Archive for December 15th, 2007

December 15, 2007

A Short Course in Good Manners for seventh grade students and all other humans….

by Rod Smith


New book: $11.00 delivers it to your door.

December 15, 2007

I was just saying to Corrine Edwards

by Rod Smith

Dear Corrine:

You write about the crowded room of blogging and so I wanted to tell you how I got started. I never set out to blog. In fact I’d never read one until it was my own.

Here’s the brief story: I was writing a weekly editorial column for The Indianapolis Star but REALLY wanted to be in The Natal Mercury, the paper I read as a boy. It is a South African newspaper with a wonderful and long history. The Idler, a man named John Vigor, was really my first real reading and his very funny insights were always on the back page of the paper when I was a young boy.

On a visit home to South Africa (in 1999) I stopped in at the paper’s head-office (“The Idler ” at the time – the humor writer whose column now appears somewhere in the middle of the paper – had done some groundwork for me) and announced an American editorial writer would like to see the editor. Believe it or not I was ushered into his office and, during the course of our conversation, I told him my boyhood in Durban included the reading of his paper, and that my early desires to be in his paper had not left me. I informed him that I was in his office to ask for a weekly spot on the editorial page of his esteemed paper.

He asked, “Well, can you write?”

From my bag I pulled about 80 laminated 700-word editorials and plonked them on his desk.

Dennis Pather (now editor of The Daily News) told me to contact him in a few days.

About three days later he called me into his study at the paper and said he was very disturbed about some of my writing. I asked him what in particular had disturbed him and he said, “In this column here, you say, ‘if all you have is money, then you are truly poor’, Mr. Smith this is a very disturbing thing to say.”

I had him. I knew it.

Then he told me that in South Africa newspapers don’t make their columnists into celebrities as is done in the USA. So he informed me he had no place for me as a weekly columnist.

“But, how about daily?” he said. “We’ll call it ‘YOU AND ME’ and since you are a family therapist we’ll make it into a ‘help column’ where you can tell people to seek more than wealth!”

The man was animated. He’d been thinking.I put out my hand and asked, “When do we start?”

In no time at all he was on the phone and called a quick meeting of the editorial page staff and while a few men and women entered his office a photographer appeared and took about 10 head-shots of me – and the 200 word column began to run the next week.

Reader requests for back issues sparked the need for the blog and so that ……. (I have told you much more than I initially intended)…. is how I got into blogging.

For me, blogging has never been about money even though the book sales and the personal sessions that it has generated have have been helpful.

Have a wonderful day and I am inspired by your tenacity and desire to speak to a hurting world.

Your friend,

Rod E. Smith