, 2021 7:31 am

    For what it’s worth, I love your writing and your willingness to share a bit of yourself with others “for likes”. It’s cold in Maine.

  8. Scotty Evens - December 6, 2021 7:37 am


  9. Deborah Lockard - December 6, 2021 7:54 am

    Dear Lady -Of -Maine , Unfortunately, you get an F in Comprehension. Sean doesn’t write to get his readers to like him. He writes to let his readers know how much he likes them. And we love him for proving this every day.

    • rhonda - December 6, 2021 1:37 pm

      wonderful words Deborah!

    • Ruth Gunter Mitchell - December 6, 2021 3:38 pm

      You are so right, Deborah!

      • Shirley - December 6, 2021 6:41 pm


    • Jeanette - December 6, 2021 6:58 pm

      That’s a perfect description of the way I see Sean’s writing.

    • Pat Deas - December 12, 2021 10:54 pm


  10. Lucinda - December 6, 2021 8:05 am

    🤣 Love how you went all Beth Dutton on Lady- from -Maine in such a nice but profound way and she probably doesn’t even realize it. I’m not an author but I am an avid reader and for 43 years taught young readers and writers the joy of putting thoughts on paper. You Sean, actually do have something to say, every single day, that makes me anticipate opening my email. I’m so glad you believe in yourself enough to continue sharing your gift.

  11. Anne Trawick - December 6, 2021 8:08 am

    Dear Sean,,,
    As a teacher of thirty years, I love where you’ve taken the written word. You’ve shared heartache, a thousand different ways of loving your fellow humans, and uplifting anecdotes about the best of us. You make us cry. You make us smile. Yep, I love what you’ve done with the written word.

  12. Tmitsss - December 6, 2021 9:12 am

    Dear Maine, Nobody made e read this.

  13. John Holcroft - December 6, 2021 9:18 am

    Nicely done Sean. Nicely done.

  14. Amy - December 6, 2021 10:09 am

    I love this mostly because I’ve always wanted to write, and that “lady” lives in my head.

    • Ruth Gunter Mitchell - December 6, 2021 3:41 pm

      Amy, shake those ladies out of your head. Write for Amy. Don’t let an outsider stop you. Just Write!!

  15. David Grant - December 6, 2021 10:17 am

    LIKE !!! write on keep having fun Sean.

  16. Laura W - December 6, 2021 10:41 am

    You and Mike Rowe are the best at responding to people who don’t have something nice to say. Count me in those who look forward to your daily story and frequently pass it along to someone else that needs to read your words. Don’t listen to “Lady” of Maine and the other naysayers.

  17. Jill - December 6, 2021 10:42 am

    Hey there Sean. Maybe Ms. Lady would enjoy playing a game of tetherball with you. Or maybe she just did! 😉 Congrats! ❤

  18. Cathy Marraccini - December 6, 2021 11:08 am


  19. Evangeline Vandenberg - December 6, 2021 11:09 am

    You have a way of saying exactly the right things…

  20. Karen+Erwin-Brown - December 6, 2021 11:19 am

    love your work. don’t let the dorks and dweebs get you down

  21. Dana Blackwood - December 6, 2021 11:21 am

    Sean, if I may. Ms. Maine may suffer from a bit of envy and a measure of sphincter tightness. My grandmother always said “if you hear nothing, say nothing.” However, Ms. Maine might just be a sphincter.

    • Anne Arthur - December 6, 2021 1:37 pm

      You win, Sean. One way or the other you always win. Ms Maine has no idea how large the crowd of your joyful followers is. And if she had an ounce of humor she’d enjoy reading you too. But hey, let her soak in her misery while we enjoy a good piece of writing every single morning. Write on, redhead. You’re great!

  22. peggy - December 6, 2021 11:33 am

    Excellent! You go, Sean!

  23. Another English Teacher - December 6, 2021 12:06 pm

    You brilliant wordsmith! At the point, where it became clear that your young bully had been realized in your email sender—my mouth fell open! Now, that was, indeed, fun. LIKE!!!

  24. Brenda - December 6, 2021 12:13 pm

    Just know, Sean, I suspect the Lady-inMaine doesn’t like herself! She is, however, trying to impress herself.

