BY KEN CARPENTER
Some of my best friends are gay. And some of my best friends are vegetarians. And some of them drive BMWs. And some of them even watch the NBA. ... Vive la différence, I always say.
The gay person I know best is not a friend, per se, but I've checked in on him once a week for more than 16 years. That's around 800 conversations. I've missed some weeks, and so has he. That's more than I talk to my parents, come to think of it. (Bad son.)
You might know Craig Wilson, too. Most Wednesday mornings his "weekly postcard from a friend" has appeared in USA Today, on the bottom of the purple Life section. Craig had the second best job in America, after Anthony Bourdain. He got paid to write one column a week for one of the most-read newspapers in America.
Gannett offered Craig, and other veteran journalists, a buyout, and he took the package. His last column appears in today's paper.
Most of you aren't like me in that you don't get USA Today delivered to your home. I'd be surprised if any of my 863 Facebook friends do. I guess that makes me not "normal." But you've had to bump into Craig somewhere along the way, probably when you were traveling and writing your own postcards back home.
Haters gonna hate ...
Craig's family consists of him, Jack and Maggie, and he wrote about them the same way I post about Debbie and Rocky. It's natural — and "normal."
In the final installment of "The Final Word," Craig tells us, "I'm taking the summer off, so if anyone wants to take me to lunch or, better yet, to the beach, I'm free as a bird and will consider all offers. I've never had a summer off, so I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to do."
Craig, if you're within reach of this post, here's my offer. Find a sitter for Maggie and jump on a plane with Jack and join me and Debbie and 15 of our friends in Italy next month. You'd like them. Some of them prefer white over red, some of them actually like go to the gym, some of them still read printed books, some of them can sing. Debbie is known in our neighborhood as "the crazy garden lady." They're friendly folks. Normal folks.
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