Doesn’t it seem like summer just started? But here we are, the cusp of August. Someone ought to put a stop to time zipping by like this.
We watched a couple of classic movies this weekend. Jaws, the 1975 thriller, and Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, the 1948 classic with Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. So many good lines, in both of them. As his lawyer friend Bill Cole tells Blandings, “You’ve been taken to the cleaners, and you don’t even know your pants are off.” Or this father-daughter exchange, about the wonderful “forced to sell” classified ad:
Betsy Blandings: Miss Stellwagon has assigned each of us to take a classified ad and write a human-interest theme about it. I found one typical of the disintegration of our present society.
Jim Blandings: I wasn’t aware of the fact that our society WAS disintegrating.
Betsy Blandings: I wouldn’t expect you to be, Father. Miss Stellwagon says that middle class people like us are all too prone to overlook …
Indeed. I think maybe we should put Miss Stellwagon onto Facebook, let her beat up on Mark Zuckerberg for a while. There’s an outfit that needs monitoring.
And yes, there are jarring moments in today’s time, such as Gussie, the black housekeeper, developing the new slogan that Blandings would appropriate to save his job.
We are starting to get more letters related to the fall elections, and I’m thrilled. This, friends, is democracy in action, not trolls and Russians and fake stuff on Facebook that is designed to confirm your biases while you are shown yet another bit of advertising. Here, in the Courier, you get genuine opinions from your neighbors about things of import.
Intensely local stuff. I worked for a top editor once whose mantra was that local items trumped news taken from the wires almost every time. He had a phrase for these stories from afar, “space potatoes from Mars.”
So, send me more letters. Limit them to 500 words. Be specific. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your town and phone (yes, regretfully, there are people who try to scam the Letters to the Editor section). We print almost all of them. Please send as a Word document, not a PDF; it simplifies us translating to the printed page.
Until next week.
Douglas Cunningham is publisher of both the Courier and its sister paper the Putnam County News and Recorder, in Cold Spring. You can reach Cunningham at 845-265-2468.