Roy Exum: A Friend Means More

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

I have never asked anybody to read a story I have written. I might refer a person towards one, if I thought it might be to their benefit, but I have no idea who will read my words anytime I hit the “send” button. Some people are fond of my stories, others not so much, and that’s okay because I’m the one who gets the most pleasure out of what I do.

I’ll admit I’m quite opinionated – a requirement when you write an opinion every day. I’ve found that opinions are like belly-buttons; everybody has one and often one’s beliefs shape a person into who they are. I get loads of comments every day, so many I could never begin to reply to each one, and the fact I have far more that agree with me is flattering, but I love the ones that disagree because -- if they are civil -- I have found they make me think the most.

Over the weekend I got one from a close friend: “I am slowly moving into no longer reading your column. Instead of thoughtful reflections on various topics, you just seem to be spreading the same message as every other political right-winger. At one time, your writings were unique. What happened?” the note began.

“I now realize you have moved so far to the right by being sucked into the vacuous pit of political talking points. It is as if you no longer have your own thoughts. It feels like I am reading what Rush Limbaugh would write, not Roy Exum, who long ago never even let his political leanings be known,” another part read.

“You seem to have lost the ability to reasonable debate on various topics, and like our insecure commander with the fragile ego, you just spend time belittling those you disagree with and somehow claiming that you own the right to being the better American. You love your GOD, GUNS, and GLORY. You are the real patriot...all the rest of us are just a bunch of horrible Americans.”

* * *

Wow! The person who wrote this to me is quite liberal – which is fine with me – because this person is a delightful human being who was brought up the same way I was, taught from the get-go that “if you can’t find something nice to say, say nothing.”

I can’t begin to count the times I have wished I had never said nor written hurtful things. Man, I’ve eaten so much crow and have embarrassed myself it’s unbelievable, but, the truth is, “you can’t un-ring a bell.” I am also unable to count the times the “three day” rule saved a friendship – that’s where you write the worst letter imaginable to a person you know, put it in your desk drawer, and wait three full days. When you read what you have written three days after you wrote it, 90 percent of the time you’ll not need a stamp. Keeping a friend is far too important.

With social media the three-day rule has turned obsolete. Let’s take the case of Hayley Geftman-Gold as a sterling example. Not long after the Las Vegas gunman killed 59 and wounded over 500 others Sunday night, this brilliant woman who was a vice president and senior counsel of strategic transactions at CBS, jumped on Facebook to write, “I’m actually not even sympathetic [because] country music fans often are Republican gun toters.”

Think about this! Why would somebody so bright, with such a brilliant future, also write, and “If they would not do anything when children were murdered (Sandy Hook?) I have no hope the Repugs (sic) will ever do the right thing.”

As you can easily suspect, she was fired within hours by the shocked network and her family is now in hiding because the death threats and response from across the country continues to be vicious.

My goodness, Geftman-Gold is an Ivy League graduate, got her law degree at Columbia and has three cute little boys. Her Facebook Post is every bit as big a mystery to equal the gunman’s motives but falls directly in line with the hatred we see coming out of Hollywood, the NFL, and other liberal camps on an increasing basis.

Now it happens to me! One of my dearest and most wonderful friends just let her liberal views get in the way of a friendship I adore and I’ll not stand for it. I can see one only reason she sent me that email – to hurt my feelings – why else? Guess what? It didn’t work. This person means too much to me.

If people don’t read my stories that’s perfectly okay. If people disagree that’s just fine, but only when one seizes the chance to write me with their liberal anger am I reminded anew that if you can’t say something nice, this world of ours will be much better off if nothing was said.

I’m not going to allow her to wreck our friendship or derail my great admiration and joy for the character that she most certainly is. Nope. I’m chalking this one up to political hate and I am unwilling to play. She is too great a friend.

royexum@aol.com



Saying Goodbye Is Never Easy

One of the hardest things for me to do is to say "goodbye".  I had my retirement lunch Friday for being with the Telecommunications Department for Hamilton County government after a little over 10 years. My last day is this Tuesday, the 24th.  To some, it doesn't make any difference, but to me, from working on televisions in the 70s, on Oscilloscopes for Tektronics, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

All of us who marvel at the sound of bagpipes at a funeral realize the majesty that people like piper Scottie Maclellan can lend to any “homecoming” and for years there has been a wonderful tale out of Nova Scotia that leads this week’s parade of The  Saturday  Funnies. Mind you, I do not write these stories, as many who have followed man’s laughter down through the ... (click for more)

TBI Puts Man Who Killed 4 At Waffle House On Its "10 Most Wanted" List

A man who killed four people and injured two others at a Waffle House near Nashville on Sunday morning is still on the loose and has been added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's ‘Top 10 Most Wanted’ list. He was identified as Travis Reinking, 29, of Morton, Ill., was arrested last year when he was in a restricted area at the White House in Washington, D.C. Reinking ... (click for more)

Dayton Teen Arrested After Running From Deputies On Highway 60; Passenger Caught With Drugs

Hamilton County Sheriff deputies caught up with a Dayton teen who drove off at a high rate of speed on Highway 60 on Sunday afternoon. A passenger in the vehicle was caught with drugs. At approximately  5 p.m. , deputies observed a white Chrysler 200 traveling south in the 7800 block of Highway 60 at a high rate of speed. The driver was improperly passing other vehicles ... (click for more)

McCallie Hires Former CCS Coach David Conrady As Varsity Basketball Coach, Middle School Chaplain

Veteran coach David Conrady will take over as the McCallie Blue Tornado varsity basketball coach for the 2018-2019 season, bringing an experienced leader and motivator to the Ridge to lead the Blue Tornado basketball program, school officials said. Conrady, who comes to McCallie from Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas, replaces John Shulman, who left McCallie following ... (click for more)

GPS Graduate Jasmine Brown To Return To Alma Mater As Varsity Head Volleyball Coach

Jasmine Brown, GPS Class of 2009, has been named the varsity head coach at Girls Preparatory School. Her experience as a GPS student-athlete, NCAA Division I volleyball player, high school coach, K2 Volleyball Club head coach, and Division I college coach gives her a wealth of skill and understanding to help her thrive in her new position, school officials said. “I am really ... (click for more)