For some of us, we hugged necks anyway. It was worth the risk.


Something to talk about.



Well folks, this is a first for me. Putting pen to paper for a newspaper column. Maybe you will find some degree of pleasure in reading what I write. Recently I attended the 50th anniversary of my high school graduation on May 22, exactly fifty years ago. While in attendance I became aware of a new name for the group of people to which I belong. I now belong to the “high risk” group of the population. High risk being the result of the Covid-19 virus. But we had our reunion event anyway. It was outside and health precautions were taken. But for some of us, we hugged necks anyway. It was worth the risk. 

How long shall we have to endure? Are the risks worth the taking? The answer to both questions is unknown. But we keep asking anyway. We ask ourselves and anyone who will listen. Putting current events into perspective from my generations life’s experiences helps me relate to this pandemic fear and rioting that is consuming our country. 

In the 1950’s as a child, I survived the mumps, chicken pox, measles, and mononucleosis. Doctors made house calls back then. My high school years were the late 1960’s in Alabama. I witnessed the Civil Rights marches and Gov. Wallace stand in the door way on the campus of the University of Alabama. I saw college students protest the Vietnam war and long haired hippies on streets asking passers-by for pocket change. I read about sit-ins on college campuses and National Guard shootings at Kent State University. North Korea was in the news with the seizure of the USS Pueblo Navy vessel. The evening news was consumed with these events every night.   

Folks, this country has always experienced difficult times and it always will. What we do during those times has and will determine our identity. Government leaders and politicians will form committees and task forces to address and try to solve these problems. In the 1830’s the French historian Alexis de Tocqueville wrote, “America is great because she is good.” Perhaps we do not need various committees and task forces. Maybe all we need is to “Love our neighbor as our self.” 


Bio information: Walter Allen has a BA degree from Auburn University and is retired from the paper industry. He is a published author and lives in Laurens County, SC.


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