So long, it’s been good to know ya …

March 13, 2020
By Olivia Cameron

I have often been accused by being a “homer.” For those not familiar with the term, it means someone who always roots for their local team. A baseball announcer recently accused his partner of being a “homer”… being subjective about the play on the field favoring the home team. 
When I grew up in the New York area, I was a Dodger fan, but when they moved to LA I became a Mets fan (rather than rooting fot the dreaded Yankees), and of course I cheered for the Knicks, Giants and Rangers. When I moved to Philadelphia, it was the Eagles and Flyers and next on to Pittsburgh, where I became a fan of the mighty Steelers. So it’s no wonder that, living on Boca Grande, I found all of the good things about the town to cheer for and support: the small-town feel, golf carts all over, no franchise foods and all of the churches, social organizations and charities. Where else could you go and find a Community Center that houses almost every form of involvement for any interest or social need? 
My wife, Elise, and I recently moved to Venice. I felt the natural urge to get involved in the new community just as I did in Boca Grande. The Venice Gondolier, a local newspaper, invited me to write a column and, being a “homer,” I couldn’t resist, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not still loyal to the people of Boca Grande and particularly the Boca Beacon which gave me the opportunity to write 140 columns for it over five plus years. In particular I’ll miss the grandmothers coming up to me, saying that they clip the columns and instructionally send them to their grandchildren. And I’ll miss things like finding out that the president of Grande Aire Services framed my column and hung it in the lobby of his building because it praised the company for its customer service.
Some final thoughts are offered to sum up all that I’ve been trying to get across regarding good communications. First, honor the language. Don’t demean the richness of the English language. Don’t let yourself be tempted to adopt the techie’s acronyms and abbreviations. Concentrate on every writing task as a creative challenge. Second, encourage face-to-face communications like discussions, conversations and good old-fashioned phone calls. Third, look for opportunities to give speeches and presentations. Try it, you might like it. And, finally, listen … really listen. It’s amazing how much more you can learn with your mouth shut. 
Clarity, conciseness and conviction…all keys to making your point. 
Bob Elliott has written columns for the Boca Beacon since 2013. He will be missed greatly.