I had to meet you here today
There’s just so many things to say
Please don’t stop me ’til I’m through
This is something I hate to do.
-Kiss and Say Goodbye, The Manhattans
By Randall Grantham
After more than six years and 300 columns, this will be my last article for this newspaper. It’s been a good run, but, as they say, all good things must come to an end. I know it’s been good for me, and I hope you’ve enjoyed my rants, revelations, teasings and shameless plugs, at least on occasion.
Writing a weekly commentary in your hometown newspaper is a “bully pulpit,” to coin a phrase. It’s a lot of work putting out a piece every week, but it’s rewarding and can be exciting. It’s like having an intimate, personal conversation with a dear friend, hundreds of times over. Many of you have expressed how the articles made you feel like you knew me, and I certainly came to know many of you out there, and I hope I’m a better person for it.
It seems like just yesterday that it started. Our relationship was fresh and new. I could spend hours searching for just the right song for you. And I would (sometimes) inadvertently set you off into a letter-writing frenzy with a thoughtless or glib remark.
But you got me backstage passes to concerts and events like South Beach Food and Wine and I took you on vacations to the islands, New Mexico and diving the Blue Hole in Belize. We explored new restaurants together and made many new friends. (Although I stopped writing about restaurants after the fourth of four went out of business, I do not believe in the “Grantham Jinx.”)
We’ve gone through personal setbacks and family losses together. You’ve often been a shoulder for me to lean on.
I’ve learned a lot from you and, hopefully, have become a better person from our interactions. I learned some moderation from some of our give-and-take, and, when I didn’t learn to moderate, Editor simply … edited. I probably earned the “left-leaning libertarian lawyer” tag you gave me, but have broadened my views thanks to you.
Our time together has also been good to my career. Appearing here every week has given me some recognition in the community that I would not otherwise have had. And the weekly chore of organizing my thoughts, writing them down and then cutting and rearranging them has helped me become a better lawyer.
But, over time, I’ve been forced to become more politically correct. Because of self-imposed and outside editing of my thoughts, it feels like the thrill has gone.
And times have changed. This paper has gone from one of many to the big dog on the block and more room is needed for “community news.” So, as our newly elected politicians will also soon be learning, something has to be cut, however painful it may be.
I will continue to write, of course. But without the weekly deadline, I doubt I’ll write as often. Maybe I’ll start a blog, as some of you have suggested.
I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my musings. Thanks to those who have written me in response, positively or negatively, and I greatly appreciate all of those who took the time out of their busy life to stop me and introduce themselves and tell me that they enjoyed or appreciated my efforts. It made it all worthwhile and kept me going for at least one more column.
But now it’s time for me to stand down. To ride off into the sunset. To walk before they make me run.
To you, loyal readers, I say keep it between the ditches. And when you don’t, call me.
Randall C. Grantham is a lifelong resident of Lutz who practices law from his offices on Dale Mabry Highway. He can be reached at . Copyright 2011 RCG. To comment on this or anything else, email the editor at and for past columns go to lakerlutznews.com.
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