by Peter Hunn
It was likely on some rainy 1960s weekend afternoon when, hearing the pronouncement that I was bored, my mother presented me with a dog-earred copy of Reader’s Digest and then declared, “Somewhere in there, you’ll find a cure to that horrible boredom problem.”
Over-dramatically at first, I perused the publication with all the sarcastic vigor a sixth grader could muster, but soon hit upon a compelling feature called “My Most Memorable Character.” I’ve no recollection of whom the essay touted, though vividly remember it sending me in search of additional Reader’s Digest editions in order to see how other fascinating folks lived their lives.
My favorites were always the stories about people from small towns, or individuals who — while perhaps not famous beyond their neighborhood — made a lasting positive impression on those who had the pleasure of knowing someone of authentic character.
Had I been sufficiently savvy to rate as a Reader’s Digest contributor, my most memorable expose would have been subtitled: Art Jones, Remarkable Fultonian. Art passed away last month at 91. But he was no old geezer… Rather, Art was always brimming with information about experiences past, present, and future.
His long life allowed him to enjoy several careers and at least two brief stints in radio; The first while in a 1950s group of fellow GE engineers that founded a small station in East Syracuse, and another behind the mic at WZZZ, the Fulton AM outlet that my wife, Carol, and I resurrected in the late 1980s.
My favorite remembrance of Art relates to his unflappable gentility and the way he routinely sought to keep things both upbeat and polite.
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