News From Terre Haute, Indiana

April 25, 2013

RONN MOTT: What I don’t know

Ronn Mott
Special to the Tribune-Star

---- — I was watching a segment on the History Channel the other night while I waited for the end of “The Big Bang Theory” and a show I had seen before. It was “Sex in History.” And the two segments I watched were about Ben Franklin and Howard Hughes. Both were exceptional men, both were inventors and innovators, and both had large libidos. Almost everything on those two segments I already knew … mostly from reading, but some from good work on things like the History Channel.

It got me to thinking. It’s really not how much I know, but more about what I do not know. I’m sure my grandparents knew many things that will never, ever cross my mind. I am alive today because a non-practicing midwife saved me as a premature baby. The medical doctor in attendance told my father if he was fishing he would throw me back. I had a blockage in my urinary tract and probably would have died in a few hours (after the doctor had left the scene) had it not been for this older lady who used pioneer medicine and saved my life.

When I tell people this, the ins and outs of the story, most are amazed because it would never occur to them that watermelon seeds boiled in water and administered to a newborn would do what modern medicine of the day could not.  

As I read, and listen, I learn about technology I am totally at a loss to understand. In spite of that, I press on. I keep searching for those things I do not know. Since I am devoid of knowledge in many fields, I tend to concentrate on the ones I enjoy.

Of course, as I age every year, I still have a very long bucket list. I hope I can get most of it completed before I say “sayonara” to Mother Earth and tackle the greatest of all unknowns, that final effort called death.

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.