Anniversary | Mark’s Remarks - Republic-Times | News

Anniversary | Mark’s Remarks

By on November 1, 2017 at 3:49 pm

I started writing this column in October 2007. Yes. This particular week marks the week I started writing this column. I can’t really believe it.

Back then, I had written some funny stories that a friend read.

“You should write a column for the newspaper,” she said.  

After a few weeks, that’s exactly what I was asked to do.

There had been a time in my high school days when I wrote a humor column. Since I wrote it with another guy named Mark (we took turns each edition) it was called “Mark’s Remarks.”  

I often made fun of that name, and suggested, tongue-in-cheek, that I name this new column the same thing. Holy cow, they thought it was a good idea. I’m still not sure I even like the name.

Yes, I dug out this huge binder the other day. In it were quite a few past columns. I printed them out once, accidently. It’s the truth.  I’ll have to tell you the story sometime.  Needless to say, I was surprised when the printer just kept going. I didn’t know, at the time, that you could cancel a printing job. Instead of wasting the stack, I hole-punched them and put them in the binder. I’m glad I kept them, actually.

My first column was called “Mean People,” and after reading it, it sounds rather immature. My writing style has improved a little, but I still start columns purposely with “but” and “and.” I also use fragments.  

I’m not making excuses for a poor grasp of grammar. I really do them on purpose. For effect.

Many of my first columns were about my family, my job, and my own gripes about humanity. It hasn’t changed much.  At times I sound pompous, self-centered, and like a braggart.  

Some of my columns were duds, let’s face it. A few of them I read were so darn rambly and long that I’m surprised my editor didn’t cut it to pieces.

I looked back and saw a whole lot of mistakes. Sheesh.  I can hear readers saying “He’s a school teacher?” Holy cow. I assure you, I CAN spell.

It’s also funny to me that I’ll write about my faith one week, only to take personal shots at someone the next week. The good Christian guy writes something heartfelt and sincere one week and then rakes people over the coals the following week.  

Schizophrenic? Maybe just human, I suppose.

There have been plenty of times that I’ve questioned this column. Who would read it?  Why would they read it? Why keep writing it? You know, the paper DOES pay me to write it, but do they ever feel that they are paying for a piece of trite hogwash? It is in my nature to doubt myself, as you may have gathered if you’ve read.  

Still, I’ve heard from folks who have liked reading each week. I’m very thankful for them all. I must admit that it still surprises me that anyone would read from beginning to end.

I wonder how long they’ll let me write in this space week after week? I’m wondering if they’ll say “Oh yeah, 10 years is our limit,” and then give me my walking papers. Perhaps they will cut me down to a little box in the lower right hand corner of the classified page.

I still don’t like my photo.  I’ve been trying to find a photographer who makes me look better, but I keep hearing the person who told me once, “The camera doesn’t lie.”

Maybe I’ll have an artist sketch me. Maybe the pencil can lie.

No fanfare. The 10-year anniversary of writing this column is not a pivotal moment in history. I don’t expect a gold clock or a paid vacation.

Still, to those of you who read each week (even if it’s to make fun of me; I know who you are), I say thank you. 

I hope you’ll keep reading for another 10 if I’m still here.

Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.