We have room for letters, but not essays
Bill Cooke

Neighbor Grover sez light travels faster than sound and that’s why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

“Did you have to run that *&%#* screwball’s letter?”

Over five decades in this business, I’ve heard that question several times.

The answer is no, we don’t have to run anybody’s letter, but generally we like to let readers have their say on topics of local interest.

Do we always agree with the reader’s viewpoint. Of course not. Our opinions are in our editorials and columns like this. The letters column are for our readers’ opinions.

We edit all letters. Some letter writers take exception to being edited but most understand our space available for letters is limited.

Which brings us to make a pitch for brevity. Lately, some letters have actually been essays. At times, we’ll select a particularly good one for a guest column. But we prefer 6-to-8 paragraphs tops, and urge even briefer offerings. And I can promise you the long, gray ones are not as well read as the ones brief and to the point.

So here’s a repeat of our letters policy which appears each week on the opposite page:

The Reporter welcomes letters to the editor on subjects of interest to our readers. Short letters are most likely to be chosen for publication.

The editor reserves the right to edit letters to meet space requirements, for clarity, or to avoid obscenity, libel or invasion of privacy.

Letters must be signed and complete with a mailing or email address and telephone number for verification. Unsigned letters will not be published.

Letters in support or opposition of political candidates will not be published. Persons wishing to endorse or oppose candidates are invited to contact our advertising department.

Opinions expressed in letters are those of the writer and not necessarily those of this newspaper.

Also, this week’s letters will exhaust the topic of the Nocturnal Fest at Apache Pass. Everything that could possibly be said about that event, pro or con, has been said to the point of redundancy. No mas.

Finally, to quote the late Tennessee Ernie Ford, “Keep them cards and letters coming, folks.”

But please mind the length.


Don’t-miss events ahead:

• Rockdale Fair Oct. 14-16, with the stock show and sale benefitting our youth. Lots of great events, food and entertainment. Plan to be there. Check details in front-page story.

• Cliff ’s Ride for the Cure, benefitting the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation, Saturday, Oct. 23 downtown. Details in Newsbriefs, page 2A.

• Rockdale Downtown Association will again sponsor “Christmas in Olde Town,” a Saturday, Dec. 11 tour of historic homes in East Rockdale, eight picturesque, decorated residences. See page 2B for details and places to get tickets. This tour has grown into as very popular holiday season event.


One more Norwegian joke, courtesy of A llan Miller, the mayor pro tem of this whole doggone town.

Ole’s car was hit by a truck. In court, the trucking company’s lawyer was questioning Ole.

“Didn’t you say, sir, at the scene of the accident, ‘I’m fine?’” asked the lawyer.

Ole responded, “Vell, I’ll tell you vat happened. I had yust loaded my favorite mule, Bessie, into da.....”

“I didn’t ask for any details,” the law yer interrupted. “Just answer the question. Did you not say, at the scene of the accident, ‘I’m fine’?”

Ole said, “Vell, I had yust got Bessie into da trailer and I vas driving down da road...”

The lawyer interrupted again and said, “Judge, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the state trooper that he was just fine. Now several weeks after the accident he is trying to sue my client. Please tell him to simply answer the question.”

By this time, the judge was fairly interested in Ole’s answer and said to the lawyer, “I’d like to hear what he has to say about his favorite mule, Bessie.”

Ole thanked the judge and proceeded: ‘Vell, as I vas saying, I had yust loaded Bessie, my favorite mule, into da trailer and vas driving her down da highvay ven dis huge semi-truck and trailer ran da stop sign and smacked my truck right in da side.

“I vas trown into one ditch and Bessie vas trown into da other. I vas hurting real bad and didn’t vant to move. However, I could hear Bessie moaning and groaning. I knew she was in terrible shape yust by her groans. Shortly after da accident da highway patrolman came to da scene. He could hear Bessie moaning so he vent over to her.

“After he looked at her and saw her condition he took out his gun and shot her right ‘tween da eyes. Den da patrolman, he came across da road, gun still smoking, looked at me and said, ‘How are you feeling?’

“Now vat da hell vould YOU say?”

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2010-10-07 digital edition

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