Before I actually get back to work after finally posting Paul’s column, a few words as to why I haven’t been posting.
Mainly, it’s been three things, although there’s plenty of other stuff going on:
- I’ve been trying to rearrange my home office, which mainly has consisted of building new bookshelves of my own rather unusual, rustic design (made mostly with treated wood left over from the revamp of our deck a couple of years ago, which my wife has been eager to see me use or take to the dump). That, and cleaning out the big closet in the same room, space that could be much better used. This project alone, which is still in progress, would have been enough to keep any normal person from blogging.
- In the middle of all that, we had new windows installed in our house. So I had to rearrange the wreckage in the office so the workmen could get to the windows, and do the same in varying degrees with furniture all over the house. The biggest part was taking down all the louvered wooden shutter-type blinds in most of the windows. The windows are in, and since that happened last Wednesday, we’ve been installing curtains to replace the blinds, which went to the Habitat ReStore.
- And in the middle of those things, after a week in which hours were wasted in struggling to reconnect to our wifi, we switched internet providers. This has been fubar in most respects since the start. We’re on I think our fourth new router. The second was FedExed to us to replace the faulty first one. When that one didn’t work (something Spectrum was able to confirm, again, remotely), an increasingly frustrated repair guy spending a couple of hours installing a third one, and, when that didn’t work either, a fourth one. Since then, part of every day has been spent reestablishing contact with one or more of the dozen or so devices in our home that depend on wifi. I’m down to one that still isn’t working, and I’m trying to get in touch with the device’s manufacturer.
And lots of other stuff. For instance, this morning we were on the phone with our old internet service provider to make sure we knew how to send back their equipment so we don’t have to pay some outrageous sum for it.
Of course, there have been good things about all this. One was that, when I was moving some books onto one of those new bookcases, an envelope fell out of one of the books, and I opened it and found these two pictures, above and below.
Well, y’all know how much I liked John McCain, so I was glad to find them. I didn’t know any pictures of him and me together existed, much less that I had a couple of prints of them.
Obviously, because of the setting — The State‘s editorial boardroom — this is before or after an interview with the board. Probably an endorsement interview, given some of the people I see in the room. The question was, 2000 or 2008?
Then, in looking closely at the one below, I saw it was 2000, just before South Carolina’s Republican primary. You may notice that in both pictures, you can barely see that there are people standing directly behind both McCain and me, like shadows, making it look like our heads and shoulders are kind of doubled around the edges. But in the one below, the figure behind McCain is emerging slightly from full eclipse, and I can see that it’s Fred Mott — who was my publisher in 2000, but long gone in 2008.
Ironically, Fred is the reason Sen. McCain didn’t get our endorsement that year. Fred wanted to back George W. Bush. The fateful decision was made in a board meeting immediately after this interview. We normally worked by consensus, but this time, being so divided, we actually took a counted vote. It was something of a mess, since some in the room (my good friend Robert Ariail, for instance) weren’t technically members of the board under normal circumstances. But anyway, it was a 50-50 split. And I could see no graceful way to dispute the idea that in a 50-split, the publisher’s side wins.
Let me be clear — Fred is a great guy, for whom I have great respect. He was just wrong this time. If you want to know the reasons why, I’ll let you know if I also find the 4,000-word memo I sent him several days before this meeting. Anyway, I lost that one, but we endorsed McCain in 2008.
Anyway, I’m glad to have these pictures. Now, back to work…