My annual tribute to my mother

Happy day to all you lefties. You may not have known until you picked up this paper and tried to open it, that today is International Left-Handers Day. What a surprise!

For what it’s worth, this paper is for you!

Today has been selected by the powers that be, the day you and your “special gift” are recognized. Today’s Southwest Times is designed just so you can have a taste of functioning in a left-handed society and for your counterparts to recognize the obstacles you have to hurdle to function in a right-handed society.

We hope you enjoy this paper, and make sure all your other “southpaw” friends get a copy of the Times for their enjoyment.

The editorial staff really enjoyed putting this edition together, and I know the advertising staff had a good time selling it.

Today’s edition is dedicated to a very special person, my own mother, Frances Pettigrew. Even though she has been gone for some 33 years, I know she knows I do this little thing every year just as a remembrance of her.

While I was working in Iowa, I became aware of this day and lobbied hard for a chance to do a left-handed paper. My boss finally gave in, and when it was printed, it was so popular, we decided to enter it in the Better Newspaper Contest held yearly by the Iowa Newspaper Association. To my shock, it won first place!

Just after this contest, one of my friends from Burlington, Iowa came in one day and handed me a book all about left-handers. She said she had purchased it a few weeks before, but just hadn’t gotten the opportunity to give it to me. I couldn’t believe it, but the day she gave me the book was the anniversary of my mother’s death. I’d been pretty sad that day until then, but after that, I was elated, as I knew her giving me this book on this day meant my mother was saying thank you for the thought.

You see the main reason I want to do this paper yearly is because of a story my mother used to tell about how embarrassed she was in school as a little girl when the teachers would tie her hand behind her back to try and make her write with her right hand.

Needless to say, that experience marked her and she always seemed to think less of herself and her accomplishments than she should. Believe me, all that I’ve ever heard about left-handed people being talented and creative was true about her. She was the most talented seamstress I’ve ever seen, making many beautiful items, including some of the most beautiful draperies you’ve ever seen for the church’s sanctuary and our house.

Sewing was just one of her many talents, but, as I said, she never got over the embarrassment of the classroom.

So, Mom, this paper is in recognition of you, your many talents and your beautiful soul.



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