The hardest years in life are those between 10 and 70.
- Helen Hayes
Here's how things work at my house.
Last fall, an Augusta Lynx hockey player and his coach came to visit my son's elementary school.
Ice hockey is a sport our family has little history with, so when my 9-year-old came home talking about hockey and asking whether I would take him to see a game, I said OK.
Well, one game led to another game, and that led to several more, and now professional hockey games are a part of our weekend routine.
He has a hockey jersey to wear to these games, as well as an assortment of Lynx T-shirts (which are switched whenever the team loses.)
He also is reading every book in the school library on ice hockey and asks me to videotape the National Hockey League games on ESPN.
He has signed up for an in-line hockey league and spends his idle moments skating around the garage and taking slap shots at a homemade goal.
He goes to sleep some nights listening to games on the radio, the way I used to listen to baseball.
But none of this is the really remarkable thing.
No, the remarkable thing would be the way he rushes downstairs every morning to grab the newspaper and read about his ice-skating heroes.
Other events, including the fact that his dad's face regularly appears, have not inspired such interest.
No, it took a grade-school visit by a hockey coach and player to drive a third-grader to read the newspaper.
Once again, I've been put in my place.
MAILBAG: Helen Welch, of Thomson, sends a postcard from Myrtle Beach, S.C. She writes: "I really miss my Augusta Chronicle when I go on vacation! I do not like their newspaper. Keep up the good work."
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: As income tax time approaches, did you ever notice: When you put the two words "The" and "IRS" together it spells "THEIRS"?
TODAY'S JOKE: A husband looking through the paper came upon a study that said women use more words than men. Excited to prove to his wife that he had been right all along when he accused her of talking too much, he showed her the study results.
It read, "Men use about 15,000 words per day, but women use 30,000."
The wife thought a moment, then finally she said to her husband, "It's because we have to repeat everything we say."
The husband looked at her oddly and said, "What?"
Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.