  25. Julia - December 6, 2021 12:19 pm

    Dear Sean,
    I never like or comment, yet I still read your words. I am commenting today because you do more than write for likes. You connect your readers with their neighbors. With America. The good and the bad.
    I began reading you about the same time I had an epiphany about this so called “horrible” place we live. Due to major life changes since COVID, I’ve had the opportunity to travel across the country with my family a few times since COVID hit. And what I have been reminded of in connecting with people across our country is that we have some truly incredible people here. But you won’t see them in the news. Or in the government. Or in the Fortune 500 companies. (Although there are still some good people in all of those places as well).
    No, you will find them at mom and pop stores in Kansas. Riding tractors in Idaho. Running ice cream stores in Medora, North Dakota. Standing outside of delis in Whitefish, Montana. Working the cash register at Wall Drug. Leading old ladies on hikes as a Park Ranger in Glacier. Working at Waffle House in Seymour, TN after your 1st graders soccer match.
    Thank you, Sean, for connecting us with each other and reminding us all to look at our neighbors and truly see those around us.
    And now I’ll hit like 👍🏼

  26. Phil Jennings - December 6, 2021 12:20 pm

    Just whip out your “Literary License.”
    I’ve only issued a few.

  27. Leigh Amiot - December 6, 2021 12:23 pm

    I’m glad you share your writing with us, Sean. I have also purchased one of your books. I understand a little where the Maine “lady” is coming from—some of the most hideous writing I’ve read was offered up free online—and it was vastly overpriced—but I don’t understand why she would categorize yours in that manner.

    Your writing is clever, funny, contains brilliant yet not ostentatious turns of phrase, and best of all it is about ordinary people like ourselves, like those who are a real part of our lives and the content always encouraging, inspiring, often hilarious. You don’t gloss over the hard parts, but share with gritty reality. You do have something to say—you see clearly into people’s hearts, you feel their pain, you look honestly into your own heart and you convey it all beautifully day after day.

    Your daily comments on this blog reveal how relatable your subjects’ experiences are. I’m not sure why “Lady” Maine had to inform you she wasn’t your audience, but this much I know, I wouldn’t want to be in her circle of friends if they are as snobbish as she. We love your stories of triumph, even when there isn’t an immediate triumph—sorry about the incident with Jason, but I do hope he turned his life around. 😊

  28. Nancy - December 6, 2021 12:25 pm

    You’re right, Sean. She’s a bully and there’s no sense even giving her the time of day. I love reading your stories. Some touch my heart; some move me to tears; and some leave me laughing out loud and I think yo myself “thanks Sean, I needed that!” I am a voracious reader, ever since third grade when I realized I could lose myself in a story. Thank you for all your stories and posts. They are much appreciated even if Ms. Stuck-up Lady-of-Maine doesn’t think so.

  29. Rhett Talbert - December 6, 2021 12:26 pm

    Two-shay!! I think that letter-writer was a member of every church I pastored.

  30. Darlene - December 6, 2021 12:37 pm

    Savage! Your cool 😎 points just quadrupled. 🙌

  31. billie tomberlin - December 6, 2021 12:46 pm

    I LOVE your column!! And I know God wants us to laugh because laughter IS the best medicine❤️

  32. Ann - December 6, 2021 12:59 pm

    Perfect squelch!….LIKE!

  33. Thames Robinson - December 6, 2021 1:08 pm

    Dietrich for the win!

  34. Gay - December 6, 2021 1:08 pm

    It is obvious that is woman needs more fun in her life. Jeez!!!!!

  35. Chasity Davis Ritter - December 6, 2021 1:10 pm

    Haters Gotta hate and jealous people act much the same way. You probably have that woman something to smile about today because she was doing what makes her happy so see you still won! And yes it was fun (for me reading your story!! Brought back some tether ball memories of my own).

  36. Molly Mitchell - December 6, 2021 1:14 pm

    Some of your best “tetherball” right here, Sean. Don’t let the too-much-time-on-their-hands bullies get you down.

