Tim Timmons | Crawfordsville, IN

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May 6, 2021

Another year, another graduation . . . speech!
This column first appeared in May 2016

Every year around this time I sit by the phone . . . waiting. I figure some school somewhere will call and ask me to share this nearly four decades worth of journalism knowledge with the young folks they are getting ready to unleash on the world through a graduation ceremony. After all, I spoke at my high school graduation more than 40 years ago. It's something everyone ought to do every half-century or so.
And yet, every spring I continue to be shocked that the phone sits silent.
Until this year!

Graduation speech, part two?
This column first appeared in June 2015

I've been writing columns of one sort or another for more than 40 years now. The first one was in 1973 and got me yelled at by a coach I'd taken to task. You'd think over all these decades that I'd either have gotten better or at least learned to stop writing things that landed me in hot water.
Wrong on both counts.

Graduation speech - 2015 variety
This column first appeared in May 2015

Forty years ago I proudly became part of the 100th graduating class from Noblesville High School. Donned a cap and gown. Sweltered in a hot gymnasium. Gave a speech. Yes, gave a speech. Some 350 or so students and all those adults connected one way or another listened to yours truly wax poetic about John F. Kennedy, hopes, dreams and yadda, yadda, yadda. My point? If this were a classified ad I can put in that I have experience.
So why is it I sit by the phone, year in and year out, waiting for schools to call and ask me to speak at their graduation? Does the phone ring? Does a bear play Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in the woods?
Once again, then, I am left to share wisdom accumulated over a lifetime of worn-out Weejuns that have traipsed from one coast to the left and back again.
Said speech is below - administrators and boards of education, my number's in the book.

Hard to believe his phone didn't ring . . .
This column first appeared in May 2014

It would seem in today's world it wouldn't be hard to get hold of someone. Between home phones, cell phones, texts, tweets, e-mails, Instagrams and countless other avenues, it should be pretty easy to connect to someone. Yet my phone hasn't rang, my tweeter hasn't chirped and as far as I know, no school has come calling to invite yours truly to speak at graduation.
Hard to believe, right?

He didn't get invited -- again
This first appeared in May, 2013

As the calendar turns from April's showers to May's proms, I begin my annual camping trip. No, there's no tents, RVs or woods involved. No siree. I camp out by the telephone and wait for the call inviting me to be a graduation speaker. Sit there every year. Waiting. Working Soduko puzzles. Waiting. Polishing shoes. Waiting.
You get the idea.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Another year, another failed attempt
This first appeared in May, 2012

Here's a riddle. What do William Conner, Peyton Manning and yours truly have in common? Apparently none of us will be speaking at any commencement ceremonies in Hamilton County this year.
Hard to believe, I know, but once again no school sent me an invitation to address their graduates and share the wisdom earned through three decades of newspapering. It's frustrating, because that huge amount wisdom could easily be boiled down to, oh, say a 5 to 7 minute speech. Hey, at the graduations I've attended in the last few years, a speech of that length would be seriously welcomed.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

It's a wonder schools aren't lined up - isn't it?
This first appeared in May, 2011

Around this time each year I sit by the phone. Although some might say I'm not all that patient a man, I try my best. It just makes sense to me, myself and . . . well, OK, probably no one else. But I'm ready to serve my community by offering guidance, advice and the wisdom that comes with writing a newspaper column . . . careful! . . . to those young people who are graduating.
Yet year after year goes by and still no school has called. Oh, there was one, but after a few minutes of discussing the invitation we all decided that pre-school grads might be a little advanced for my message.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

No wonder he wasn't a speaker
This appeared in June, 2010

Hard to believe, I know, but another graduation season has come and gone and not once did my phone ring with anyone requesting my services as a speaker.
Who woulda thunk it?
After all, I gave the class address at my graduation some hundred years ago . . . or were we the 100th graduating class? I never remember which.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

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