Sponge baths and more spurs readers to write

By Don Rush

One of my favorite
parts of being a highly
skilled, well compensated
and much
imitated columnist is hearing
back from readers. Over the
past 36 years of writing the
much loved Don’t Rush Me
column (something north of
1,800 columns) readers respond.
Sometimes you agree
with me, sometimes you want to take
me out to the back 40 and just like Old
Yeller, put me out of your misery.
The point is, you keep reading and
writing and because of that you make
my over-sized heart feel all warm and
squishy (which, I think, is a good thing).
For the past six or so weeks I shared
some stories of my current life and some
of my own opinions on communications
– or lack there of – between the generations.
Two weeks ago I wrote into the
hallowed halls of Don’t Rush Me-dom
a column headlined, “The times, they
are a-changin. Not really.” I wrote about
watching three groups of people talking
at an Oxford Village Council meeting.
The meeting was about allowing a bunch
of students to use the downtown park
as a place to rally against gun violence.
So, there was a student group, a
group of parents and another group of
older Americans there to make sure 2nd
Amendment rights were not infringed.
Wrote I, “I don’t think the older folks
were talking down to the students, even
if they used the word ‘kids.’ . . . The older
folks do what older folks do, they urge
caution and not to hurry into things. ‘Step
back. Let us all get together and talk.’
“Parents of the students reminded the
older folks, that when they were young
their generation also had marches and
sit-ins in protests of their day.
‘Our kids deserve the same
“And, the students just
wanted to have their say their
way – as younger folks always
do, they do not want to be told
what to do.”
From that, Henry W., from
Independence Township
Don, I (once again) enjoyed your
recent column about the Oxford Village
meeting. It is unfortunate that people
have become so polarized that they will
not even listen to an opposing position.
Worse is that some people will threaten
to undertake violence on lawmakers who
oppose their narrow viewpoints. Sincerely
– thank you for expressing what
a lot of believe but lack the platform and
skill set to convey the facts.
* * *
A week before that gem of a column I
had another inspiration for a column as I
laid on my back with my leg immobilized
and thinking that the allure of sponge
baths had eluded me. Here are some of
your responses:
Hello Don. I frankly love your column.
One of the highlights of reading the paper
is to gain your insights into life and the
seemingly mundane. I was a bit skeptical
about it at first a year or two ago when
I began reading the paper. I wasn’t sure
if you were towing the woke narrative
that seems to be so pervasive lately. But
I quickly came to understand your unique
perspective and how you analyze the
most overlooked aspects of life. Even
reading about your knee surgery and
sponge bathing brings a warmth to my
heart and a chuckle so greatly needed.
Thank you for your contribution to
sanity in this crazy world. Thank you
for your honesty. Thank you for being
you. My prayers have gone to you since
I read you had knee issues, so I hope
they have helped in some way. I’d love
to see a picture of your famous, gnarled
Frankenknee. It’s the least I can do for
the community and humanity you’ve
rekindled in me. Thank you, Kate E.
* * *
Where did you ever get the idea there
was romance in a sponge bath. Victoria B.
* * *
And yet another great “Don’t Rush
Me” column. We love reading from
Florida. Hope all goes well and you get
back to being independent soon! Bob
D. and Suzanne (formerly of Goodrich).
* * *
As one who has given sponge baths I
agree! Jeri W., Clarkston
* * *
A Tom M., of Clarkston, took the time
and money to type a letter, stuff it in an
envelope, stamp and mail to our office
this one line. Dear Don, Sponges work,
they soak up everything. Get well and
don’t rush, Rush!
* * *
Again, thank you, one and all. Your
thoughts, prayers and humor have lifted
my spirits – oh and before I forget. I
did get one response from a woman,
formerly of Oxford, who messaged me,
“I’d give you a sponge bath.”
So, I got that going for me!
* * *
Promise me if I keep writing you’ll keep
reading and sending me your thoughts.
Enjoy your summer. Send comments to

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