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Just wondering about a few things - Bob Paslay

This close to the election, I have decided that nothing I can say

about the races would influence anyone and so I withstand the temptation to take one last shot.

I am certainly a political junky and know the boxscores like friends of mine know baseball trivia and so it is tough not to yak some more about it.

I was reading the Margaret Dowd book on George Bush over the weekend at my local bookstore. Two things jumped out at me and I make comment, knowing I am on the fringe of violating the pledge I just made.

First, she points out that in eight years as president, Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy never once invited Bush's father, their v.p., to the family quarters for a supper or dinner or breakfast. I love breaking bread with people, being Southern and all. If I had a whole staff of cooks and servers, I would be inviting people over all the time. In my case, it's hard to have a dinner party with frozen T.V. dinners.

I just can't understand people sometimes. I know all about picking vice presidents for the ticket balancing and what he or she could bring to the ticket. I know that senior Bush had a few pointed things to say about Reagan in the primaries, including voodoo economics. But get over it. If for no other reason, maybe you'll get invited back to the White House after your term is out and your v.p. is president.

I know it is hard looking across the table and seeing the person who will take your job if something happens to you. In corporate America, even the nasty mean corporations keep your replacement out of sight until they boot you out.

The second thing that jumped out at me in Dowd's book was the fact that the current Bush president brags about not reading the paper. He relies on staff to read it and tell him if anything is important.

You will think this is self-serving because I make my living doing this. But I promise it is not. I can't imagine getting through the day without reading the newspaper. Even if you just want to read your horoscope and a couple of comics and the headlines, you feel connected by reading it. I confess to going on vacation and reading the local papers to find out what is hot and interesting in that town. Sometimes a story is in the paper that is inspiring about someone local overcoming some obstacle or helping out someone else. Sometimes there are funny little stories about a bank robber who gives the teller a holdup note on the back of his own deposit slip. Sometimes there is an article on something or someone I am just naturally curious about.

There is a rule I find to be true. If you read a new author or discover a new place to visit or some new concept, within a week or two there is going to be something in the paper about it. It just always seems to happen to me.

If you banned me from reading papers, I have to confess that as I walked into the Waffle House for lunch, I would let my eyes creep over to the newspaper box and read a few headlines without getting caught.

Imagine the concept of newspapers. People get paid to go to meetings, interview people in the news, rush out to fires and wrecks and other happenings. They get paid to be nosey. Then these people work hard at writing the events in such a way that they are informative and entertaining. Other people in the newsroom read the stories and ask questions, the very questions you might be asking if they weren't answered. Those same people ask the writer: Have we been fair, have we got both sides, have we got a picture or a map or a chart that would help illustrate the story and make it easier to understand? The answer is yes because others like photographers and graphics people are busy doing this throughout the day.

And then other people get up early in the morning and bring that paper right to your door and load racks with it to make it easy to find.

How, I ask myself, does anyone get through life without reading the paper? Who would want to walk out of their house at night and not see the moon and wonder what happened to it? Who would want there to be a meeting at which your taxes might be raised and not have a chance to go to it and voice your objection? Who would want to go down and buy a product and later find out the store across the street had the same item 25 percent off? Not me.

Bob Paslay is assistant managing editor of the News Daily and Daily Herald. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753 Ext. 257 or at bpaslay@news-daily.com .