Local man pens unique thank yous for area places

It’s hard to find an organization or office in Wapakoneta that performs a service for others that doesn’t have a framed writing by a local man hanging on its wall.
James L. Matson Sr.’s writings can be found in the Auglaize County Courthouse, and throughout the county in police and fire stations, military posts and clubs, service clubs, recreational centers, post offices, nursing homes, libraries, schools, businesses and even homes.
But his writings — some prayers, some poems, others verses, all thank yous — extend beyond Auglaize County walls, as well. He also has framed writings on display in Lima, Spencerville and Shawnee. His writings about flooding in the South have been published in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Arkansas, Nebraska, Kentucky, Texas, Arizona, New Jersey and Tennessee. They have also been printed in a variety of
newspapers in Ohio and several statewide magazines. They have even been auctioned off, such as one he did recently for the Auglaize County Crisis Center Auction.
Matson, 72, started writing back in 1968. It wasn’t something he set out to do, but his thoughts would often wake him at night and an idea would come to him that he would have to write down. Ideas come to him almost as sporadically now, as he reads something, is driving down the road or often through the inspiration he gets sitting outside in his woods, where he does most of his writing.
“I feel close to nature out there,” said Matson, who also has written for the Ottawa River Coalition. “I had an inkling to write when I was young, but I didn’t know how to spell too good.”
He has since worn out more than one dictionary.
His father also used to write and Matson thinks he picked up the talent from him.
“I like what I do or I couldn’t do it,” he said.
Matson presents his writings free of charge to everyone but himself, having them specially printed and designed and then framing them. He writes about certain topics or the services an organization provides. Matson has written on 25 different topics and passed them out to at least 75 or 80 different places.
“You would be hard pressed to find a military post or organization in Wapak without something I wrote,” Matson said. “I’ve written so many, I forget just how many I have given away or where.”
Most of them he has distributed since he retired 2 1/2 years ago after a 30-year career with Ford.
For his efforts, he has been rewarded with hugs, kisses, smiles, handshakes and tears. He’s gotten a variety of reactions, none of which were negative.
“The one I am presenting to whoever I am presenting it to at that time is my favorite,” Matson said when asked.
“I do it because they are doing something for somebody else,” he said, noting that he will even do it for homeowners that he knows put extra time and effort in, such as Doris and Ken Weber. “When they do that, I feel they deserve a reward.”