  37. BrendaTurner-Griffin - December 6, 2021 1:21 pm

    There are two things I do each morning before I get out of bed. I look out my bedroom window at His beautiful world and say, “thank you!” The next thing I do is read your daily column! Sometimes it makes me smile, sometimes it tugs at my heartstrings, but it always connects me to another human being who is doing what he can to make the world a better place. I am 73 years old and words have been my savior from the time I learned to read. Writing down my thoughts and reading others have helped me survive my worst times and have given me many of my best times. Thank you for every word you write. I’m sure you enjoy the “likes” you get but I’m also sure you would keep writing if you didn’t get them. I’m getting out of bed now and beginning my day. Thanks for your words and I am looking forward to tomorrow’s column!

  38. Gina - December 6, 2021 1:26 pm


  39. Johnny - December 6, 2021 1:27 pm

    I think this lady may be a little jealous of your gift of the word. I’m glad you’re mature enough to not let it bother you.

  40. Sonya Tuttle - December 6, 2021 1:36 pm

    I consider myself a writer, because I like to write. Nothing wrong with it. Don’t know why Maine lady needed to comment negatively on what you do. I love your words and have 8 of your books. People pay to read your words, so why does it bother her? Keep on keeping on!

  41. MermaidGrammy - December 6, 2021 1:41 pm

    What if you do “write for likes”? What you write brings light into our lives. Sometimes on a very dark day. Always needed. We love you. At least you don’t start every sentence with “like”!

  42. William Dennis - December 6, 2021 1:42 pm

    I had a legendary journalism instructor, Professor Shumaker, on whom the comic “Shoe” is based. He had a big sign on the inside of his office door that said, “Illegitimi non carborundum.” Good words to follow! Keep doing what you’re doing!!

  43. Tom Shaw - December 6, 2021 1:47 pm

    Will Roger’s once said, “I never met a man (person) I didn’t like”. Well, it appears that Will never met this heifer!!

  44. Paul McCutchen - December 6, 2021 1:54 pm

    I wish mine had gone in that direction..

  45. Anne C - December 6, 2021 2:04 pm

    Obviously not everyone has the same opinion as the “lady” from Maine, or you wouldn’t have the following you do or sell the number of books you do. Bless her heart, she must have a brain freeze from living so far up North. First, she’s no lady, and second, there’s a cure for being offended by delightful writing such as yours—don’t read it! Sean, please keep writing just the way you do, touching the hearts of those of us who can relate to both your content and style.

  46. Angela V Young - December 6, 2021 2:05 pm

    Way, to go, Sean; bullies never win!

  47. Patricia Schmaltz - December 6, 2021 2:06 pm

    Sean, I agree with Julia (commented above). You connect with so many people, with heart and substance. Maybe Maine doesn’t have as many ‘ladies’ as one would think. Love your writing.. keep em coming.

  48. Robyn - December 6, 2021 2:07 pm

    I ❤️ You Sean. It’s always fun finding you in my inbox everyday. You make my day!

  49. jblackburn34 - December 6, 2021 2:11 pm

    Bless her heart…:)

  50. Karen - December 6, 2021 2:15 pm

    As Granny would say,”She’s just jealous.”

  51. Rhonda Williams - December 6, 2021 2:16 pm

    Sean, Great response!! Well Played!! You bring so much JOY to so many!!! Myself included!!! Thanks!!

  52. Ann Bird - December 6, 2021 2:25 pm

    I love it!

  53. Ginger Smith - December 6, 2021 2:35 pm

    This reminds me of an ongoing feud in the local newspaper’s Vent column. It appeared that a local university professor found out a local kindergarten teacher made more money than he or she did. Sparks flew! You know who won in the end. Those kindergarten teachers know what to do with bullies!

  54. Juliette - December 6, 2021 2:35 pm

    Dear Lady-of-Maine,

    Well . . bless your heart for sharing that.

  55. Cheryll Novak Woods-Flowers - December 6, 2021 2:40 pm

    I have fought my weight my entire life and at 66 years old I have accepted that I will absolutely never be thin…Actually I have accepted that I will never even be close to thin. I was walking along at one of my favorite waterfronts where I live in Mount Pleasant SC and a woman who was sitting in a rocking chair at the entrance told me that I was fat and that I need to do something about it. Of course, I was so upset that I wanted to cry and walk away but I instead turned to her and as politely as possible said that yes I should lose weight, that I was in face always working on it but that at least I would never intentionally hurt someone’s feelings, particularly someone that I don’t know and suggested that she have a good because I was going to in spite of her…I hate bullies!

