Writer learns lesson the hard, painful way

February 3, 2018 GMT

Many of life’s lessons are learned in difficult ways. Here, ye olde political columnist admits to learning one lesson the hard way this week. The article you are reading is being written on a mini iPad as I sit at Charleston Area Medical Center with a broken left shoulder and arm. I fell, twice, to gain this marvelous result.

As my old friend, State Treasurer John Perdue, always says, “It could have been worse.”

The only way it COULD have been worse would have been to break the right arm. Then it’s no telling what these politicians would have gotten away with as a result of not being watched.

But, thanks to great friends, a highly trained professional CAMC staff and God (not necessarily in that order), I am still typing along. OK, I realize some folks don’t see that as a good thing, but I certainly do.

Oh and the lesson I learned? Never put ice melt on a snowy driveway. Never.

Apologies, too, to all of those who should have known about all this earlier. It seems that when I fall, I always have my cell phone in hand. It also appears that in my falls, the phone hits the pavement and loses its battery. Since nobody memorizes a phone number or has a Rolodex (what?) any more, I have been stuck with nobody’s number or email address. So I’m truly sorry for the missed interviews and appointments.

I will try to make it up to you.

Speaking of Treasurer Perdue, his wife Robin was honored with a retirement luncheon recently. She stepped down with years of government service.

In the “my, how the mighty have fallen” department, the Charleston newspaper has gone bankrupt, prompting new ownership. If a subsidiary of Ogden Newspapers succeeds in taking over the paper, it will have gone from roaring liberal ownership to outspoken conservative bosses at the stroke of a pen. Ogden, based in Wheeling, is not the liberal icon The Gazette and its successor, The Gazette-Mail have been. Ogden is, however, the high bidder.

The Nutting family, owners of Ogden, take a decidedly conservative view of government and life. The Chiltons, longtime owners of The Gazette, were and are quite the opposite.

In its day of separate ownership and staff, the Daily Mail was a respected voice of conservative reason. It was a Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper before The Gazette won the honor some months ago.

It’s safe to say The Gazette and I have seldom been in agreement over the years, but I grieve its local ownership loss. Wheeling? Are you kidding?

Many readers were asking constantly if there were any surprises in the 2018 election filings before last week’s deadline. Surprises were few and far between. Although there are no real surprises, a total of 11 filed for 3rd Distrist House of Representatives.

There are seven Republicans and four Democrats in the field. With this many candidates on the ballot, ANYONE could win. I will say it again: don’t rule out a win by former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship. We’ll analyze it more next week.

Tom Payne, who lost a Democrat race for House of Representatives from the Second District two years ago, is listed this time as running in the First District. At press time, it wasn’t known if that was a clerical error. Over the years, Payne has often told people he lives in Washington, D.C.

There will be some titanic legislative races, including Republican Michael Folk and incumbent Democrat Sen. John Unger in the Eastern Panhandle. We’re about to have fun! Ouch. My arm hurts.

Contact Ron Gregory at 304-533-5185 or ronjgregory@gmail.com.