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December 26, 2012

It’s the Morning After…

Norman M. Covert

We have all day to play with toys that Santa unloaded under the tree yesterday and plenty of leftovers in the fridge to satisfy our pleasure-induced hunger. At least that’s my situation as I wind down and realize the unfinished chore really doesn’t matter today.


There is the model of the Titanic, the toy soldiers and tanks, the fire trucks with their flashing lights and horns, my newest Santa coffee mug and the Pinewood Derby Car kits.


The Oysters and Shrimp went fast yesterday. The roast chicken is decimated, the lasagna and crab concoction are memory, and we are left with the veggies everyone picked at; so much for government guidelines.


I’ll check out the cookies and any leftover pie for a sumptuous breakfast. We made sure of an abundance of the sweet and pleasurable victuals. They must not be allowed to spoil!


Today also is news hiatus day. The cable news shows are blocked (I rarely watch network news) and I’ll be jumping between the Western Channel, Turner Classic Movies and my collection of John Wayne’s “oaters.” I’ll also look for “The Christmas Story” for just one more viewing.


I long ago darkened any channel carrying the NBA’s version of bad-boy basketball. I also have lost my curiosity for college football, so that won’t be on the flat screen.


Who can keep up with the differing collegiate athletic conferences, anyway, or tolerate the bad behavior of both coaches and players. I’m glad that many enjoy professional and college football, I am at the age now where it is more fun to remember the good old days and the long-gone rah-rah atmosphere of the “stadium.”


I don’t want to be reminded today of economic “cliffs,” coming disaster January 1-2, 2013, or the cast of characters along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. I would only comment here that we did wish that the inside-the-beltway cabal could receive any droppings from Santa’s reindeer Monday night. Coal is too valuable an energy source to waste in their stockings.


Santa Claus has been a welcome break from all the hand wringing and posturing of the past year. It was even worth the three-hour wait last Saturday to meet Santa at the Francis Scott Key Mall. He was energetic and jolly, oblivious to the throngs.


You’d never know there was an economic crisis. The FSK Mall parking lot was jammed to capacity from Sears to Macy’s and points in between. By comparison, perhaps it was not as much gridlock as previous years, but still it was a challenge to risk face-to-face shopping.


On-line shopping is easy; but, by last weekend, it was a bit late to have anything shipped in time.


It was also terrific to see the parking lot at Boscov’s in the Fredericktown Mall full, too, and there was Home Depot at the other end with its usual heavy dose of do-it-yourselfers.


Sadly, in between Boscov and Home Depot was a tomblike edifice, occupied only by the hardcore Hallmark Store, the last vestige of a shopping center once crammed to the gills as the FSK Mall is this year.


Few even “walk” the Fredericktowne Mall. It once had a culture of senior citizens and other health conscious citizens who walked in teams, the regimen including the ambiance of refreshments and conversation.


A barrier partway down the concourse from Boscov’s blocks where Santa once reigned at the doors of J. C. Penney and Bon-Ton department stores.


Montgomery Ward once flourished where Home Depot thrives. Boscov’s has a sign warning customers it will close the doors leading to the mall concourse at 5 P.M., but changed that to 6 P.M. to give the Hallmark store a little help.


Did simple mismanagement kill the Fredericktown Mall? It is a puzzler that so many families living in single family homes, townhouses and all manner of apartment clusters believed they would get better value for their money driving down the highway to shop at FSK Mall.


That’s a discussion for another day, though. Right now the passenger cars on the Lionel jumped track at the switch, the locomotive is awry behind the Christmas tree and it’s time to switch to the vintage freight rolling stock.


As a final note, here’s hoping you are having a joyous Christmas season; your New Year’s Eve celebration plans are set; and the past Kings of Mardi Gras have RSVP’d to Nancy Wynn. They are expected at Steiner House January 6 for the Twelfth Night unveiling of the 2013 royalty.


Happy New Year 2013 to our publisher John Ashbury; to you dear reader; and the energetic writing crew of It’s always a fun ride.


Yellow Cab
The Morning News Express with Bob Miller
The Covert Letter

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