Saturday, June 23, 2018
News Roundup

A few words of advice about the giving of advice

My cellphone was vibrating on my desk. ¶ I looked down at the caller ID. It was the younger of my two sons, my 25-year-old who lives in Chicago. ¶ After we exchanged greetings, he got to the reason for the mid-day call. ¶ "Will they bounce a check for 41 cents?" he asked.

Hmmm. As with most conversations I have with my sons (my first-born is 30 and lives in Southern California) I try to figure out what they are talking about without having to ask a lot of questions lest I (1) irritate them or (2) appear stupid.

In this case, I was lucky. He realized how cryptic his question was seconds after it came out of his mouth.

"I mean," he said, "if I wrote a check for $625 and I have $624.59 in my account, will the check bounce?"

Hmmm. $6.25? $625? For a sandwich? For his rent?

It was for his rent. I know that because I gave him money toward it.

"I don't think they are allowed to charge overdraft fees if it's less than $5," I told him, realizing, as my words spilled into the phone, I hadn't a clue what his bank would or would not do.

So, I quickly added a sentence, "I'll go put $20 in your account later this afternoon just to be sure."

And another. "You know, you shouldn't cut it that close."

Ahh. There it was. The piece of motherly advice dispensed with a spoonful of money to a grown child. Maybe it'll sink in, maybe not. He has to make his own mistakes but it's difficult not to jump in and help.

I guess that's why they call it the circle of life. If we all listened to, and built upon, what our parents and grandparents told us, maybe they'd call it the great linear progression of life.

I was curious about what kind of advice the subjects featured in this month's issue — one a relatively new dad, the other a veteran — have given their own children.

Coincidentally, both Jeff Johnson, AARP Florida state director, and Robert Mellis, journalist-turned-goodwill ambassador, have daughters.

Betsy Johnson is only 8, but she already has gotten some sage advice from Dad:

• You are not what you do. You are great not because of what you accomplish but because of who you are.

• For everything you bring into your room, throw something else out.

• You can overwater plants.

• When you make a commitment, you need to keep it.

• Remember what you are saving up money for when you see something you want right now.

With all that wisdom, is there any doubt young Betsy has a clean room with healthy plants and a stuffed piggy bank?

Then there's Mellis, father of two grown daughters, married with their own children.

"We are not much into handing out advice," Mellis said. "The evidence is it usually isn't followed.

"We've always encouraged our kids to grow up, spread their wings and fly. And now we do that with our four grandkids. My lifelong belief always has been: Don't be afraid to fail. If you don't take a chance, life becomes too safe. And safe equals boring."

It probably is too late for me to pass along the advice Johnson gave to his daughter. I should have done it when I was climbing over mountains of clothes and dead plants to wake the boys for school.

But maybe I can use some of what worked for Mellis.

As long as a balanced checking account doesn't fall into the boring category.

And by the way, I put $40, not $20, in his account later that day.

Patti Ewald can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8746.

Comments
Oldsmar cheer coach faces new sexual battery charges

Oldsmar cheer coach faces new sexual battery charges

An Oldsmar cheerleading coach charged this week with sending explicit images to a minor now faces additional sexual battery charges.Victor Martin Valenty, 28, is accused of having "inappropriate sexual activity" with a 15-year-old at his home for mor...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Migrants denied access to lawyers, held in cells 23 hours a day, ACLU lawsuit alleges

Migrants denied access to lawyers, held in cells 23 hours a day, ACLU lawsuit alleges

After crossing the U.S.-Mexico border seeking asylum, 123 men have been detained for weeks, caged in prison cells for up to 23 hours per day and denied access to attorneys at a federal detention center in Sheridan, Oregon, a lawsuit filed Friday by t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
First step for Hillsborough schools facing biggest challenges: Hire more teachers

First step for Hillsborough schools facing biggest challenges: Hire more teachers

TAMPA — As chief of diversity for the Hillsborough County School District, Minerva Spanner-Morrow tries to keep her expectations realistic."We want the best of the best and I know that’s very difficult," she told principals last week as they prepared...
Published: 06/23/18
Rodney Page’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

Rodney Page’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

1. SS Willy Adames had a nice night, and there appear to be many more in his future. He had two hits, an RBI and an inning-ending leaping catch on a line drive by Didi Gregorius in the fifth.2. DH C.J. Cron needs to shake things up. Take a different ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Marc Anthony pays a visit to the Trop

Marc Anthony pays a visit to the Trop

By Allana BarefieldTimes Staff WriterST. PETERSBURG — Latin pop star Marc Anthony visited Tropicana Field on Friday to see his beloved Yankees play the Rays.Anthony spent nearly an hour on the field before the game as fans and players surrounde...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Rays journal: Daniel Robertson’s return crowds up infield

Rays journal: Daniel Robertson’s return crowds up infield

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays reinstated INF Daniel Robertson from the 10-day disabled list (left hamstring strain). To make room, RHP Austin Pruitt was sent to Triple-A Durham."It's out of my mind. I don't think about (the hamstring) when I'm bend...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Brady Singer, Gators eliminated by Arkansas at CWS

Brady Singer, Gators eliminated by Arkansas at CWS

Times wiresOMAHA, Neb.  —Defending champion Florida failed to win a third straight elimination game, losing to Arkansas 5-2 Friday night and departing the College World Series.The Gators (49-21) had to win to force a rematch. The Razorback...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Rays hang on for a 2-1 win over Yankees

Rays hang on for a 2-1 win over Yankees

ST. PETERSBURG – Many times this season the Rays' strategy of opening the game with a short reliever and using the bullpen to finish hasn't had much success.Friday wasn't one of those nights.A total of six pitchers held the Yankees and their va...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Rowdies fall to Penn FC

Rowdies fall to Penn FC

By Darek SharpTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — For the second time this season, Penn FC got two goals from a former Rowdie that led the way to a win over Tampa Bay.Lucky Mkosana doubled his season total Friday in a comeback 2-1 win before an...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Ronald Darby’s friend: Jameis Winston got into second Uber ride alone

Ronald Darby’s friend: Jameis Winston got into second Uber ride alone

New details emerged Friday night about the Uber ride in Arizona in March 2016 that led to Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston's three-game suspension to start the upcoming season, including the fact that Winston was in a car that night with a former Vand...
Published: 06/22/18