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A message to friends…

PETER O’CONNOR
Staff Columnist
oconnor@lbknews.com

I wrote a short piece once upon a time for these pages.  It quoted a poem by Jose’ Marti’, the Cuban patriot and poet.  I thought it appropriate because of Cuba’s history in Florida, and particularly because of its message.  I thought it spoke of reaching out to both friend and foe.

Una Rosa Blanca has for me some local import.  I trust that many of you got it.

I have enjoyed writing for this small sheet in this small own.  In six years I’ve turned out 300+ columns.  I’m told that some have liked them.

Some, of course, have not.  These have been Opinion pieces, just that, my opinion.  These have been written to entertain, to convince, to impress.

Like the White Rose I’ve tended both friend and those who think themselves foe.  Many of these claim never to read my stuff,or our paper.  Of course they do.

Our Editor is a young man I first met here on our Key some years ago when he was the featured speaker at a Public Interest Committee annual meeting.  He spoke of some good ideas for Longboat Key that evening.  He has fleshed some of them out editorially.

In this paper Steve has invited and published the thoughts of many.  I can say that he has been an editor who has spared the red pencil, perhaps spared it too much.  Steve has been a friend who let me experiment in a new avocation.  For this I thank him.

Avocations are usually fun.  When they cease to be it might be time to move on.  It is still fun, and I hope productive.  My small survey of readers sustains this view.

I have written that you would see little more from me on the effecting of public policy here.  That of course is part of what a free press does.  We have had some success in this regard.  There is, however, a new wave crashing on our island shore, one with which I, at least, sometimes disagree.  There is too a new host of residents, those less interested in part time public service.  I hope that the serious audience for what we do is not fading.

As the long days of summer on the Gulf coast begin, we will try to continue to entertain, to educate a bit, maybe even to convince.

I have a white rose to tend

In July as in January;

I give it to the true friend

Who offers his frank hand to me.

And for the cruel one whose blows

Break the heart by which I live,

Thistle nor thorn do I give:

For him, too, I have a white rose.    

…Jose’ Marti’

Thanks for your support.

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