When, in the course of human events, one person is privileged to share another person’s dreams and goals, that person should count himself or herself very fortunate, for dreams and goals are the stuff of progress, the fuel of all human achievements and, the basic ingredients of what separates humankind from the lower species. Dreams and goals are the proven “building blocks” of all human liberty and have been ever since the first person raised his gaze from the fearful boots (or sandals) of some “strong man” or “tyrant” in the ancient past and, looked upwards toward the heavens and proclaimed that his (or her) freedom to be, to resist, to dare to “vision,” to set goals, to plan for a better future, was just as important – nay – was MORE important than the goals, or plans, or threatened repression of that strong man—that tyrant – or that repressive collectivist government under which he was forced to live.

I first began to read The Times Examiner back around 1997 or 1998. Bob and LaVerle Dill had previously proclaimed their dream and goal to publish a weekly newspaper devoted to serving God & Country, to proclaim the truth that was the birthright of ALL Americans, to revere and preserve the heritage of “duty, honor, and country” that had characterized ALL Americans, from whatever portion of the U.S. they hailed from, since the first fledgling attempts at colonization in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607, to Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620 and, which culminated in the birth of a new vision of freedom that began on the almost sacred village Green of Lexington, Massachusetts on April 19, 1775 and, which still perseveres in varying degrees in every corner of our beleaguered country to this very day.

The Dills published their first edition of The Times Examiner back in May of 1994. Sadly, because of many factors, after 25 years of publishing excellence and boldly proclaiming truth, patriotism and resistance to the perfidy of those who did not share their traditional vision of conservative constitutionalism, the Dills have made the difficult decision to cease publication of the printed hard copy of The Times Examiner effective with this final issue and to switch to a digital, on-line version of this journal. This is for them, I’m sure, a time of bittersweet recollections of attending meetings, of deadlines and writings and editorials and selling and preparing advertising to stay solvent, which made The Times Examiner the special “Journal of Truth” that it always was and still, will be. lt’s also a time of sadness for those of us who have volunteered every Tuesday afternoon for many years, to perform all of the folding and taping and labeling and taking many boxes of newspapers to the post office, as we sent the results of our joint efforts to all parts of the U.S.

I was working as a plant manager in Manning, S.C. back in April, 1999, when I faxed my first article to Bob Dill. He called me a short time later and informed me that many of his readers would not agree with my article’s contentions (I have long since reconsidered my positions, which shall remain unmentioned), but he assured me that he would publish my article anyway. And he did. I have sent Bob 184 articles over all of those years since 1999 and NEVER once, did he refuse to print what I wrote. Bob Dill became, for me, the epitome of “a Southern gentleman” who honored his Confederate heritage and taught me (an “ex-Yankee”) about it and about his reasons for honoring that heritage and, they have become MY reasons also. Bob’s patriot heritage also includes having served for over 20 years in the U.S. Army, including a tour in Vietnam.

Both Bob and his “other half,” LaVerle (who kept the newspaper’s office functioning), are fine and dedicated Christians and patriots who have set an example for those of us who have known and who have been associated with them for a short time or for many years (almost 19 years in my case). This, my final hardcopy article for The Times Examiner, it is number 185, and for me it has been a time of fond recollections with a tinge of sadness, for the “heyday” of printed newspapers seems to be approaching “the end of the road.” Would that it were otherwise, but as we’re constantly reminded, “progress” is relatively inevitable and, what is past is merely the prologue for all the days ahead of us. Perhaps digital versions of newspapers are today’s reality, but tomorrow, even these versions may be as outdated as buggy whips became when Henry Ford unleashed his internal combustion engine “horseless carriages” upon American society in the early l900s.

Bob and LaVerle were gracious enough to share their vision of a weekly printed version of the proclamation of truth and the American Way with many writers over the years, of which I was only one of hundreds. I’ll always have a fondness for a printed version of a newspaper, or a magazine – a version with which I can sit in my recliner or at the breakfast table and read at my leisure without having to be connected to some electronic device and worrying about its battery running low. Perhaps that’s only my proud resistance to letting go of the past, which is rapidly receding into the dusty files of our cultural memories. But, at age 81, it’s my memory and my resistance to letting it go, that matters to me. Perhaps some of you agree.

Saying “farewell” is difficult. The word is “an expression of good wishes on parting,” according to the dictionary. Saying goodbye to the venerable print version of The Times Examiner is difficult. Over these many years I’ve shared with all of you my appreciation of our past (with its good and bad aspects), of our present and what might be our future. Only our Heavenly Father knows that future, but those of us who revere the past and learn from it, find it logical to extrapolate a future which is rapidly threatening to envelope us in the morass of collectivist mediocrity and tyranny and we’ve tried to slow that down.

Kate Brown, in her book, The Perfume Garden, said: “The end is never the end. It’s always the beginning of something.” I believe that.

A writer called “Minjer,” writing on the blog, “Board of Wisdom,” said it best: “All GOOD things must come to an end, to make way for BETTER things to happen, because the BEST is yet to come.” I’d like to believe that the digital, online version of our Times Examiner is the BEST yet to come. Hopefully I and many writers with whom you are familiar will continue to grace the “cyber pages” of our electronic edition. I urge all of you who are able to subscribe to the digital version of The Times Examiner, to continue to welcome an “old friend” into your homes and into your lives. The cost will be modest, but the benefits will be great.

As L. Frank Baum said in The Marvelous Land of Oz, “Everything has to come to an end, sometime.” So, until we meet again in some other format, or in some other place, I bid all of you, my faithful readers and supporters of this now CHANGING “strong oak” of patriotism – The Times Examiner – an affectionate farewell!

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