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Scott Loftis

From the Editor

Scott Loftis is managing editor for Carroll County Newspapers. His email address is CarrollCountyNews@cox-internet.com

Advice from Uncle Wayne

Friday, October 18, 2019

Some days are busier than others here at Carroll County Newspapers. Mondays can be pretty hectic, then the pace slows down for the rest of the week.

Wednesday afternoons are typically fairly quiet, so when my friend David Bell (he’s also a pretty fair photographer) asked me if I’d like to tag along with him and another gentleman for a catfish lunch in Harrison last Wednesday, it didn’t take me long to think it over.

I’m glad I went, and not just because the catfish was delicious.

It turns out, the other gentleman who accompanied David and I was 99-year-old Wayne Williams of Shell Knob. Most folks in that neck of the woods know him simply as “Uncle Wayne.”

David explained that Uncle Wayne still lives by himself — his wife of 72 years passed away a few years ago — and still drives wherever he wants to go. He used to fly his own airplane, but gave that up. He could apply to have his pilot’s license reinstated, but that would involve some medical testing and Uncle Wayne doesn’t want to go to all that trouble.

“The FAA is protecting y’all,” he said with a chuckle.

One thing that became quickly apparent about Uncle Wayne was his positive attitude. He even wears a specially made hat with the phrase “I choose happy” stitched across the front.

The more we talked, the more interesting I found Uncle Wayne to be. Finally I just had to ask him: “What’s your secret?”

“Well I get up every morning, and I can choose to be happy, or I can choose to be unhappy,” he said. “I choose happy.”

I think there’s some advice in there for all of us. The next time I feel as if I’m having a bad day, I’ll do my best to remember that advice, and choose happy.