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My View: When writing humor requires a flak jacket

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Several years ago, I wrote a My View about my experience going to estate sales. I sometimes found it sad seeing the sum total of a person’s life laid out on tables with little price stickers on them.

Bob O’Connor, of Hamburg, enjoys hearing from his adoring readers.

I often saw evidence of a life in decline – the walkers and canes. The kitchen and living room decor looked like the set of “Leave it to Beaver.” I thought my observations were poignant.

A few days later, I stopped at a sale being run by the person who has been in the business longer than anyone in Western New York. I am sure you’ve seen the yellow Sandra Ziemer signs in your travels. They call her the Queen of Estate Sales, and she wasn’t happy with me.

She told me my essay was mean and said I should have talked about how she and her counterparts are a help to families, and said those families appreciated that their loved one’s memories and treasures could be shared with others.

I apologized and assured her that I never intended to be mean; I was going for poignant. It took awhile, but over the years we’ve sort of become friends, and I don’t think she still considers me an ogre. Plus, I have purchased a lot of........

© The Buffalo News

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