It’s just too hot to write
It has been too hot to write a column, but here we go again after some 75-plus years!
What are we saying? If my math is correct, it has been 76 years that we have been typing some kind of a column for the newspaper here and even over in Delaware. I started it at the age of 15. I was a junior in high school and went into Glenn James, then editor of the paper, and said he had all these ladies writing community news from every town in the county, but needed a teenage column. No, he said, I don’t have money for another column. I said, that’s OK, I’ll do it for free. So we started “Dots and Dashes by Dan” for a couple of years.
When Uncle Sam drafted me out of college, I was fortunate enough to get into public relations at Camp Lee, Va., the largest quartermaster camp in the nation, some 40,000 troops. We had a large PR office and did daily news releases for the press, plus our own weekly called The Lee Traveler, named after General Lee’s horse.
Besides my work at the office, they allowed me to write a weekly column for the Record-Observer that I named “This Army Life.” After a while, I was receiving V-Mail (that was the type of mail the PO dept. allowed soldiers to use free of charge during the war) from local guys all over the world because the Record-Observer was sending the paper free to them when the family would give the soldier’s address to the paper.
When I was discharged, I still had a job at the Record-Observer and continued my column, calling it “This Wonderful Life,” but changing it later to “Lookin’ Around,” using my glasses as a logo in the heading. When I went with the Delaware State News in Dover as associate editor later, I wrote a column for the daily called “The Marylander,” since we had an edition of the paper that was sent over here on the Maryland side of the Delmarva Peninsula.
After returning to Centreville and another job with the Record-Observer, I finally decided it was time to retire from daily work, but Janice Colvin, the editor then, wanted me to continue the column, so we did and it is still coming at you on a weekly basis. As long as folks tell me they enjoy reading it, I will keep on keepin’ on, as my dad used to say!
JOIN THE PLAN
Did you receive a note from the Goodwill Fire Company regarding the company’s ambulance plan? It is a good deal for the entire family living in the same house at $50 a year. I am not sure what the regular charge is for an emergency run to the hospital in the ambulance, but it is a heckuva lot more than $50.
Also, we could use a few more volunteer drivers or care providers. If you think you can help, call 410-758-1422. You will have to leave a message, so someone will return your call. I’m the senior member of the company now at 70 years of service, so I hope more of my reader-friends who are not members will consider this idea.
ANYONE WANT A CALENDAR?
Those beautiful 2017 calendars are arriving in the mail, even if you don’t ask for them.
I’m sure my reader-friends get them as we do. So far, we have received six: two came from SPCA, and one each from the Humane Society of the U.S., the World Wildlife Fund, the National Wildlife Federation and Best Friends. All of them are beautiful views or great shots of animals. Of course, they all want money for their calendars.
I’m not sure how many more we will get, but I think we got a dozen last year. If anyone would like a calendar, let me know.
TALK TO THE FARMER
Let my good newspaper buddy, George Delaplaine, up Frederick way, take over the rest of the column as he writes a monthly newsletter to his friends and included this piece for August: Good Eatin’ Ahead American agricultural production of grains, meat and milk has been increasing over the past several years and is sending prices for a good many products to their lowest levels in years.
With a short shelf life, milk has been converted to cheese, and cheddar particularly can be kept frozen for years. While Americans eat 36 pounds of cheese a year, there is enough in cold storage for everyone to eat an extra three pounds to consume the surplus.
America’s dairy farmers are expected to produce 21.4 billion pounds of milk this year, the most in history. The drop in dair y prices this year poses a new test for the industry, which since the 2012 Farm Bill, hasn’t had the cushion of U.S. government stockpiling products to support prices.
The excess supply should mean relief for shoppers. Retail prices for cheese were down 4.3 percent in April from a year earlier, according to market research from IIRI. USDA projects consumer beef prices to fall as much as 2 percent while pork prices could decline by 0.5 percent.
Next we’ll have to concentrate on exercise to work off all the extra weight.