The Union Recorder

Columns

May 24, 2014

ROWLAND: Crazy as a run over dog but don't blame it all on the animals

MILLEDGEVILLE — My wife retired a couple of years back after 30 first days of school. Her journey started in a seventh grade classroom in what became our adulthood hometown. It ended after traveling through just about every elementary grade, three cities across Georgia, and leading her own school.

She has a lot of which to be proud, not the least of which is keeping me out of trouble over the years. For those of you who know me, you know that task, in and of itself, is a full-time job.

Her retirement responsibility hasn't been much different. She is still trying to keep me straight, an overtime position that hasn't changed a bit, and since her regular employment ended, she now holds the title of World's Greatest Grandma.

OK. For those of you out there who are grandmas, I know you will find that statement arguable, but I just look stupid. I really am not.

Now, I don't want to leave you with the wrong impression. Her two-year retirement has kept her busy, the most notable accomplishment of which has finally ended. Her labor of love has taken two years, but as of this writing, I am looking at my first publication — a 6 by 9 paperback book with my very own name on the front; complete with ISBN number and copyright, I'll have to admit that when it arrived, I found myself grinning like a mule eatin' briars.

I know she is pretty proud of it, too.

Other than the actual prose and one poem that make up this effort, my only real job was to come up with a title. I thought about it a long time, spent many hours on the old John Deere spinning various sayings into titles with by lines, and finally settled on this: “Crazy as a Run Over Dog … but Don't Blame it all on the Animals.”

She turned her nose up at first, but this is an old country saying I picked up from my friends in South Georgia. Now I know I may get in trouble with animal lovers everywhere for referencing the whole run over dog thing, but you will find in its pages stories about old dogs that have been just two of the loves in my life.

The truth is that the title may not actually have anything to do with the pages inside. But the cover turned out pretty cool. After all, it's my book. What did you expect?

This book is a collection of some of my favorite columns over the years. Mostly, the words I have written share stories about my own life and how it connects to the world in some meaningful way.

My opinions are always my own and never meant to hurt feelings or be demeaning to other people. Too many times, opinionists like myself believe the First Amendment gives us the right to say anything without regard for how it impacts others.

I couldn't disagree more.

Hopefully, you will consider purchasing my book for a little trip down memory lane that involves all of my family, a lot of my heart, and some of my friends. My hope is that you will find it an easy read with just the right combination of comfort, laughter, tears and shared experiences.

“Crazy as a Run Over Dog” may be purchased at www.lulu.com. Click on the bookstore, search all items by entering Mike Rowland, and you should easily find all of the details. The book is available both in paperback and as a downloadable e-book.

If you desire a signed copy, you may contact me at runoverdog40@gmail.com for ordering details.

I know I don't say it enough, but I do not take for granted the opportunity I have been given to share with you each week. I will always owe a debt of gratitude to Keith Barlow and Natalie Davis at The Union-Recorder for their willingness to publish my work.

If you know them, they are great newspaper professionals and quality people. You may question their judgment for turning me loose with the written word, but as far as I can tell, that would be the only blemish in what is otherwise stellar careers.

From time to time, a reader will stop me somewhere and mention a column they recently read. Now, I have raised two boys into men, been at the top of my profession, held my grandson within hours of his birth, and met some otherwise famous and powerful people.

Not one of those events humbles me like knowing you read my stuff.

So buy the book! It takes 100,000 copies to make the New York Times Best Seller List. Last time I checked, we had sold six; only 999,994 to go.

I know, I know. Some of you are waiting on the movie, but humor me. Buy the book. It will be the best fifteen dollars you ever spent.

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