The Times has graciously granted me the opportunity to use this space once more to write a farewell on behalf of my husband, Joseph Benham.

Here’s an idea that I hope will appeal to readers: As you plan your celebrations of our nation’s independence, picture yourselves getting ready in the same way that George Washington’s troops did, as the Revolutionary War dragged on until peace was declared in 1783.

It was an approach that startled even jaded theatergoers and drama critics: As the curtain rose on the latest Broadway musical, the only person in sight was a woman past middle age, seated on a stool, silently churning butter!

Please note, my credentials for assessing the Florida massacre are two-fold: We’ve experienced terrorism first-hand, and I know something of the long history of violent movements here and abroad.

As music from “Carousel” reminds us, “June is bustin’ out all over,” and there’s no better time to recognize as many timely and praise-worthy things in our beautiful Hill Country as space allows.

Time was that in much of Texas and most of the Old South, about all that it took for a typical politician to be elected or returned to office were assurances that he’d be more effective than his opponent in “keeping African-Americans in their place” — except that he didn’t say “African-Americans.”

“Those thrilling days of yesteryear” don’t belong exclusively to the heroic Lone Ranger. There’s also a legion of musicians there, whose vast works bear the twin labels big-band era and “Songs That Got Us Through World War II.”

From pastors to police, doctors to teachers, school trustees to sheriff’s deputies, utility workers to firefighters and yes, even journalists, our beautiful area is replete with folks responding to noble callings — including nursing.

While most newsprint and airtime were being devoted over the weekend to the NBA, Kentucky Derby, PGA golf and Major League Baseball, a lot of Hill Country student athletes were winning one title after another — some at the expense of big-city schools.