‘If you promise to keep reading, I promise to keep writing’

One reader thanks me for “the sometimes very personal glimpses into your family and your life.”

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John W. Fountain

Rich Hein/Sun-Times Media

This week’s column is a collection of readers’ responses this year.

“Dear Mr. Fountain, I have intended to write to you regarding your wonderful column for some time now but never ‘did the deed.’ But your column entitled, ‘Freedom I Have Tasted...’ made such an impression on me that I have to let you know how much it moved me, as have many of your past essays.

“I know that as a white woman in America I would never be able to sense what life is like for black men and women in the country we share but still live so separately.

“But your column reminded me again of the fact that no matter what you accomplish, what you contribute to this country, you still have not tasted the freedom that our founders supposedly guaranteed to all.

“…Again, thank you for the sometimes very personal glimpses into your family and your life as a very special member of our community.”

Dear faithful reader, thank you for your kind thoughtful words.

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Another writes: “Dear Mr. Fountain, first, let me tell you that I can count on less than one hand the number of times I’ve written to a columnist in my 68 years. (And shame on me; a good number have deserved accolades. But I confess to some laziness/procrastination on my part…)

“I’ve been following you for a long time and have always been impressed and often provoked, inspired, and angered by your columns. The anger is not toward you — it is toward the sorrow and ridiculousness of racism.

“Your 10/20/19 column breaks my heart. No fellow man deserves to live with such experiences — such an unfair and cruel — extremely cruel — history.

“I’m a white, senior-aged, Chicago-bred woman. Grew up blue-collar on the near SW side. I just want you to know that it pains me to know of your hurt. ...Keep fighting the fight.”

Dear reader, thank you. I am determined to “run on,” as my grandmother used to say, and see what the end’s gonna be.

A male reader writes in response to a column series titled, “Love Letters To My Son”:

“Your articles are the reason why I buy theSun-Times. They are uplifting, thought provoking and life enhancing. I truly learned some valuable approaches to supporting, as you duly put it, to ‘lift’ him not to ‘stunt’ him… Please keep up the magnificent work…”

Dear reader, I am grateful for — and humbled by — your words. Thank you.

Another reader writes: “John I don’t always agree with your politics but I loved your article with the snippets of texts between you and your son.

“As a father of four sons, I feel the responsibility you are trying to convey to your son. If nobody told you, ‘you’re a good dad.’ Keep it up.”

Dear reader, for me there is no more important goal in life than to be a good father. Thank you.

Another writes: “Hi John, I just wanted to say I enjoyed your articles about your letters to your son. They were a breath of fresh air amongst all the bad news and pathetic stuff in the paper.

“I can relate to everything you said,” writes the reader, adding that he has a 19-year-old daughter.

“…And because of you, I had to step my text game up a little and text her a few love letters as well. So thank you for inspiring me to do that at a higher level. It’s more important than people realize.

“I hope you have the same effect on a lot of other fathers as well.Keep it up.”

Dear readers, if you promise to keep reading, I promise to keep writing.

Happy Holidays to you all!

Send letters to letters@suntimes.com.

Email John Fountain at Author@johnwfountain.com

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