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December 6, 2018

No Redactions, Smiles and Handshakes

Harry M. Covert

One of my most avid note senders suggested recently that I consider redacting my space here, at least today. Naturally wanting to accommodate the faithful, I almost fell for what I took as a gag.

 

Let me explain. Even the editor of this space said he was too busy to pore over any rants. After watching the TV installation of the new Frederick County government, he had to rush to his blacksmith, that’s right, to his horseshoer, for a new lock for his wallet. Momentarily I fell for it.

 

Where in the world are there any smithys or an ironsmith? I’m too lazy to google the answer at this point.

 

In reality we do receive some agreeable observations. There are some more profound and a few profane. Only a few critics have used words like “dumb, an idiot, a nut,” and others more abundantly precise. They are filed “redacted.”

 

These, though, are nice reminders; they often keep us on the straight and narrow path. I usually respond “as always, you are right.” Yes, I mean it.

 

There are times when this phrase could be appropriate, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say ‘nuthin’ at all.” Not possible, probably, when wordsmiths are trying to stir up some conversation or angst. Human nature, I can remind, likes splashy, titillating and nasty news – when it’s about others.

 

A reminder for those who may have forgotten, years ago a Pennsylvania newspaper decided to print only good and happy news. It wasn’t long before paying subscribers dropped off and the well-intentioned publication succumbed to a sad death. The tabloids and grocery store papers keep selling even without brown wrappings.

 

After Wednesday’s uplifting lamentations, it’s back to business. Definitely no redactions here, but we should reconsider words and phrases occasionally. Tepidly, I mean about those toward others.

 

Good news and tales of derring-do should always be in fashion. Of course they are. Forget what the Chicago businessman Al Capone said: “You can get much farther with a smile, a kind word and a gun than you can with a smile and a kind word."

 

Smiles and handshakes do go a long way, thankfully. No doubt in that. Effective, too.

 

This is getting deep I know. George Herbert Walker Bush’s wit and wisdom leaves lots to be learned and followed. Why not? Still kind and courteous.

 

There were no redactions or blackouts from the Washington National Cathedral yesterday.

 

Seeing the current president and all the exe-s sitting together did show the world they can get along in public, at least for an hour, or so. Today is a different story.

 

It would have been exciting to know the thoughts raging through the minds of those prominent. Well, maybe not. They all have feelings. We all do.

 

Letter writing is good, not out of style.

 

By the way, I did search for a blacksmith. If you need one, just write.

 

hmcovert@gmail.com

 



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