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Drop us a line and celebrate dads every day

At any given moment, we can share our thoughts, questions or concerns with friends and loved ones — or the entire world — on social media.

So why not share them with our fellow newspaper readers?

For the most part, we are news junkies. Regardless of how or where we get our news, we want it on demand.

That is one reason newspapers are changing with the times — providing easy access to news, sports, lifestyles and opinion pieces and pages via our websites and social media. Regardless of how quickly that news can be delivered to your computer or cellphone, though, there’s nothing quite like holding an actual printed page in your hands.

Within the pages of The Times Leader every day, you will find at least one page dedicated entirely to opinions. We share our opinion, mainly on state and local issues, through the editorial published on page A4 every single day. We also offer the perspectives of several professional writers, drawing thoughts from columnists who are male and female, white and Black, conservative and liberal.

At least once a week, we provide a forum for opinions from local sources. I write this column faithfully. Other regular contributors include the Rev. Darrell Cummings (published today on page A4), Belmont County Tourism Director Barb Ballint, Greg Kozera of Shale Crescent USA and several politicians who represent us at the state and federal levels.

We also reserve space for letters to the editor from readers like you. Some weeks, we receive numerous letters from a wide variety of people writing about all sorts of things. Other weeks, we might only receive one or two letters. Often, the topic is politics, but sometimes readers simply want to reach out and say “thank you” to someone who performed a good deed. Other times, a writer might send a letter congratulating another individual or group on some accomplishment.

I welcome these letters, whether sent via email, our website or good old-fashioned mail. But, I would like to receive letters from more of you.

Of course I appreciate our regular letter contributors — Richard Hord of Martins Ferry, Randy Marple of Shadyside, Judy Phillips of Bethesda, Bill Bryant of St. Clairsville, Sam Fregiato of St. Clairsville and others. But I want to hear from more people in more of our local communities about what is important to you.

There are several ways you can submit a letter to the editor:

∫ Mail or hand deliver your letter to our office at 400 S. Fourth St., Martins Ferry, OH 43935.

∫ Email your letter to me at jcompston@timesleaderonline.com.

∫ Upload your letter to our Virtual Newsroom at timesleaderonline.com.

Our complete policy regarding letters to the editor is printed on page A4 of today’s newspaper. I urge you to give it a look and consider what topic you might want to write a letter about. I look forward to hearing from more of you!

∫ ∫ ∫

This is Father’s Day weekend, and I certainly wish I could receive a letter or a call or a visit from my dad, the late Jim Compston. It’s hard to believe, but this month marks 11 years since he died of lung cancer at age 84.

Dad and I had a very good relationship, and we actually bonded over newspapers. Dad read, saved, marked and clipped newspapers at a rate I have never seen in any other individual. One way that I stayed in touch with my parents was by stopping at their house each evening on my way home from work to hand-deliver a daily newspaper to him. Every once in a while, I snagged one that was literally “hot off the press.”

So how do you remain in contact with your dad? Do you call on a regular basis? Do you have regular activities that you do together, such as a weekly breakfast or a monthly fishing trip? If nothing comes to mind when you ponder these questions, I urge you to start some traditions.

It’s great to visit or honor your dad with a gift on Father’s Day, but don’t miss the chance to see and talk with him throughout the rest of the year.

The same applies to grandfathers, stepfathers and other paternal figures in your life, if you are lucky enough to have them. Celebrate the holiday with them now, but don’t let life get in the way of staying in touch even when there is no special reason for doing so.

Happy Father’s Day to you all!

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