  56. Shelton A. - December 6, 2021 2:49 pm

    Sounds like Lady-of-Maine could use a little fun of any kind in her life. Great response!

  57. Jim Rooks, MD - December 6, 2021 2:53 pm

    Sean this again is an Outstanding piece of creative writing. Despite 30 years of teaching it is my opinion that the lady in Maine has never learned anything about creative writing. My wife was an English teacher of creative writing for 40 years and believes your work to be on a par with Mark Twain and others. We enjoy your column every day and we thank you for what you do.

  58. monumentpro - December 6, 2021 3:00 pm

    Oh, the irony. She obviously READS your work of which she opines…

    Nice game, Toots.

  59. Mimi Loves - December 6, 2021 3:02 pm

    As a former high school teacher, I’ve seen more than my share of bullies throwing punches or snide remarks. When trying to settle such conflicts I would tell my students, “a bully does what he/she does in an attempt to elevate themselves”. Bullies tear others down trying to make themselves look big. It’s faulty thinking that always fails.
    BTW, a true lady is gracious. She is never deliberately rude, insulting, or hurtful to others. A true lady has no cause to be the bully on any level. Mimi

  60. Tina M - December 6, 2021 3:04 pm

    OMG I just love you and your articles, Sean. You make my life (and the lives of thousands of people) better almost every single day. And LADY-OF-MAINE does not.

  61. deronsmith - December 6, 2021 3:05 pm

    I’m pretty sure this email came from a lady named Karen. Pro tip: when a letter begins…”As a (BLANK) and (BLANK), for over (BLANK) years, I’m disappointed in,” you’re about to hear the worst appeal to authority logical fallacy in the world.

  62. Karen Snyder - December 6, 2021 3:12 pm

    When I started reading, I wasn’t at all certain how this tale would end, but I immediately knew where you were heading. 😉 Class act, Sean Dietrich, class act! ❤️

  63. vickilclem - December 6, 2021 3:15 pm

    I’m sorry that you get letters like this, especially from a teacher who should be happy that there are young people interested in writing and encouraging them like you do. It’s very clear that you do have things to say, and you do it very well in a way that evokes emotion, makes people think, and brings a bit of joy to our day. Keep doing what you do. If this lady doesn’t like what you write, then she shouldn’t read it; it’s really that simple. Hope you and Jamie have a wonderful week!

  64. Carol M - December 6, 2021 3:25 pm

    I guess the Maine reader feels comfortable in today’s climate bullying. As a child I learned that if you can’t say something nice about someone, then just don’t say anything. She must have missed this lesson. My suggestion to her is to spend less time surfing.

  65. Susan Marler - December 6, 2021 3:27 pm

    You hit it out of the park! Thank you!

  66. Mark W - December 6, 2021 3:29 pm

    Taking the high road is rarely the wrong road. Bravo!

  67. glbarlow - December 6, 2021 3:34 pm

    Grammatically that “author’s” first sentence is atrocious. If you’re going to bash a writer while claiming to be one your word structure should at least be coherent. Why do these trolls write this stuff, what is it they think they’re gaining when they do….

  68. Ruth Gunter Mitchell - December 6, 2021 3:35 pm

    I am a retired teacher and write for my own pleasure. I have read, studied, and even taught many of the great writers in literature. I have never been addicted to any one of their works like I am to yours. Personally, I’d say you do exactly what writers should do: you communicate and connect to your audience. I’m thankful to say that I am an enthusiastic member of your audience. I want to write just like you when I grow up! (I’m only 77 now!!)

  69. allisvant - December 6, 2021 4:03 pm

    You need to send “Cold-hearted-in-Main” a copy of your book – “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?” THEN, let her opine that you write just to be seen, heard, or ‘liked’!

  70. Kathy - December 6, 2021 4:05 pm

    Good answer. I would love to play tetherball with you, but I haven’t played in 57 years. You probably would clean my clock.

  71. Karen - December 6, 2021 4:30 pm

    I suspect this lady suffers low self esteem. You bring out the best and sometimes the worst of humankind. Your writings touch all of us. Your writing style is yours. I would say your work is very successful.

