Goodbye, Farewell and Amen

By Rick Hinton

  The television show M*A*S*H rolled out its series finale (Goodbye, Farewell and Amen) on Feb. 28, 1983. I was living in Portland, Oregon at the time, but would return to Indiana in just a few months. The show had a 10-year run, but that was now over. The antics of Hawkeye Pierce and the 4077th would now take its place in television history. I had watched it faithfully throughout the years, but now had to change my routine of weekly viewing.

   Presently, I am changing another weekly routine. …

   I began writing a weekly column for The Southside Times on Feb. 20, 2014, with a series of articles on the Polk dynasty of Greenwood many years ago. Even though it was primarily a historical overview of the family and the business, it had some spooky elements tossed into the mix. It had to have some of those elements; after all, my column was titled Haunts & Jaunts.

   Nicole Davis – editor at the time – decided to give the subject matter a shot. She, or I, had no idea how this topic would go over with weekly readers on the Southside of Indianapolis. It could have easily been “here today, gone tomorrow.” However, it turned out not to be. Gradually I was allowed more words. And just shy of eight years later, I am at a place where I must make a difficult decision. Yes, changing those weekly routines has become another phase of life. 

   This will be the last Haunts & Jaunts column.

Thank you for coming along on this journey with me! (Submitted photo)

   Not too many independent, community-based newspapers will touch the subject of ghosts and the paranormal, at least not on a weekly basis. I am proud to say I have written for one that will. I am only aware of one other, The Weekly View on the Eastside that my friend Al Hunter writes for. Papers won’t usually take a chance on a weekly column of quirky subject matter. I give kudos to The Southside Times for doing just that.

   The time is right; I feel I have said all I need to say. Just as with M*A*S*H, it’s always better to go out while on top rather than to overstay your welcome. Along this journey together, through eight years of weekly columns, ghost hunting has changed for me and my wife. It doesn’t hold the priority it once held. Our equipment sits on a shelf in the garage … ready for if we need it, but I don’t expect that day coming. I believe my biggest revelation over the years has been, “Yes, I know it’s a big, mysterious world out there, existing within a realm of the paranormal we will never understand, BUT I believe what we may be seeking could very well be, in the end, something we do not want to find.” Just saying. …

   Thank you for indulging me. I’m grateful for your readership, meeting some of you at historical society meetings or when I gave public talks, your kind words and questions, your recognition while I shop the produce section at Kroger. Southside Times readers are a dedicated group! It’s hard to say goodbye, and there are many regrets. I will regret not getting around to talking with Tom Maier about his former employment with WTTV Channel 4 for a future article. It’s like connecting the dots and all of the dots don’t get connected; or like turning off the lights and closing that door for the last time. 

Until we meet again. …

   Goodbye, Farewell and Amen!

   My website is