Wilmoth Foreman

Somewhere Along the Way

Somewhere Along the Way features a variety of easy-to-read commentaries on the ups, downs and in-betweens of life as viewed from a back yard swing. Subjects range from those as playful as accessorizing and gift-wrapping to empathetic interviews with war veterans to the hilarious frustrations and delicious rewards of gardening, groundhog included. Music and pets are oft-visited topics.
The articles, which originally appeared as columns in Columbia Tennessee newspaper The Daily Herald, are rich in gentle humor, down-home nostalgia, occasional serious ponderings, and quirky characters. Whether read cover-to-cover or ten minutes at a time, the collection's varied look at everyday existence is life affirming and uplifting.
Chris Fletcher, former editor of The Daily Herald, dubbed the writings “…a welcome break from the frenetic pace of our modern lives” and considered Wilmoth’s stories and themes to be “…at once intimate and universal.”
Author Karyn Henley added, “Wilmoth has the rare ability to touch your heart as well as your funny bone.”

At times light and funny, at times serious and contemplative, Wilmoth Foreman's Somewhere Along the Way is an always entertaining collection of essays about life lived fully, and with meaning.
-- Alan Gratz, author of Prisoner B-3087

Sample column: Cutting through over 20 years of red tape to “Cash In”

$126.45—a check made out to me. Two impersonal signatures are stamped on it by an insurance company.
But I know better. The real signature is my mother’s, hastily scribbled over forty years before when she agreed to pay “10 cents a week for twenty full years.”
She was the insured, I the beneficiary.
Two years after her death, I found the policy in a safe deposit box and showed it to my banker, knowing it wasn’t worth much. We sat in the urgently plush office, talking business, pretending tears weren’t plopping into my lap. He verified the policy’s meager value, but encouraged me to cash it in.
For several months, the policy laid around the house. Each time I straightened, it got tucked into another obscure corner. One extra penniless straightening day when I found it in a heap of “to do’s,” the paper work I so dreaded began to take form and shape:
January — I wrote a letter to the insurance company named on the policy.
February — A pleasant letter arrived from a company three states from where my letter had been sent. They needed a photo-copy of the policy’s first page.
Since the word “amicable” was part of their name, I was encouraged. With intentions of dealing with this immediately, I laid down the envelope.
March — During another housecleaning, the envelope surfaced. I sent off the requested copy.
April 15 — A letter arrived from the amiables explaining that twelve years previously they “sold this business to various insurance companies.” Included were addresses of three companies that might have the policy.
The affable ending to the letter seemed sour to me. Despite the insignificance of a $100 policy in the company’s daily diet of million dollar deals, I resented the parent company shuttling the detective work back to the customer. If the policy had been important enough to sell, it should be important enough to close out now.
I called a local insurer to see if my judgment was too harsh. He said this type run-around by others made his job difficult; he suggested I take my problem to the state Department of Insurance.
The envelope and the decision were laid aside for a few days, deliberately this time.
April 25 — I decided to give the company one more chance by writing the person who had corresponded with me thus far.
May — A different name was signed to the short letter saying their company would do no more. Since going to the Department of Insurance would probably begin yet another drawn-out ordeal, I deliberated some more.
June — A simple business letter with the necessary information was sent to all three addresses in the April 15 letter. If this fizzled, I would take my local insurer’s advice.
July — Two negative replies came in quick succession.
August — The third company sent a crude memo-size form with a couple of checkmarks in blanks. In furry type, the amount of $126.45 was sloppily stamped at the bottom. They had the policy, but wanted me to send in the original. I did, immediately (keeping a copy).
September 26 — I am $126.45 richer.
What to do with this tiny legacy from the past? By now, it qualifies as hard-earned money. How nice if it would last as long as the scattered efforts to retrieve it.
It lands in an account that pays for music lessons, veterinary bills and other basic extras. Across the years, I sense the merest nod of approval.
The “amicable” folk will not be informed of my good fortune. They deserve to lose sleep over my lost policy.
--June 2, 2005