  72. Cynthia Russell - December 6, 2021 4:37 pm

    Great letter.. just wonder how that kid’s life turned out.. wonder what he is doing now…. just know he remembers that day & I am positive he is in awe of you because how you handled the situation.. I pray it made him a better person & perhaps a good/great dad.. all we can do is hope for the best for those who need it the most.. Bless & Thank You Sean!!

  73. Sue Adams - December 6, 2021 4:38 pm

    Oh, you have lots to say. Did she READ this article.

  74. Christina - December 6, 2021 4:52 pm

    EVERY BIT OF THIS WAS A WIN… with humor, honesty, courage and classic Sean kindness!

  75. Lynda Gayle Knight - December 6, 2021 4:55 pm

    Way to slam another home run(baseball language just for you,) First, I believe this woman’s first mistake was calling herself a Lady, but then consider she is aYankee-a northern one at that! Second, No one forces her to read your column; after all being an author, she must have plenty other reading material. Third, I challenge her to compare the size of her reading audience to the number of your daily readers. Loved your reply, but you and I both know she will never understand your point❣️

  76. Amy - December 6, 2021 4:56 pm

    Love this! Way to go Sean

  77. Mary Lou - December 6, 2021 4:59 pm

    Sean, you’re too nice to her. But that’s what you are. Nice. So many of us love your columns and wait for them everyday. You always have something to say to each of us. Just keep writing. We’ll keep reading. 💚

  78. Cathy Boswell - December 6, 2021 5:03 pm

    Hmm…. that’s funny. I’ve never heard of Lady-Of-Maine and I’m a veteran educator with an advanced degree. However, I have heard of Sean Dietrich and Sean of the South. I even paid a pretty good chunk of money to see him ‘live’. I took my spouse and two friends with me!! I guess it just goes to show ‘haters gonna hate’. Sean, please keep writing and speaking for the rest of us Southerners!! We know what’s up 😉

  79. Nancy Carnahan - December 6, 2021 5:04 pm

    I’m reasonably sure that “Jason Snipes’ is not his real name. However, I wonder where he is today and what he does. He’s probably not a minister, but could be.

  80. Rhonda - December 6, 2021 5:13 pm

    Bless Miss Maines heart.
    Someone needs to

  81. Norma+Den🇿🇦 - December 6, 2021 6:02 pm

    I’m a bit late in the day to comment. I suggest Lady of Maine take a dose of castor oil as she’s obviously constipated.

  82. Linda Moon - December 6, 2021 6:39 pm

    I needed a good laugh today, and the title “You Stink” gave it to me. So I waited a few minutes enjoying my endorphins before I read further. Lady-of-Maine soon took them away. But you stood up to her and Jason, then reading all this brought my endorphins back! Emails, comments, or snail-mails from me will always be positive. Stay strong!

  83. Susie, as well - December 6, 2021 6:40 pm

    I couldn’t have said it better than Leigh Amiot! I will never understand why some people have to take the time and effort to criticize like that. It is so much easier to scroll on, or here’s a thought, unsubscribe. Nobody is making you read this. We adore Sean, and as always, loved today’s story!

  84. David P B Feder - December 6, 2021 7:08 pm

    Re: your letter,

    As an author and teacher, for over 30 years[SIC]2, I’m disappointed in where I see young people such as yourself taking the written word. Writing for “likes” online is not the same as writing because you actually have something to say.
    I don’t need a response,

    1) “Lady of Maine” is an epithet and thus does not get hyphenated
    2) when referring to specific numbers or amounts, it is incorrect to use “over.” In correct English, you would write, “more than.”

    As a professional journalist, published author, and former teacher, I’m sorry that you are not only part of an obviously inadequate Maine education system, but also that you have added inadequate etiquette and a dismal personality to your poor grasp of the English language. Perhaps instead of investing so much of your time being needlessly–and inaccurately–nasty to one of the greatest writers and storytellers of our day you could use that time to improve your writing skills and learn some basic manners as well.
    David of Texas

  85. Bob E - December 6, 2021 7:08 pm

    Congratulations on your excellent and funny non-response.
    Keep it up and don’t ever lead with your chin.
    Love your humor.

