You might have read that there is a school district in Maine where bus drivers say they won’t work if transportation is privatized and pay is reduced.

When you privatize a service that is traditionally provided by your tax dollars, the people shouldering that onerous burden naturally expect to make a profit. And that profit can be increased by paying lower wages or providing poorer services.

You don’t need a Harvard degree in business administration to plainly see that instead of providing better service, the primary goal of a privatized organization inevitably becomes: How can I lower wages and cut back on services to increase my profit?

If you are very good and very lucky, you will never have to eat meals in a school or prison that is run by folks who are paid to make it generate a profit.

• The story about the two ladies who sent checks to their grandchildren just resurfaced on Facebook. One said that each year she sends each grandchild a check, but she never even gets a “thank you” note. The second said that she also sends each grandchild a check and within a week is visited by each one of them – to get the check signed.

I only mention this because it reminded me that not a day goes by but what children and grandchildren wish they had the opportunity to visit the old folks again. Usually because there are so many unanswered questions.


If you could spend only 10 minutes with your long-gone parents or grandparents, what would you ask them?

In many countries it would be, “Where did you bury the silverware just before the invasion?”

In England they’ve been burying valuables for years. Not a year goes by but what someone digs up a few coins with Henry III’s picture on them.

A lot more gold is plowed up by English farmers than anyone realizes. Farmers know that if word gets out that they’ve dug up old gold, their farming days will be over and a stranger will soon be selling “historical landmark” postcards and trinkets in the milk shed.

• You might know elderly people who say that they have seen angels or fairies or elves. You should believe them. I do.

Hungry people, old and young, are likely to experience hallucinations. I read that it can also happen to our friends with low blood sugar. If you go without eating properly for two or three days, the chemistry in your body gets out of whack and you are likely to witness unbelievable things. If you see anything good on TV, you might want to have a blood test.


• If you are very lucky, you will suddenly and without fanfare discover that you can’t do things you could do in 1940. It wasn’t all that long ago that my heart doctor called up to find out how I was doing and was told that I was up on the garage roof putting on shingles. Now, walking to the mailbox is a major project and I don’t do much of anything.

To be sure, anyone who has known me for years will tell you that I’m not famed for my accomplishments. This morning my wife, Marsha, asked me why I hadn’t done thus and so. She says I’d feel better if I’d just Do Something. If you’ve been listening, you know that Marsha is a Type-A woman who lives to scrub and clean. For much of the year our home is warmed by her body heat.  Only if you are married to a dynamic woman will you understand the following:  There might come a day when Marsha will tell her cousin Janice that Robert doesn’t do anything.

And Janice will gently remind her that Robert has been dead for two years.

Marsha’s reply will be, “That’s no excuse.”

• As you morphed into middle age, you might have noticed that as your parents and their peers got very old they were more than likely to have two or three substantial naps during the day.

If you have ever wondered why they do this, I am pleased to be able to answer your question.


We have lived in 10 different decades and are at a point in life where we realize how precious life is and how lucky we are that we have lived so long.

We know that we have only a short time left, and we are not going to fritter it away by staying awake.

The humble Farmer can be heard Friday nights at 7 on WHPW (97.3 FM) and visited at:


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.