A.C. Snow

Change is hard to come by for many of us – Snow

Reader Ed Thomas is concerned that recent changes in our newspaper signal the N&O’s move toward a digital newspaper.

“While my arguments with the N&O are legion, I would really miss the ‘feel’ and the ability to scan around in the newspaper,” he said. “Too many things are being improved out of existence.”

Not to worry, Ed. I shared your concern with N&O Executive Editor John Drescher, who said, “Digital is our future, as our growth in readership and ad revenue is with our digital platforms. However, print is still important to us, and we know many of our readers prefer print. We hope to produce a print newspaper for a long time.”

I can identify with Ed’s concern. Life seems to be beset by constant changes, some of which make us feel uneasy.

The milkman who once left the sweet acidophilus and the half-and-half at the back door is seen no more. Neither is the fellow who once read the electric meter every month. Front door laundry pickup is a thing of the past.

Even the garbage collectors with whom we exchanged pleasantries have been replaced by a mechanical arm that at street side reaches out and clutches the garbage and recycle containers, empties them into the truck and returns them to the lawn.

So N&O readers who, when they don’t find their newspaper on their driveway every morning, can’t help feeling like children who have lost their security blankets.

Purple language

Thanks for your deluge of “cuss words,” enough to launch a new dictionary.

A typical one comes from Becka Powers of Hendersonville.

“My grandmother would say ‘tarnation’ and my mother would say ‘damnation’ when provoked. Once, I hit my head coming out of the root cellar and said ‘damn it’ while seeing stars. My mother’s window was open and she heard me. For months afterwards, she prayed that I would not go to hell for saying ‘damn it.’”

A real prob

Several readers responded to the recent reference to Gov. McCrory’s over-use of the expression “At this point in time.”

Terry Allen, who moved here three years ago from Providence, R.I. , says that another common language mannerism that annoys him is the widespread use of “no prob,” as a poor substitute for “Thank you.”

I suppose it would be rude to say to a “no prob” person, “Yes, there is a prob. The prob is your substituting ‘no prob’ for ‘thank you.’”

Historical humor

Raleigh has become a cultural mecca of note with its varied access to the North Carolina Symphony, the state Museum of Art, The Raleigh Little Theatre, the North Carolina Ballet and other attractions.

And not the least event is the Tour D’Coop, a local charitable organization’s tour of Raleigh chicken coops where city folks, especially children, can commune with and admire birds of a feather that flock together.

When I think of the chicken tours, I inevitably remember the historic anecdote involving President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge.

President Coolidge was known for his dour personality and almost total lack of humor. But there is at least one historical display of a sense of humor on record.

The president and Mrs. Coolidge were touring an Iowa chicken farm, with the president and his entourage walking a few steps ahead of his wife and her escorts.

As they strolled past the chicken pens, a rooster mated with a hen.

Mrs. Coolidge asked if the rooster copulated more then once a day. Upon being told that the rooster performed several times a day, the first lady said, “Tell that to Mr. Coolidge.”

The president, upon receiving the message, asked if the rooster romanced with the same hen each time. When told that no, it chose several different hens, the president said, “Tell that to Mrs. Coolidge.”

Almost there

Well, folks. It’s almost over. Only one more day until the Fat Lady sings at polling places across America!

And on Wednesday, the wounded can start healing, and we can become a civil people again. Oh, yes, for some, it will take time, For some, the new president will never be “my president.”

But at least we’ve had our say, vocally as well as silently at the voting booth.

Let us be especially grateful at this time that we live in the United States, populated by a particular people sometimes fuming and fumbling our way through the democratic process.

Consider, in contrast, the words of Russia’s Joseph Stalin: “The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”

Snow: 919-836-5636; asnow@newsobserver.com