Taken together, they could make a fair-sized book, or enough newsprint to line hundreds of birdcages.
Hopefully, there were a few good ideas that made people think deeply or laugh heartily. For the rest, I ask your forgiveness.
Anyone who writes will admit that it is not easy, yet that is no excuse for serving up claptrap. We just have to accept that nobody hits a home run every time at bat.
I have not run out of ideas, but from now on will post an occasional column on things important or odd. In some cases, that might turn out to be both.
It is time for the fat lady to sing.
Before going, let me recap some central themes we have explored here. The object has been to promote tolerance, kindness, thoughtfulness and a sense that what humans do is sometimes awful and often beautiful. Our actions are also frequently amusing.
Another thesis has been that Tracy is a good place to live. With all of its blemishes, it is a nice town to call home, raise children and carve out a future.
There are some absurd things that go on in life, and we can be so intense as to not recognize them. We take some ridiculous things very seriously and are not serious enough about some things that really matter.
I have not taken lightly the fact that once a week so many people have invited me to their breakfast table. It is with great appreciation that I take a bow before an occasional encore. Thank you.
To those around the country who read this on the Internet, your comments have often been encouraging and challenging.
The New Year will bring new columnists and fresh insights. It is something to look forward to.
Finally, thanks to Jack Elliott for passing on this gig and the Matthews family for accepting the relentless ravings. The real heroes are the editors and copy editors who have wallowed in my creative syntax and spelling to pull out something worthwhile.
My contributions under the heading of “Ethics and Values,” a title I tried in vain to jazz up, have found their conclusion.
• Mike McLellan can be contacted by calling and leaving a message at 830-4201 or e-mailing him at DrMikeM@sbcglobal.net.