|By Jack Cawthon|
Some months back I was jolted by the news that the Hur Herald was suspending operations. I would have donned sackcloth and ashes as prescribed in the Good Book but didn't know where to find sackcloth as we no longer have feed sacks that once contained food for farm animals. ( My mother would cut up those sacks to make various pieces of clothing.) All I had were Kroger sacks and they were plastic.
But each morning, by habit, I would punch up the Herald site and there it was, maybe a little less news, but by golly still on with its cyber life.
I noticed that from time to time there would be a column, which I began to read and to think this guy is a great writer. The name looked familiar, but when you get to be my age names sometimes get lost in the foreclosed files of the memory bank. Then, one day it hit me: the name! Did I write that stuff? It sounded (blush) so good!
And so it has gone but, fortunately, not departed.
The Herald was stumbling along and dragging me rerunning and smiling along with it. Ah, vanity , how sweet thy name! But how much longer to the end?
Bob Weaver and I have a sort of tradition of talking around new year's, and this year I heard a Weaver with a lilt to his voice.
Rumors of the death of the Herald were vastly exaggerated, I found, as Mark Twain once remarked about his own demise.
Weaver told me the Herald had sunk some in readership after announcing its coming end, but now had picked up as many or more readers than ever.
In addition, he was not knocking himself out going out at all hours covering minor news happenings, but was concentrating on major news that sometimes the dailies ignored and was even bringing back obituaries, at which point I told him I would appreciate them as I might make fresh copy instead of old reruns.
Whatever, it seemed to be working and he was even being approached by advertisers, but, he added, the Herald was far from self- supporting.
He inquired about Big Puf and my contacts there and I assured him that I still keep in touch mostly through Arley Cleeter, who is progressive as outsiders usually are, and has internet service, but who is so far out on the frontier that US mail beats it by days at times. (So much for "snail mail".)
As my bones have grown more brittle with age, I don't visit as often, especially at Christmas, when peace and goodwill to men becomes more a piece of each other, as brawls seem to spring up more often, many times with the wrong sort of Christmas spirits.
Anyway, I would report the best that I am able should any of my readers of the past, numbering in the high single digits be interested, although I may be able to count them now on the stem of my little finger.
I do know that the Orange Roughage Catfish, once in danger in its need for massive pollution for survival, suffered when Lester T. Archabald IV, coal baron, hit a stream of pure clean water from his St. Peter No. 3 mine and began draining it into Big Puf Crick and killing off the little suckers.
He was promptly closed down by environmental agencies and various forms of pollution were improvised, such as bringing in out of state garbage. Conditions looked hopeless, but fortunately oil and gas drilling opened up, and with the addition of fracking wastes added to the water the Orange Roughage is alive and well.
Also, Archabald is seeing new life in the coal business, credited to the removal of nasty regulations by our current, as of the writing, president. Archabald, who has been working in fast food over on Little Wheeze, plans to reopen the Blowing Smoke No. 7 mine and bring his Degenerated Coal Company out of bankruptcy through the aid of Russian investors, according to rumors, which most folks attribute to fake news. (Amazingly, I had been accused of that long before it became popular.)
So you see, even Big Puf has breaking news which might break someone of my age if not handled with care. While the saying goes that age is only a number, if my age number now had been my grade point average in college, well, I might have amounted to something, such as a witness in a Congressional hearing.
As it is, be sure to stay turned in, or turned on, whatever the choice, but above all else: The Herald Lives!! At least, as long as you keep those contributions coming in for health food!
Contact Jack Cawthon firstname.lastname@example.org