I want the kids to be good people.
This occured to me this morning after an impromptu and small act of civility: I signaled a driver it was okay to cut in front of me in a line of traffic. He waved, and I waved back. On the whole, being a nice person is a way of life and not evidenced by a random act here or there.
I hope the concept of simply being nice seeps through the letters. I can’t recall – yes, your Honor, I am telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth – a single instance in all the years of weekly letters where I’ve teed off on someone let alone railed in anger. I’m no saint by any means and certainly have my moments. Yet those won’t be manifest in print.
Of course there are downsides to such a polite viewpoint; the potential to be trampled by those with stronger personalities or the possibility you don’t want to ruffle feathers or unnecessarily hurt feelings. In business that can be a distinct negative. I know this all too well. I recall the days of ‘assertiveness training’ and I never cottoned to that too much. Still, it is the code I happily live by (most of the time) and hopefully a bit of that rubs off on Ellen and Reid. If you detect otherwise in them, let me know.
Here is another letter plucked from a couple of years ago.
February 26, 2007
EB/RB: Yesterday was perfect storm of circumstance that allowed me to be in a slug-like state virtually every second of the day. It was cold and gloomy and raining cats and dogs. For once, the kids next door didn’t make a peep all night. In a moment reminiscent of you two, I slept – honest to God – until 11:00, then took naps on an off the rest of the day. The only time I ventured outside was to get the paper. No workouts, no walks, no cooking, no nothing. Watch the Oscars? I was already asleep. If you go to “The Departed”, be warned there are no flesh wounds in that movie.
Sorry to hear about the snowstorms that bashed you guys. It was 42F this morning, just warm enough to walk about without a coat. My guess is that spring is a scant 6-10 days away. The forecast for the week is upper 50s. What’s wrong with that? Took a long bike ride, 322 miles, on Saturday to Durham, NC. Was 34F when it started but worked its way into the 50s by days end. Betsy and Bob came over Saturday night for a dinner of beef tenderloin, sautéed green beans and shitake mushrooms, home fries and onions, and of course, freshly baked bread. Those two are a scream. Betsy can boss me with the best of ‘em. We were in each others faces all night.
About the only thing I do know, for certain, is that I am not the father of Anna Nicole’s baby. Uncle Ralph, maybe, but not me. Geez, how and why does her story get so much ink? Another gold-digging bimbo with big cans who married a dottering billionaire old guy. That’s about it. Now people are comparing her to Marilyn Monroe. Anna baby is nowhere near Marilyn’s league.
It seems the odds are growing longer against a dog. I’m trying to think about what’s fair to the dog, and it would be inhumane to leave it alone for hours upon hours. I dunno, rather than be impulsive about it, let’s see how the spring and summer go. It may be that my workouts shift to the noon hour. So I’m not saying no, I’m just saying not right now.
As for travel, there is some news…Bruce, John and Dana will come down in mid-April to play tennis and drink wine. Probably more of the former than of the latter. It will be good to have them down here. Then, I will be in Des Moines for Greg’s Plaid jacket golf tournament the weekend of Drake Relays (Apr. 26-29). Did I already tell you I’ll ride solo to the 4 corners of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado? Yeah, that’ll be June or July. The first week in June I’ll play golf in Phoenix with Sam and some of his cronies. So those are things worth looking forward to.
You guys ought to think about a looonnnnggg weekend down here in early to mid-May when the weather will be warm. We can boogie down to the ocean or up to the mountains and check out the local kennel scene. If you want to bring a friend, fine with me. We’ve got room to spare although I’m not sure the town is ready for such an influx of outsiders.