Give advice to area grads

Some of your worst days lie ahead.


– Charles Wheelan


True story. Many years ago, I got a phone call from a friend asking a favor.

He was a school system administrator in suburban Atlanta, and it seems one of their high schools had a graduation speaker suddenly cancel. I think he had bronchitis and couldn’t talk.

“You tell stories,” my friend said. “Could you come and offer some advice to the young grads? Keep it brief, get some laughs and then go back and sit down so we can pass out diplomas?”

I accepted immediately and spent much of that afternoon weighing words of wisdom for impressionable young minds.

The next morning, however, my friend called back and said, “Hey, you’re off the hook. Our speaker can make it, after all. We won’t need you.”

So I never gave the speech. In fact, if I kept it, I can’t find it. But I do remember that it was a valuable thing to consider. Imagine what would have happened if “I knew then what I know now.”

So let’s try this. Thou­sands of area high school students will be graduating this weekend and in the weeks ahead. Many of them think they know everything.

They don’t. We do.

What would you like to tell them?

We did this last year, and you responded wonderfully, reinforcing our finest virtues of staying positive, being nice to people, watching your money and more.

Let’s do it again. If you had one sentence of advice to give to a young graduate, what would it be?

(Send me an e-mail at We’ll try to provide a summary next week.)


YOUR MAIL: Lillian, of Augusta, wanted to wish me a Happy National Postcard Week (May 6-12) and sent a nice card showing the gate of Augusta State University. She also sent this reminder.

“This is the last chance to get real Augusta State University postcards. Come get those cards at ASU’s Washington Hall bookstore. See older postcards in Special Collections at the Reese Library.”

Elsewhere, Greg Brooks, of Evans, is traveling again. This time he sends a postcard showing Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners baseball team.

“Starting our train trip across the Northwest,” he writes, “by starting in Seattle and watching the Twins play. Then we board the Amtrak Empire Builder and travel for the next two days on rail to Chicago where we will watch the Braves play the Cubs.”


TODAY’S JOKE: Here’s one shared by Jim Hope, of Sylvania:

“I’m sorry,” said the clerk in the flower shop, “we don’t have potted geraniums. Could you use African violets instead?”

“No,” replied the male customer sadly, “it was geraniums my wife told me to water while she was gone.”


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