I usually try to acknowledge sources of Sudden Traffic once I notice them, but this one I stalled for a while to give the blush a chance to fade.
I mean, seriously here:
In another era not too long ago, Charles Hill would have been one of those celebrated newspaper columnists who were literally a part of the community’s collective psyche. Think Mike Royko in Chicago, Dave Barry in Miami, Lewis Grizzard in Atlanta sometimes brilliant, sometimes analytical, usually odd and humorous, sometimes confusing, but always a “must read.”
Geez. Usually when I’m mentioned in connection with someone at that level, it’s accompanied by a phrase like “desperately imitating.” If I’m desperately imitating anyone, it’s probably Frank B. Gilbreath Jr., author of Cheaper by the Dozen, and in his later years proprietor of “Doing the Charleston,” a column in The Post and Courier which he wrote under the name “Ashley Cooper.” I must admit here that I once (at age 13, I think) mailed a backhanded compliment to Mr Cooper for something or other, noting that it was a pleasant change from his usual idiocy; Cooper duly reproduced the letter and explained that in polite society, which Charleston certainly was, we are kind to idiots like him. (Lessons in life come from the damnedest places.) “Ashley” and “Cooper” are, of course, the two rivers which meet at Charleston to form the Atlantic Ocean.
Anyway, since traffic from that little blurb by the Oklahoman’s Steve Lackmeyer is abating somewhat, I figured it was safe to pass it on to my own readership, with the caution that while I really love the idea of myself as Great Metropolitan Columnist, I can’t imagine any set of circumstances under which I might actually attain that status. Still, to quote either Bartles or Jaymes, I thank him for his support.