Hammer Pays a Visit to the Missus . . .

EDITOR’S NOTE: Tim Timmons will be returning soon. He underwent quadruple bypass surgery and is on the mend. In his stead this week, his wife Linda reports on an unexpected visit from a very familiar face.

As a publisher’s wife I’ve encountered many people with opinions about the news and newspapers, most of them very pleasant. But I wasn’t expecting someone beating so hard on our front door recently.

As you all know, Tim has been away from the job recovering nicely from heart surgery. He’s showed me the many cards, e-mails and messages from you kind folks. And, as Tim says, truth to tell, I didn’t expect to see Mr. John Hammer at our door to check up on Tim and to talk a bit. But there he was – and I knew who he was before he told me. Tim has described him to a T and yes, he does take up an entire doorway. As soon as he started to talk, I had to tell him to shoosh his booming voice a bit because Tim was asleep.

“How can I help you, Mr. Hammer?” I asked.

He said, “Call me John, Mr. Hammer was my dad.”

“OK then, what can I do for you, John?”

“Well, I wanted to see how Timmons is doing, and talk to him about this Ukrainian war.”

“John, let’s let Tim sleep a little longer, but while you wait, could I offer you a cup of coffee?”

We sat there and talked a bit. He asked about the bypass operation and how the recovery was going. Then we got to Tim’s last column about Whoopi.

“Well Mrs. Timmons, what did you think about that one?” he asked.

“John, at first, all Tim told me was he had written a column defending Whoopi Goldberg . . . and, well, I just about went off on him. But he was facing heart surgery, so I kept my thoughts to myself. I mostly disagree with everything Whoopi Goldberg says and does. But after it was published and I read it, I saw that it was really about defending freedom of speech – just one of the basic freedoms our servicemen and women work and fight for.”

“OK, Mrs. Timmons, what’s your take on the Russian invasion.”

“I’m thinking China is waiting on the outcome to see if they can overtake Taiwan without global interference,” I told him. “Also, what if President Biden was as crazy as Putin? Would VP Harris and others stand up and have him imprisoned? Do Putin’s generals not see how crazy this is? How much more will this escalate? Chemical weapons? Nukes? And Alaska isn’t that far from Russia. If worst came to worst, could I stand up to a tank like the Ukrainian people are? Could you, John?”

Before he could answer Tim came into the kitchen.

“I thought I was dreaming, but that really is your voice I heard,” Tim said.

“Just checking up on you, Timmons,” the man called the Hammer said. “When are you going to be back?”

“Well John, the boss here (Tim said, pointing at me) and the docs want me to work from home for a bit. But I’m feeling better every day and hope to get back soon.”

“Mrs. Timmons makes a great cup of coffee and we’ve been talking about the war and some of your columns. Let me ask you, Timmons, does she always agree with you?”

Tim laughed. “No John, she certainly doesn’t. But on the big stuff, stuff about the constant squabbling between Republicans and Democrats and some of their childish behaviors, she’s like a lot of us and doesn’t understand. She tries to live by God’s golden rule and wishes everyone else would do the same.”

“Glad to see you’re in good hands, Timmons. You be good to her because I surely know she’s good to you. God bless you both.”

And with that he was out the door. I can see why Tim likes him so much.

– Timmons is the chief executive officer of Sagamore News Media, the company that owns The Noblesville Times. He is a proud Noblesville High School graduate and can be contacted at