Luke bids farewell to the back page

Luke’s family is happy and healthy, and he’s able to enjoy more quality time with them.

I started writing for Lake Martin Living in February 2012. I was smack-dab in the middle of my divorce, feeling low and sleeping about as well as a stressed-out bullfrog (I looked it up. They are the only animals that rarely sleep). I needed some catharsis – a therapeutic outlet of any description to take my mind off of what was happening.

Thankfully, Kenneth Boone of Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc., took a chance on me. He certainly didn’t have to since this magazine is filled with witty and informative writers, but he did. 

He even gave me the back page. What a cool place to be! It’s just right for me!

For one thing, not everyone makes it to the back page when reading a magazine. And frankly, I am not for everyone. My sense of humor can be an acquired taste. You know, like beer or lime-flavored chlorine.

My grammar is also pretty suspect. If my English-teaching grandmother (God bless her) were alive today, I feel quite certain she would have me writing, “I will not fall victim to superfluous commas,” on a chalkboard 50 times every morning.

Punctuation is definitely not my strong suit either. Until 2006, I thought a semi-colon involved a gastroenterologist taking a half-day.

I also am notorious for not proofreading my work. Heck, I am not sure there’s anyone reading these columns, so why should I be the lone sucker doing it?

Most appropriately, the back page was an ideal fit because, well, I am a living, breathing back page. My personality is such that, socially, I want to be around the party – just maybe not in the middle of it. I am the quintessential neighbor sitting on his porch listening to the family reunion going on next door.

The periphery is just perfect for me: a great place to hear what is going on without actually doing any of the “going.”

Luckily, my life is full of interesting people. Perched high above the action of their lives, I pick up some amazing stories. Some would be downright unbelievable if I hadn’t seen them in my own bird’s eye view.

Even more luckily, this magazine gave me a platform on which to share those stories. Much to the chagrin of my children, (eventually … once they are old enough to realize I detailed many of their misadventures in a free publication) they were the typical targets for my tales.

But I go back to this page as being an outlet for me. It acted as that and so much more. I looked forward to mindlessly slamming my fingers into the keyboard every time I had a free moment.

This column has been a great friend. It always listened; it never told me how wrong I was; and it even allowed me to delete words I never should have said without judging me. Who could ask for a better buddy than that?

Since I began writing for Lake Martin Living, I have re-married and had another beautiful baby girl. My other children are doing well, and I see them quite often, considering they live in Ohio. If you are keeping track at home, I now have four kids. One more, and I get a free Subway sandwich!

Actually, my entire family is doing pretty great overall. Everyone gets along. My wife and I have a new house, and Nick Saban is still coaching Alabama football. Things are undeniably better than when I started this column. Life is always a work in progress, but writing this article each month definitely helped me – umm – “progress” and see the brighter side of things.

I write all of this nonsense above to segue toward a thank you to anyone who has suffered through the drivel I have splattered on these pages for years. I want you to know I appreciate you and the time you took to read this column every month.

With that said, this column is my last one. At least, it’s my last monthly column. I plan to be a contributor to Lake Martin Living magazine from time to time, if they will have me.

Meanwhile, I will still be on the back page – just now more of the proverbial variety. I will still be watching and enjoying the events all around me.

Thank you again!

~Luke Robinson is an Alexander City native and writes a weekly column for The Alexander City Outlook.