Reach Out and Touch Someone

📅 March 12, 2020

In the late 80’s AT&T launched a popular ad campaign with the slogan Reach Out & Touch Someone. The commercial featured a college student, laboring over studies, picking up the receiver, dialing home, connecting with his family, relaying to his mom what was happening in the kitchen at that time of day. Mom listened, dealing with the phone cord as she maneuvered for position among her family coming and going.  

Reach out and touch someone. Easier than ever in this “connected” age.

Lately, I have been pondering the art of friendship, the times and places I have acquired friends, and how blessed we are to be in touch so effortlessly, never wrestling with a phone cord.  

With the aid of social media, I have: 1) located childhood friends I lost touch with when I moved from Texas; 2) renewed and maintained contact with friends who do not live in Jacksonville; 3) formed deep and meaningful relationships with friends I met and know well online, but have never seen face to face; 4) kept up with former students and watched them graduate from college, marry, have children, and in some case, grandchildren.  

It is easier than ever to reach out and grab on to a friend and stay in constant touch, if you wish—sharing joys, soothing hurts, and celebrating milestones.   

Today, please “think back” with me on your friendships, those treasured longtime relationships, some going back as far as elementary school, some more recent, and any and all times and places in between: your place of employment, your neighborhood, your children’s school, your church. Add to the list at will.   

Here’s a poem I wrote in 1988 to honor some friends who were moving away. And yes, we’re still in touch, none the worse for wear.   

F oundation laid many years ago;

R efinements made as the structure grew.

I nspections revealed the bricks and beams would

E asily stand any storm that blew.

N ails and cement were used in abundance, but

D esign had ordained the walls also have beauty.

S o extras and frills were allowed by the Builder;

H e stirred laughter into the mortar of duty.

I mprinted with His seal, the structure now stands,

P atterned by Him, upheld by His hand.

Holly Bebernitz


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Holly Bebernitz

Native Texan Holly Bebernitz moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 1967. After thirty years of teaching speech, English, and history on the secondary and college levels, she retired from classroom teaching to become a full-time grandmother. The change in schedule allowed the time needed to complete the novel she had begun writing in 1998. When Trevorode the Defender was published in March 2013, the author realized the story of the Magnolia Arms was not yet complete.


Semi-Finalist - 2021 Royal Palm Literary Award Competition - Florida Writer's Association