What a great 70th birthday I had

Published 9:49 pm Friday, May 23, 2014

The Lord has truly blessed me by enabling me to have a job I love for the past 44 years.

During my sports journalism career in Bainbridge, I have covered three generations of young athletes. I have covered the children and grand children of athletes I covered 44 years ago.

The colleagues I have worked with here at The Post-Searchlight and the many friends and neighbors throughout Bainbridge and Decatur County who have supported me so strongly through the years are literally too many to list. They are all dear friends.

I sincerely thank the wonderful Griffin family, led by the late Georgia Governor and former Post-Searchlight publisher Marvin Griffin, former editor and publisher Sam Griffin, former assistant editor Mary Ann Griffin, current publisher Jeff Findley, current managing editor Ashley Johnson, current news writers Carolyn Iamon, Powell Cobb and all the other talented journalists and wonderful people with the Griffin family and Boone Newspapers who have allowed me to have this special job.

Monday, Ashley and Powell presented me with a delicious plate of red and white iced cup cakes with a pair of candles announcing my age of 70 and a pack of soft drinks. They then sang happy birthday to me. I blew out the candles and made a wish.

My wish was simply that the wonderful present and past Post-Searchlight staffs and all the wonderful people of Bainbridge and Decatur County who have all been so supportive of me through the years have a wonderful life. They are the greatest and I wish them nothing but the best.

Technology has really taken over during my years here at The Post-Searchlight.  While I now really enjoy writing my stories on a computer, during my first 12 years with the paper I wrote all my stories on a manual typewriter.

I still have the manual typewriter at my apartment that my late grandmother Wight gave me when I went off to college.

On Thursday night, May 15, while covering the baseball banquet honoring the Bainbridge High School varsity, junior varsity and ninth grade teams, along with the Bainbridge Middle School team at the Bainbridge High School cafeteria, all of the players stood up, looked at me, said, “Mr. Joe this is for you,” and jointly sang happy birthday to me. That was really something special to me.

Then Monday night, I received the final kind event that made my birthday truly special. My dear brother Tom and dear sister-in-law Cheryl called me from their home in Sharpsburg, Georgia. Visiting them during the call was my dear nephew, Billy, his dear wife Amelia and their two daughters and my great nieces Evangeline and Lola, my dear niece Jennifer and her son and my great nephew Samuel Lincoln “Linc” Roberts and my dear nephew Mathew. Tom turned on the speakerphone, and in a loud voice and in unison everyone said, “Happy birthday, Uncle Joe.” It brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face. What a great way to complete a birthday.

The Lord has blessed me with a wonderful, kind and caring family who has always been there for me no matter what the situation. They are the greatest and I love all of them dearly.