My Friends from High Places
Every so often intelligent informed recipients of writers, commentators and word merchants of all stripes are entitled to knowing if the latter can honestly be considered worthy of their educated speculations, sentiments and assumptions.
Why not? It is perfectly plausible for consumers of these lines to wonder if they are being taken for a ride in the ideas department. Consider those in the editorial and scribbling trade. Opinions are like noses, everybody has one.
Those of us who have been in the newspaper dodge for years can fall back on days of experience. Just recall the days of fun and games and the people and events of those gaudy periods of wonderful memory.
It is important to remember that the good old days are now and that the wizened ones know the difference. They are kept in the loop of modern politics, community affairs and rumors and gossip. It can be amusing to believe the tales and the bearers. Occasionally the stretchers and chin-wagging (to borrow British slang) come true.
How does all of the “juicy stuff” arrive for the columnists? Well, people just blab it and say, “keep it to yourself,” “don’t ever say I told you,” “I just heard it,” or “everybody knows it. In my case, it seems that I am in the know.
Almost daily “Mr. O” alerts me to the latest from the White House. No kidding. I got the notice that signups of the Affordable Care Act had been counted at some eight million. That’s before widespread media reports inundated the pretty girls on the cable shows and even the local outlets. Yes, even before newspaper and online reports.
Then it wasn’t long that Nancy Pelosi, the former Speaker of the U.S. House, wrote me: “Dear Harry, we need you.” I was somewhat taken aback; I learned this was not the 1955 Miss Lube Rack from Baltimore. Nancy D'Alesandro Pelosi was indeed born in Baltimore and educated at Trinity College. I don’t know if she has ever campaigned or visited Frederick.
My personal contacts from the Capitol have increased greatly. One of the most frequent is from “my friend” Joe. He’s been keeping me posted on the coming House and Senate races. He’s said the future of the USA is depending on me. Now that is truly complimentary. What a burden to bear. I hope I can stand the stress.
I sure feel underwhelmed with all of the attention and my new personal friends. I did figure out that old Joe is really the inimitable Vice President, Joe Biden. The man from Delaware always carries a smile on his face, is at all times a pleasant television 10-second blurb, and is a good schmoozer. I thought he would give me the inside of his visit to Ukraine and other newsworthy “tourist” spots. I guess he is saving those notes for another time.
It can be fun to receive other notes from friends that I heretofore didn’t know as buddies.
It should have been mentioned earlier, but one of my “pals” is Dick Cheney, a good Methodist and 46th Vice President. We met once in Virginia and photographed together. He wasn’t wielding a rifle at the time. I often imagine what a ticket it would be if there were Mr. Cheney and Mr. Biden running the country. To my knowledge Methodists and Catholics have always gotten along. It would be great photo-ops to see them horsing around in Wyoming.
Also, “Michelle” has taken time to write. Almost as often as her mate.
I haven’t heard from “W” in recent years. I would like to ask George if and when his new graphic arts hobby will include a water color of “Mr. O.” That can wait.
One thing readers can understand; we news hounds have many friends. The list keeps growing enabling us to be on the inside of politics and all sorts of things important for Frederick’s community.
It is fun to be a namedropper. There were some notes of late from Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. After all I am a “Kentucky Colonel” signed and sealed by former Gov. John Y. Brown. Mr. Brown’s claim to fame these days is daughter, Pamela Brown. She jumped ship from a Washington news station to CNN. All the networks are now jealous. They should be.
I have received “personal” notes from John Boehner, the 61st Speaker of the House. He is known as the crying congressman from Ohio and a would-be Marlboro man. A nice note writer, too.
Mr. Boehner’s No. 2, Eric Cantor, is a popular Virginia congressman who sends regular communiqués. He’s smart and ambitious and may be included to succeed Bill Clinton’s acolyte Terry McAuliffe, who happens to be current Old Dominion governor.
Mr. McAuliffe’s payback is just beginning. He’ll have to become a national megaphone. Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary, has become a missive user; she hasn’t mentioned anything about being crowned the real First Woman. She has been making lots of moneyed speeches and could instead be crowned the First Grandmother.
Not all of my “friends” come from around the Beltway.
The epistolary intercourse continues and thankfully from Frederick’s own Kelly Schulz, Timothy Wesolek, Charles Lollar, Ken Timmerman, Douglas Gansler, George Wenschhof, Blaine Young, Walter Mills, Chuck Jenkins and Karl Bickel.
All friends seem to just call me buddy. Barely, perhaps. Friends have discovered electronic mail. They haven’t invited me to lunch or dinner. They have suggested some three or four dollar contributions.
Now I know how to save the future of America and keep the sky from falling here in Frederick.