DEAR ABBY: I need some words of wisdom from you. This past weekend I went to see my 7-year-old nephew play baseball. These are all young kids just learning the game.
There was one young player whose father kept shouting horrible things at him like, "Catch like a MAN!" and, "I don't know why I waste my time coming here!" It was horrible to see that poor kid just wilt under his father's abuse.
Maybe I should have spoken up, but I was scared. Was there anything I could have said? What can be done under those circumstances? I worry there may be a lot more parents out there like this dad. Say something, Abby! We need your help. -- ASHAMED OF THAT DAD IN DECATUR
DEAR ASHAMED OF THAT DAD: Children who are encouraged usually do well at an activity. Those who are bullied, as that child was, do not. What you witnessed was someone trying to relive his own youth through his child. The person to address the belligerent parent should have been the coach of the team.
DEAR ABBY: I just want to let you know you changed my life. I'm 68 years old with two grown girls and two grandchildren. My husband and I had the old-fashioned flip phones and were not "into" texting like our children and grandchildren.
Every few weeks, we'd get the obligatory phone call from one of the daughters, and I would feel a tinge resentful that both of our girls didn't call more. Along came your column about a grandma who was miffed because her family didn't call often and were more into texting. I was thinking, "You go, Grandma!" because I identified with her.
Your answer surprised me. You told Gram to get with the program and enter her kids' world. Well, that's what I did. I got a new cellphone with a keyboard for texting. (Smartphones are not practical where we live.)
Abby, texting has transformed my world! I'm closer than ever with the girls. We send pictures and little "thinking of you" notes. I can never thank you enough for your wise advice. If I hadn't read your response, my life would be the poorer for it. Bless you. -- BARB IN RODEO, N.M.
DEAR BARB: Your letter brightened my day. You're welcome! But kudos to you for taking it to heart. Technology is constantly evolving and becoming easier to use, and it's meant to help bring people closer. I'm glad it has done that for you.
DEAR ABBY: What does it say about my ex-husband who has been paying storage fees on household items ever since our separation and divorce over 20 years ago? -- BEVERLY IN NEVADA
DEAR BEVERLY: What it says to me is that your ex is unusually sentimental and/or can afford it.
P.S. And why, after all this time, would you care so much that you would write to me about it?
Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: "Abby's Favorite Recipes" and "More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $14 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)