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| Jennifer Baker | Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Hayden Duke | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Cindy A. Rose |


As Long as We Remember...

September 12, 2019

Scribbler on Furlough

Harry M. Covert

Well now, an unexpected sabbatical was forced. The tap, tap tapping on the keyboard was silenced, not censored by the esteemed editor, but to the shock and travail of this scribbler.


Seldom have deadlines been missed over the years of harnessing word plays. Lots of us old newspaper gals and guys believe “Writing is an act of love. If it is not it is only handwriting.” That was penned by French poet and novelist Jean Cocteau, who started writing at 10 and published at 16.


To us columnizers, the Sage of Baltimore said: “There are no dull subjects. There are only dull writers.” Oh, that was H. L. Mencken, brought to life by the eminent Marion Elizabeth Rodgers. She wrote the definitive biography “Mencken: The American Iconoclast.” Wordsmiths of all categories should — no, must — absorb these pages.


The joy of filling these spaces in has been awesome. Readers have responded often, with all kinds of comments. Even objectors have been fun to receive. My favorite came from a longtime reader, “Harry, I love you but you are full of (expletive deleted).” She is probably correct.


There are so many topics in this day and age to inform, entertain and never quit. Pick the platform, locally, then statewide and, of course, on the national level. The 24-hour news cycle is a joy to behold.


My late friend Roy Meachum was a longtime Frederick County newspaper columnist. He kept the locals, especially in the political arena, always on their toes. He believed in keeping things stirred up. He did, too.


This agent has been filling blank pages for 60 or so years in the newspaper dodge. Never a dull moment.


To utter surprise, a recess became necessary. “My stars and garters,” I recalled my Aunt Tena’s exclaiming in unusual moments. A routine medical visit took the wind out of my sails a few days ago. Seems like the energy level was sapped. Vanity stepped in. A walking stick was called in. One wag wondered if a new style was being affected.


Several writing projects have had to be sidelined to much chagrin. Several visits to Frederick City’s medical experts, really geniuses, brought about answers for unexpected lethargy and concern.


The result of all the modern medical technological advances moves Friday to Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Medical Center, where the matter of six bladder tumors, thought to be cancerous, will be examined.


What the future holds is undecided at the moment. After Friday, hopefully the regular twice-weekly essays will resume on lots of exciting subjects. One story could be “How to reach octogenarian-hood.” Or, as many have said, “old age isn’t for sissies.”


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

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