(05/03/2021)
By Jack Cawthon
As I write this I am wearing a mask to prevent sending a computer virus. I suggest you do the same as I can’t maintain a proper social distance from the computer, and most importantly, I have always been anti-social myself. Some readers have told me that long before the pandemic they always wore a mask while reading my column as it provided a good coverage for the nose. I thanked them for sharing that with me.

For something like two years I have been absent from active duty at the Herald. The executive editors honored me by choosing to do reruns of my columns. As I read those old columns, there is a feeling that is difficult to describe, but perhaps I can sum it up in one word: vanity! As of this writing I am coming to you live, but not overly lively.

As Mark Twain once said, or perhaps it was Adolph Hitler (I don’t research this stuff, I just write it) when rumors had spread about his death: the rumors of his death have been greatly exaggerated . And that can be one result formed from reruns.

You need only look at some of the old TV shows now rerunning. Take Gunsmoke. For something like 20 years or so Matt Dillon maintained his fast draw. We saw Matt age but never flinch. Then not long back, Matt in his 80s, took a slow draw of breath and departed this earthly plain to ride the heavenly ones where the liberals have banned all guns. It may become boring but, ah, Matt there are the reruns.

Then there are the Cartwrights. Don’t have information on them but ol’ Hoss was always overweight and the dad was up in years. Chances are they have found the big bonanza where all the herds are rounded up by ghost riders in the sky.

Finally there is Perry Mason. He was a lawyer who never lost a case and never seemed to charge for his services. Before Perry there was no doubt where to send the lawyers. Now he may become a Supreme counselor representing just one major client full time.

Well, you see my point. I have long been in reruns and people may assume about me as they did Mark Twain.

I still have time to correct some of those old columns, as what people speak and write can live on forever without having it heavenly programmed. It’s called a computer hard drive.

Oh yes, words can come back to haunt one. In many of the past blathering I expressed my dedication as a Republican. Oh the humanity! And that may say it. It’s difficult not to be a cynic as I have been let down so many times in my life. First it was Santa Claus, then the Easter Bunny and then, and then, worst of all Richard Nixon. Then along came George Junior Bush and there you have it friends!

So you see why I have come out even destroying my image as a classic. I can still make amends. But to hedge my bets my next project is to visit my favorite haunt up in Preston County, the old cemetery on the top of the knoll, where we have always observed social distancing; my friends are six feet underground and I have been on top so far. They wouldn’t want to contaminant me and I certainly wouldn’t want to harm them as my 20 years in a mental institution, even if fully accredited, might still be contagious even for you folks who read this.

Fair warning, OK? Well, you can take off the mask now as you may have already distanced yourself from me.

Personal note: I do appreciate the Herald for considering my writing worth rerunning and for you readers, however few of you, for not becoming bored or expressing it if you have. It’s been a rather tough two years for me and my family. I may try a come-back, but you may recall some of the old TV shows that tried that!


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