  86. Stacey Wallace - December 6, 2021 7:09 pm

    Sean, ignore the Meanie from Maine. As I‘ve said before, I taught English for 30 years. Also, I write a column in a weekly local newspaper. I’ll bet that “author” is about as well known as I am, which is not at all. You, however, are a talented writer. I greatly enjoy your column and your novels. Ignore the haters, as my students would say.

  87. Vince - December 6, 2021 7:20 pm

    Philistines abound, sadly. Sean you just keep on keepin’ on.. you are too good to not share your wonderful talent for painting word pictures.

  88. MAM - December 6, 2021 7:32 pm

    I’ve never understood why people feel compelled to complain about something they didn’t have to read. As an editor of a small digital local news source, I face this too often. Mostly I ignore them, but your comeback, Sean, was classy and nicely skewering at the same time. Well done! I was, however, hoping that you had beat Jason at tetherball. But not all stories turn out the way we would prefer. But your writing NEVER fails to entertain, whether you bring out the tears or the smiles, often in the same article. I, too, want to write like you when I grow up (and I’m 79, so the years are waning!).

  89. Ann Syfert - December 6, 2021 7:35 pm

    Sean, Read all the comments from your friends who love you and your writing. Pay no attention to this person’s comments. And by the way, she is NO lady in my book. I appreciate you more than you could possibly understand. I have been sharing your columns on Facebook for a very long time. God bless you and Jamie in this Christmas season. .

  90. Betty Martinez Lowery - December 6, 2021 8:11 pm

    I wonder how many students Lady of Maine has crushed with her highly inflated self importance and questionable opinions. Bless her heart, no doubt whatever she has published is as constipated as she. Count me as one of the millions in the ranks of those who love your writing!

  91. Becky+Souders - December 6, 2021 8:15 pm

    Well done, Sean: a mental tetherball retort. NoLady-of-Maine can suck eggs. (She uses too many commas.)

  92. JACKIE LEON DARNELL - December 6, 2021 8:21 pm

    Been there done that. 😉

  93. Bruce Crittenden - December 6, 2021 8:55 pm

    Sean, I know turtle wax when I read it. I’m smiling. Keep on keeping on!

  94. stephenpe - December 6, 2021 8:59 pm

    One of your best. I’ve always heard Maine has some real characters and/or individuals. I guess southern does not translate real well into southern Canadian. That said, I taught PE for 40 yrs and had some GREAT tetherball players. Noemi (pronounced Naomi) was probably as good as any. I had a few come close to beating me but retired undefeated. I had some kids that would hit the ball till their hands were bruised and bloody and play all day and everyday if I let them. Keep writing your stuff. You have plenty to say.

  95. Lisa Barth - December 6, 2021 9:20 pm

    Maine lady, if you don’t like Sean’s writing, there is a simple solution to your concerns. DON’T read his columns. there is nothing forcing you He speaks to us in ways we understand. There are MANY of us who look forward to his columns every day and truly appreciate his writing. Read his fans’ comments above. Find another columnist to follow. Heaven know there are many!

  96. Debi Frey - December 6, 2021 11:01 pm

    You are AMAZING! Your writing is very relatable, very entertaining, filled with honest goodness and humble heart musings. Thank you for letting those “naysayers” who criticize your writing, have a piece of your mind/heart. They are simply jealous of your fabulous story telling abilities. Keep up the good work. We need to hear from you. Your readers love and admire you. Me included.

  97. Susan L Wolf - December 7, 2021 12:35 am

    I’ll bet the teacher has never published a book and therefore is of the brand of “Those who can, do; those who can’t teach!” Lol, actually love teachers, but the kind that positively influence others through praise and positive affirmations.

  98. Heather Cromer - December 7, 2021 12:53 am

    You are awesome!

  99. Dianne DeVore - December 7, 2021 12:58 am

    You are great, Sean!!

  100. jim jewell - December 7, 2021 1:39 am

    This “teacher” (oh, i hope not) reminds me of the book burner at the PTA scene in “Fields of Dreams.” She needs a whole lot more than a response, Sean. You just keep on chooglin’.

  101. Morris - December 7, 2021 2:15 am

    Dear Ms. Maine, notice the unsubscribe button at the bottom of the column. Good bye.

