Home is where the heart is. There’s no place like it. It’s the place where, when you go there, they have to take you in. There are probably a lot more cliches about home.
Regular readers will know that I’m from Kansas City. My wife’s family and mine both go back four generations there. Our fathers and grandfathers all managed family businesses in Kansas City.
This is all preface to an announcement that both saddens and excites me:
We’re going home.
We built a house here 12 years ago with the expectation that it would be a vacation/retirement home. Then my wife got an offer to teach at O’Neal, I decided to retire, and here we were, though we kept a condo in Kansas City for summers and school vacations.
Now she is retiring from teaching (but not from something active, I’m told — thankfully), and the cost, management and travel involved in two homes has caught up. One is enough. And, as it turns out, home is home.
This is not to say it has not been a wonderful 12 years, especially for my wife, for whom teaching has been a mission, with every kid a personal
We’ve made many good friends here, and are blessed with another earlier, completely different set in Kansas City. Both have been tolerant of our alternate absences, and we don’t propose to give any of them up. At this point in our lives, they and our family are the most important things.
I’ve played an unseemly amount of golf and enjoyed hundreds of hours of singing with the Golf Capital Chorus, but the activity I’ve enjoyed most — not counting those few good rounds — is writing this column. If your enjoyment has not matched mine, please, keep it to yourself.
This presents a problem for me and, to an unfortunately lesser extent, one for the fabulously friendly, thoughtful, loyal (you can see where this is going) folks at The Pilot, especially the always-understanding opinion page editor, Steve Bouser, and the omniscient publisher, David Woronoff.
On the basis that The Pilot is looking to expand its intergalactic commentary (my idea), Messrs. Woronoff and Bouser have agreed to begin with the Midwestern United States, specifically, Kansas City, which, you must now understand once and for all, is in Missouri.
How will this work out? Well, if this column suddenly disappears, you will know. I, of course, am hoping that will not happen. As editor Bouser has pointed out to me on many occasions, this space deals only infrequently with local issues. He has viewed that as a problem. Now it is an asset, since the content need not change. In fact, it has been written from Kansas City for several months a year anyway.
None of this is to say I’ll be forgetting North Carolina or the Sandhills. I’m sure I’ll be back occasionally, and the state seems to stay in the news enough to inspire commentary from afar. Especially lately.
I’m going to view this as the beginning of the syndicated column I’ve wished for for years. Of course, I’ll only have the one client, but I think it would be fair to have some business cards printed up: “Frederick R. Wolferman, nationally syndicated columnist.”
The Pilot gets a benefit too: a national columnist — cheap.
So, as they say in the old Hollywood tear-jerkers as the train pulls away, this is not goodbye but au revoir. (I know they say “farewell” in the movies, but the dictionary says it means the same as “goodbye.”)
I recall an old saying that doesn’t make much sense: “I’ll see you in the funny papers.” I wouldn’t want to equate The Pilot with the funny papers, certainly not now, but that is where you’ll see me. Au revoir.
Fred Wolferman lives (or has lived) in Southern Pines. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.