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Advertise on the Tentacle

June 7, 2013

The Art of Grilling

Harry M. Covert

This has been an interesting week in Frederick. The grass had been cut. It was time to nap. A relaxing afternoon? Not quite. Just as eyelids closed neighbors burst into the house and in loud voices, “somebody has smashed the car window.”


Dreams of the pleasant grilling of some magnificent shrimp with some t-bone steaks were suddenly spoiled. The rear passenger door window was smashed with glass bits all over the front yard and in the street.


The culprits – or brats – were nowhere to be seen up and down the street. Nor were any bicycles discovered racing away toward Seventh Street toward the dangerous and busy lanes.


A call to Frederick’s police brought a rapid response, less than five minutes. A quick probe didn’t find anything stolen from the vehicle. Then an insurance call was prompted: arrangements were made for a new window installation within a few days. No minimum and no out of pocket expenses.


Still looming were grilled sweet corn, brushed with garlic butter and made the evening delightful. Then it was time to get back to the important work of looking at the political events getting under way.


All this began at an early morning breakfast with opinionators, par excellence, at a popular eatery on West Patrick Street. All the political watchers were having breakfast cuisine. A blueberry waffle set the stage for a least one. The dean enjoyed some grits and butter. Another expert extolled everyone through a short stack of pancakes. The free-for-all was underway.


Actually, no one’s crystal ball grabbed the spotlight until one of the young commentators, who actually knows what he’s talking about, regaled the group. He told a tale of one local upstart politico, lecturing him on how to contact politicos. “Write it, write it,” the chorus shouted.


Believe it or not, some politicians are merely blowhards and dilettantes and would never dare to chastise a much older reporter. Had it been this correspondent, verbatim reporting would be seen, heard and read everywhere.


No wonder members of the Fourth Estate can get bellies full of alleged do-gooders disguising themselves with statehouse participations.


News gatherers, even the broadcast ones, usually get good beads on candidates and those wannabes. This is good reason, thanks to Mr. Truman, word merchants need only tell the truth. The politicians will think they’re catching heck. Most of them should any way.


The general public enjoys knocking around reporters many times. They are forgetful that without the prying eyes of the press (today’s favorite word is media) citizens wouldn’t stand a chance. Without sunshine laws, particularly the Freedom of Information statutes, politicians would runamuck. They can be shifty and sneaky.


All public boards are to be public and open to scrutiny. Thankfully, the judiciary around these parts knows the law and enforces them. Often, especially in this time of campaigning and elections, ambitious personages will send in their investigators and clamp down on perpetrators. Obviously the results will be good media coverage.


Trustees of a local college should take caution and let the “sunshine in” on deliberations without delay.


Grilling at this time of year is most appealing. It’s better in the backyard than in a solemn room where questioners need not worry about concealed carry permits.


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