  102. Mary - December 7, 2021 2:19 am

    Sean, I’m glad you addressed her as Maine. She is no Lady.

  103. AlaRedClayGirl - December 7, 2021 3:19 am

    Great story!

  104. elizabethroosje - December 7, 2021 3:54 am

    You told that story like the pro you are Sean. I am always so glad to see your column here.

  105. Debbie - December 7, 2021 8:41 am

    I was taught “over” referred to spatial and “more than” would be more appropriate in writing “taught more than 30 years;” but, I digress. I was also taught it is far better to be an encourager than Maine goose poop. Write on, Sean. You are a beloved American Institution, tetherball and all!

  106. Gloria Gause - December 7, 2021 11:28 am

    Don’t stop writing Sean…… I love it!!!
    Gloria from Loris, SC

  107. Teresa Sheltin - December 7, 2021 11:31 am

    I love the way you tell the haters off in such a nice way! Keep it up!

  108. Kathy - December 7, 2021 4:42 pm

    Bullies come in all ages and genders. You sir have such an easy and kind way about you, that very often comes from a background such as yours and mine. So God bless the insecure people that think they are better, brighter, and stronger that us mere humans, because there has never been an argument won by tit for tat, but many stopped in their tracks by just what you said and did to both these bullies in your life.
    Keep your humor and kindness coming…
    The world has grown so many more bullies these days, so please never stop putting them in their place.

  109. Gayle - December 7, 2021 7:21 pm

    Sean, I love reading your column! You are down to earth and that’s refreshing. I’m sorry people have to be mean, why can’t she just scroll on …. Please keep up the good work.

  110. MaryAnn A Dunham - December 7, 2021 9:02 pm

    Good for you, Sean! I love what you write, the way you bring your Southern upbringing into today’s world, reminding so many of us what life was like, “back in the day” of your childhood. You remind us of the manners we were taught and how we can make a difference in challenging situations, and shine the light of hope into dark times.
    You just keep on writing. It’s your calling.
    God bless you and your wife.

  111. Gayle Wilson - December 7, 2021 11:35 pm

    When someone makes the decision to give their two cents opinion about something they have no clue about, I pretty much figure that there is something broken in them that wants the world to hurt as much as they do. And so, here’s what I have to say to you Sean. You are the reason that many of us, get up each day to see how you have put together words to make us think of goodness and grace. To put one foot in front of another when the world around them is crumbling. To have a good laugh, a few tears, and to think about the human existence. So I say to you, thank you Sean for sharing your gift with those who tune in each day. Thank you and Jamie for sharing your life with us. And God bless whoever Ms Maine is because she must be having a rough life.

  112. Amy Carter - December 10, 2021 3:56 pm

    I love your stories… keep on keepin’ on!! 🙂

  113. Debra from California - December 11, 2021 3:39 am

    I found you and started reading your columns every day when I was at a very low point in my life, as my husband was dying. I read your daily column and FB column every day – you’ve helped me get through the two worst years of my life. Obviously, the lady from Maine doesn’t understand that you write TO us and FOR us and not to feed your ego. But we, your readers, know.

  114. Nancy Heatherly - December 11, 2021 1:55 pm

    Perfect response to the grown up bully from Maine

  115. Linda - December 11, 2021 8:56 pm

    She might have taught school, but she failed to learn basic human compassion from her interactions with students.

  116. Mary - December 12, 2021 4:10 pm

    Good for you, Sean! Bravo!

  117. Paula Cutillo - December 29, 2021 1:19 pm

    I’m not an author, but have been a teacher for 34 years and call me inept, but I think your writing is brilliant. It speaks to what so many of us experience yet are unable to express so magnificently. Your blog has gotten me through many tough times and I just started reading it a few months ago. I’m surprised an author is unable to see that writing, like art, is subjective. I just found my “elements of style” tiny book from college. I couldn’t name one other textbook about writing and it’s timeless. Anywho, I don’t mean to ramble. It’s time for both of us to go have some fun—something I bet the lady from Maine isn’t having! Ps: I don’t just “like” your writing, I LOVE it! Happy new year!

  118. Melinda McCall - October 1, 2022 12:04 am

    I love you, Sean. My Brother in Christ.


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