Friday, July 18, 2008

The Newspaper Clippings

A few years ago I realized that I'm still of a generation that reads the newspaper. To me, reading the newspaper is a daily ritual, a way to begin the day. I rise early enough to make a pot of coffee, trek the hundred yards down my driveway to the mailbox in the boxer shorts my mother buys me at Christmas, dodge headlights in the darkness, and then back to the house for a quiet read at the bow window in my office (easing into the rocking chair) as the sun rises.

Done this for years. Kind of "old-manish", but it still works for me. I don't watch television news, don't do internet news, don't listen to radio, don't text message, don't yi-fi or google, so the paper must suffice. Kind of a staple.

Now, if there's a downside to the newspaper, it's that clippings can mount up. My wife clips abundantly, and this summer she's been cleaning out large coffins filled to the brim with clippings--old stuff yellowed with age, some so brittle they nearly fall apart at the touch. She found several clippings about me that she has saved over the years.

Her favorite is a profile written a few years ago in which the journalist described me as a "salt-and-pepper Clark Gable."

"Clark Gable is dead," she reminds me.

"Yeah, and I'll bet he's not lookin' too good these days, either," I tell her. "A lot more salt than pepper, if you know what I mean."

"Kind of like you," she says.

"Just clip," I tell her. "Don't comment."

She laughs as she crumples up my photograph and tosses it in the trash. Funny, I always seem to end up there, kissing yesterday's coffee grounds. But hey, that's journalism.

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