Editor’s Note: Dale Huffman, long-time Dayton Daily News columnist, writes occasionally for the newspaper in his retirement. Recently, he submitted this column to update readers about how he has been spending his time.
The words were tacked on the wall in the photo gallery at Walgreen’s Pharmacy, 1260 Central Ave. in Miamisburg.
Large letters and bold display showed in the photo that was taken in November 2012 and that is on display in the store’s photo gallery. It proclaims, “Dale Huffman for President.” The photo was taken during the last election, with permission of the store manager, Steve Smith. The display billboard in front of the store in the heart of my hometown carried the fun announcement.
But earlier this month, Mel Welsh, the manager of the photo shop, said the photo in the store’s display was getting some interesting comments from curious shoppers.
One day, not too long ago, she said, a woman came by, stopped for a few seconds and said, “I thought Dale Huffman was dead.”
Mel said, “If I had been there that day, I would have explained to the nice woman that Dale Huffman is alive and doing OK and that he lives near the store and stops by here so often that we think of him as part of our store family.”
I am flattered by the attention and so pleased that this gives me a chance to update the readers of this newspaper, who have followed my writings for almost half a century, about how I am doing.
I am indeed alive and feeling well. But, I have faced some frightening medical challenges during the past few years. I fought kidney cancer and won. I faced quadruple heart surgery and survived. Next up will be eye surgery this fall.
The years have taken a toll and I find that I am more frail and need help to keep going. My thanks to all who help me, especially my caregivers, Eddie Wright and Sue Swopes, who offer me tender assistance.
As I approach my 78th birthday on Jan. 23, I do so with gratitude in my heart and warm memories of years I spent touching lives in a positive way. I am working on finding a way to preserve some of my memories — the notes, clippings, mementos and photographs that document my long years as a reporter.
I thank all of you who have been kind to me as I made my journey through life. You faithfully followed my columns and we shared many stories.
And I also thank God for what he has allowed me to do in his service. I pray he has all kinds of neat things planned for my future.
But, I can assure you that one of the items on my bucket list will most likely not include running for public office.
If you would like to send your wishes to Dale Huffman, please send mail to Dale Huffman c/o Arundi Venkayya, Cox Media Group Ohio, 1611 S. Main St., Dayton, OH 45409.