Well, here’s my 52nd column in this space. I suppose that means I’ve been doing this for a year now.
Is it my imagination, or does each year go by a bit faster than the previous one? Maybe it just seems that way because I’m having such a good time.
During this past year I hope I entertained others as much as I entertained myself. I think it’s important to enjoy what I do, but it also has to be worthwhile to other people.
Enjoying my activity (I can’t bring myself to calling it work) is a good thing, but self-indulgence is another matter entirely.
Since that first column appeared March 16, 2003, I have tried to put my day-to-day observations on paper in a way that is entertaining and/or relevant to my fellow Portales-area residents.
Sometimes I tried to make people think or make them come up with questions or answers. Sometimes I simply tried to stir people up or urge them not to take things for granted. Other times I was just plain silly.
The one thing all my columns share is a basis in observation. “Just Lookin’ Around” means exactly what it says. I try to pay attention to everything around me and then write about what I discover — to see a world in a rain drop.
Hopefully, this will prod folks into paying attention to what they previously ignored and to admire this wonderful, complicated world of ours a bit more than they used to.
We have things to fix and things to preserve; we just have to learn the difference by paying attention to our surroundings and our thoughts — in other words, by just lookin’ around.
I want to continue with the same concept and format, unless somebody convinces me to do it differently. As an old vaudevillian once said: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
On the other hand, I want to keep an open mind. Sometimes I think I detect wind whistling in one ear and exiting the other, but I don’t mean an empty mind when I say open mind.
I don’t plan to totally avoid thinking (in spite of how draining it can be), but I want to exploit the thinking of others. I don’t have all the ideas (good or bad).
I want to see more ideas and opinions. We have freedom of speech and freedom of the press in this great nation of ours, so let’s take advantage of it.
A number of fascinating concepts have been sent to me over the past year. I’ve been told about things from chemtrails to tumbleweed festivals, inadequate sun visors, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Some of it I have written about. Some of it I plan to write about. Some of it I can’t write about (usually due to litigation cowardice).
But the proverbial bottom line is this: Anybody with something to say, whether I agree with it or not, can say it to me. If it looks like it will make a good column, I’ll write about it and give credit to the contributor (unless he or she wants to stay anonymous).
This space belongs to all of us, not just me. I’m just the guy who tries to keep it coherent and relevant.
So, keep the e-mails, calls, and letters coming; I go over every one I receive.
Thanks for the great year of “Just Lookin’ Around.” I’m looking forward to an even better year and coming across all those wonderful things waiting to be learned.
Jim Lee is news director for KENW-FM radio. He also is an English instructor. He can be contacted at 359-2204. His e-mail: