Joe Phillips

Wishing and wanting are different things.

To want something is to be willing to put forth effort for it. Wishing is just a pipe dream.

I have always wished to be taller. I was too short for some things and never too tall for anything.

The average height of American men is about 5'9”. It has been a long time since we had a president shorter than that.

President William McKinley was 5' 7” and since then all presidents have been 5' 9” or taller.

(While we're at it, President Lincoln was the tallest at 6' 4” and President Madison the shortest was 5' 4”.)

Height has been desirable for ages.

In the theater of the Middle Ages star actors wore raised shoes to stand taller among the crowd.

French King Louis XIV wore high heels to stand taller than his “lessors,” as if being the king wasn't enough.

All of the males in the Kansas Woman’s family stood above six feet. In family photographs I'm up front with the gals.

My granddaughter “Little Miss Phillips” was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up and replied, “Tall.”

Girls want to be able to look up to a guy

When I was a college student there was a couple everyone noticed.

Larry was the tallest guy on campus at 6'10” and played center on the basketball team. His cheerleader girlfriend, “Bitsy,” short for Elizabeth, was the shortest girl at under five feet.

Some things are fixable. You can buy a toupee to cover a bald noggin as I had to do as a television weather man. There was a glow around my head caused by fuzz where hair was supposed to be. A hair piece fixed that.

There is a fix for the vertically challenged, “lifts.”

They are shoe inserts and can raise one's height by over two inches.

Tall people enjoy certain advantages. Girls didn't want to be seen with a guy shorter than she. I think that is still the case. If tall is better, taller is more better.

An obvious exception is women of normal height who are attracted to horse racing jockeys.

Jockeys are not tall and have weight limitations. Bill Shoemaker was 4'10” and weighed a hundred pounds. Maybe.

I read of a study that concluded that among a group of equally qualified men interviewing for a job the tallest had the advantage.

A study at the Australian National University showed that height was related to earnings.

The study was duplicated in America and England, finding that tall men earned about $789 more per inch.

There is another side. Tall people spend more on clothing, shoes and modifications such as taller sinks and ceilings, longer beds. They require larger cars, more expensive airplane seats

In height I'm about average or less and am content believing it is better to have loved a short girl and lost than never to have loved a tall.

Joe Phillips writes his “Dear me” columns for several small newspapers. He has many connections to Walker County, including his grandfather, former superintendent Waymond Morgan. He can be reached at