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  • grandma moses
    Grandma Moses had a 2nd act in her long life

The Editor Talks With You

What drives some of us to 2nd acts?
Anna Mary Robertson 'Grandma' Moses' paintings sold for up to $1.2 million

What makes a man in his 70s want to tackle the toughest job in the world?
No one has answered that successfully but that’s what Donald Trump at age 74 and Joe Biden at 76 want to do for the next 4 years of their lives.
To my knowledge none of the White House press corps or the media sycophants have even bothered to ask.
If you favor either candidate, you might speculate that your man wants to do it because he loves his country and sees this as his highest calling. You might also argue that the other candidate is driven by an overweening ego and raw lust for power.
And you may be right no matter which candidate you want to win.
This is written before the Presidential election recount is in. In fact, even now, weeks after the election, we may not yet know who will be in the Oval Office.
That’s not what this is about. 

What I want to talk with you about today is what drives the candidates and people like us to go happily to work every day when our contemporaries have been retired for years or are no longer with us.
I’m still at it because I think I’m good (if not great) at it, love it because it gives me joy and am still looking for the right person to continue our mission of serving you. 
I know that last may sound conceited but let me phrase it differently. 
As a reader or advertiser, you have been good to us for 35+ years. You and your parents and grandparents have been good to this little newspaper for 150 years. ‘
I take that as a great compliment to my family. It leaves me with a feeling of great responsibility to you and your family.
Grandma Moses, Dori Sanders and Winston Churchill inspire me, too. All 3 realized their highest potential later in life. 
Anna Mary Robertson Moses reinvented herself at age 78. After years of farm life, she became one of our best known folk artists. Her work went for up to $1.2 million.
Dori Sanders, 85, is the 8th of 10 children and a 4th-generation York County peach farmer. Her novel, “Clover,” was an award-winning best seller. I was mesmerized, listening to her read from her work and talk about it at a writers conference years ago.
Winston Churchill had been a soldier, journalist, author, painter and member of Parliament. His career had been marred by failure. His ill-fated assault against the Ottoman Empire at Gallipoli left Britain and France with more than 100,000 casualties.
With Hitler across the channel bombing London nightly, Churchill came from retirement to galvanize the Brits’ fighting spirit until America joined them in the war.

Novelist Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “There are no second acts in American lives.” 
He was wrong.
Moses, Sanders, Churchill and countless others illustrate the power of reinvention. 
The Victorian poet William Ernest Henley was right when he wrote, “I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.”
We can guess at what drives Donald Trump and Joe Biden to aspire to serve in the highest office in the nation.
But what’s important is what drives you and me. Is it a noble purpose? I hope so.

Need inspiration?
Jerry Bellune’s new book, The  Art of Compelling Writing, will be out in December. Advance orders for the $9.99 digital edition or $19.99 print edition can be placed by calling him at 803-331-6695.


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