It was quite a pleasant surprise this week when yours truly was presented with an item from the local organization that supports the U.S. Navy’s USS Arlington and its crew.
It is a commemorative belt buckle – the kind to be displayed, not worn – with a rendering of the ship, and was bestowed on me for having covered the ship, its crew and local efforts to support them from the genesis all those years ago to today.
Ordinarily I would not mention such things – of my many faults, self-promotion is not chief among them – but I remark on it because the belt buckles also are presented to the crew member of the quarter aboard the USS Arlington. It’s pleasing to be recognized in the same league, even though they of course are doing a lot more to earn it than I.
It will find a place of honor along with several other USS Arlington-themed items in my possession.
SPEAKING OF BELT BUCKLES: A big, shiny belt buckle kind of reminded me of Elvis Presley, who used to strap on such items to hold everything in place on those gloriously wild jumpsuits he wore while out on tour or performing at the Las Vegas Hilton in the 1970s.
I figure that, on the Elvis-o-scale, circumference-wise, I’m about circa 1974, when the king of rock and roll had started to plump up but had not yet become the zeppelin-sized performer that unfortunately was the case in his last couple of years.
(Having actually tucked a dress shirt into pants Wednesday — something that hasn’t happened much over the COVID years — to go to a special event, I definitely could notice a little snugness. Time for the treadmill!)
JUST KILL OFF THE LOCAL-NEWS STAFF AND BE DONE WITH IT: Rumblings of upcoming layoffs at The Washington Post are causing discontent among the rabble (er, news staff), and again serve as proof that the richest people in the world didn’t get that way by having a lot of excess staffing in their businesses.
One wonders if the staff reductions, slated for early next year, will see the beginning of the end, or maybe the end entirely, of local-news coverage, because clearly the Post’s heart isn’t in it and hasn’t been in it for some time.
(And if you think the ownership wouldn’t dare to kill off the flaccid remnants of its local-news operation, consider that the Post poobahs some years back completely axed the very good Gazette newspapers in Maryland without a second thought or look back. Their demise left, and continues to leave, a major hole in the communities they served.)
We’ll see how it goes. While it is nice to have the Post still doing local news, it has become such a haphazard undertaking that its loss, frankly, would not be the end of the world.
– Scott McCaffrey