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Staff column
Jeff Whitten NEW
Jeff Whitten is editor of the Bryan County News.

Random stuff:

First, my condolences to the family of Robert and Virginia Quattlebaum. I first got to meet the Quattlebaums several years ago and count myself lucky to have had that honor. My wife loves Pembroke’s flag display, thinks it’s among the prettiest sights in the Coastal Empire. I think she’s right. You can thank the Quattlebaums for much of that.

Second, an apology to Bill Anderson, the former Pembroke American Legion Post 164 commander. He was misidentified in a weird way as "Monroe" in a second-reference in a story in last week’s paper about honoring Vietnam veterans. Bill took the mistake in good stride and went so far as to say it was the most accurate report to date on the event honoring veterans of that long ago war. I appreciate that.

Still, it’s embarrassing. And I do apologize. I’m thinking somehow somebody in the process had one of those weird mental leaps that happen sometimes. One minute, you’re writing Bill Anderson, the next you’re thinking of old "Whispering Bill" Anderson of country music fame and next thing you know your mind is bumping into Bill "Blue Moon of Kentucky" Monroe.

Course, I don’t know if that’s what happened. I didn’t write the story. But I certainly didn’t fix the story.

Onward: Is it football season yet? I’m thinking this is the year South Carolina wins the SEC and beats Ohio State in the national championship. I do not like Buckeyes, largely because I blame Ohio for 75 percent the traffic problems we have these days. The remaining 25 percent is caused by refugees from northern states such as Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, New Jersey, Florida and Atlanta.

Finally, this: Since I am in newspapers, I am not qualified to criticize anybody. We are not known in our business for being smart. If we were, we wouldn’t be in newspapers.

We instead would be developers or bankers or hedge fund managers or lawyers, with full heads of wavy, dignified hair and baritones. Or, we’d be something cool, like astronauts who play in rock bands, sue people and build shopping centers in our spare time. And that’s only when we aren’t busy teaching real estate classes and getting glamor shots to make us look 20 years younger.

Instead, we’re in newspapers. Twenty years in newspapers is like 400 years in a real job. Our hair sticks out, we can’t tie our shoes and some of us smell funny, like we keep corn chips in our pockets.

But as much as I don’t know, I do know this, which I’ve written at least 300 times by now: if people walked around in crowds the same way they drive in traffic, there would be fist-fights every 20 seconds.

Do you think folks standing in a line would put up with some vapor puffing, cellphone talking teenybopper with one of those top-of-the-head pony tails running up to the front and cutting in at the last minute?

Would we let some creep walk around a half-centimeter behind us and shine LED flashlights over our shoulders to make us move faster?

I don’t think so. Now, go have a great weekend.

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