Joe Braddy

Joe Braddy is a retired newspaper editor and longtime resident of Winter Haven, Fla. He continues his writing, editing and media work on a personal and freelance basis. He launched this website on Sept. 11, 2011. He can be reached by e-mail at



What would your ‘bucket list’ include?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Continued from this page


Here, in no particular order and always subject to change, are the to-do items I have on my bucket list:

Build a personal computer — I need another PC or Apple Macintosh like I need another hole in the head, but I’ve wanted for the longest time to build my own Windows-based personal “super computer” from separately ordered parts. This is a project that actually is under way, with the first part, a really good case, already ordered and delivered. So, maybe I’ll have something on my bucket list to cross off fairly soon.

Take a ride on a passenger train — More than half my life is over, and I’ve never been on a passenger train. I’ll just have to do something about that. I was planning to take a trip to Savannah, Ga., on an Amtrak train this summer, but I’ve been advised against it. The restrooms on the trains aren’t the best, I’ve been told. That might stop others from using Amtrak, but it won’t stop me. To knock out this item, I might have to go solo and keep my trip within Florida.

Make good on plans for a house in the mountains — My wife and I almost fully own a couple of acres of land in western North Carolina, but the reality of a vacation-type house on the property seems so far off. “It'll happen,” I keep telling her — and keep telling myself.

Visit San Antonio, Texas — I was born there, in 1960 at Lackland Air Force Base, but Mom and Dad moved away when I was just a babe and I’ve never been back. I can’t really “Remember the Alamo!” because I haven’t been there. Ironically, my oldest daughter was able to visit San Antonio (and tour the Alamo) when I couldn’t. Her visit came during a summer motorhome vacation trip she took with her maternal grandparents about 18 years ago.

See the sites in Washington, D.C. — I’ve been to our nation’s capital twice, but neither visit was for sightseeing. The first was to bury my father in a cemetery just on the Maryland side of the district and the second was to visit the grave site during a quick side trip from Liberty University (my alma mater) in Lynchburg, Va. I can see myself stepping inside the Smithsonian museum(s) and never wanting to leave. If and when I tour the capital, I sure hope the White House is home to a conservative president. That would make the visit all the more enjoyable.

Write a book — I have a great idea for a practical book for young people and a willing partner on the project. What neither he nor I have right now is that elusive commodity called Time.

Revisit “Cabin Country” in northern Ontario in Canada — It’s a beautiful area. I went there a few times on business during my stint as editor of the old Canada News newspaper, but I’d like to return for a pleasure trip and bring the wife along.

Vacation in the western United States and the U.S. Northeast — I have no desire to go to California, but trips to see the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore would be nice. Also nice would be a trip to Maine and/or New England. The wife, who once lived in the Boston area, has mentioned often that she would like to revisit that part of the country.

Take a Northwest cruise to Alaska — I’ve never really had the desire to take a cruise to the Caribbean or to Mexico, but a trip on a cruise ship from Washington state to Alaska has great appeal to me. Maybe, one of these years ...

Learn to play a song — I would like to be able to play a song, any decent song, on the electronic keyboard we got for our daughters for Christmas many years ago. I love music and regret not having taken up an instrument as a youth. (Dad was a guitar player and singer.) I was told once that I have the hands and fingers of a pianist, but I think I would’ve been a better percussionist.

Create a home video — It would be neat to create and edit a video of my granddaughter’s first year, using video clips I’ve taken now and then since she was born on July 18, 2011.

Run a middle-distance race — I’m more fit that at any other time in my life, but I’d like to test my fitness and stamina by running a 5,000-kilometer race, perhaps our own Citrus Classic 5K here in Winter Haven.

Get some peace about a few things — Most important of all, through my efforts and/or the efforts of others, I want to be assured that everyone close to me will have home in Heaven in the next life.

Do you have a bucket list? Even if you don’t take the time to put one down in writing, it still might be fun to simply consider what you would or could put down. Who knows, it might just lead to the time of your life, or, better put, the time of the rest of your life. That’s what I’m hoping for with the items on my list.


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