Thursday, March 20, 2014
Columnists Feud Over History
Thomas Wolfe told it like it was—you can't come home again. Are you listening Bill DuPre?
Sweet William swore on a stack of Farmer's Almanacs when he left Kingstree that when he wrote the Great American Novel, his Reminisces of the land of milk and honey (Williamsburg County) would not be milk of magnesia and honey buns.
He promised to dwell on the positive. Many of our politicians remember Bill with the same fondness that Ted Kennedy remembers Chappaquidick. Why Bill left Kingstree to join the Pullet-surprise scandal sheet called the Beaufort Gazette, I'll never know. Perhaps it was because their magnolia trees grow taller than our marijuana. Perhaps your trees are taller, but our leading cash crop will make you higher.
Maybe it's those old Southern mansions that grace Beaufort, where on every veranda you can visualize Rhett Butler telling Scarlet O' Hara, “Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.”
Back when Bill was editor of The News, we broke bread together. At Sandy Bay, when you break one of Peggy's biscuits and ignore it, it will just lie there and die of a broken heart. Not Bill—he comes from pioneer stock. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead! He ate the darn thing and learned a valuable lesson; it broke him of breaking bread at my house.
Maybe I should let sleeping editors lie, but I had to retaliate. Bill, in a recent column in the Beaufort Gazettte, scandalized my profession. To quote Bill, yours truly is “to radio what the National Enquirer is to journalism.”
“Charlie's voice wasn't the typical butterscotch purr of the professional radio pitch man. Imagine Bella Azbug had been raised near a jetport in Meridian, Miss. And suffered from chronic nasal indigestion.” That's the way he described my voice.
Mind you, I'm not complaining. The truth is supposed to set you free. I may go to Beaufort and set Bill on fire. He might have compared me to Walter Cronkite. After all, in radio I can name my salary. I named mine Henry.
How did this damning document find its way into my profession? Obviously, William, you have an informer in your midst—someone who feels you have attacked an institution. If he believes that, he deserves to be in one.
I sincerely hope you didn't show the column to your cat, who just happens to be the son of the late, great Hound T. Walker. It was one thing to tear this cat away from his roots, but quite another to practice journalistic voodoo on his benefactor.
But I don't envy you Bill. You've got Hilton Head. I've got Greeleyville. You've got the blue waters of the Atlantic. I've got the tranquil waters of the Black River. But darn it, I miss you! It's been so long since I've heard a politician take your name in vain.
There's a small matter—a credit gap, if you will—I would like to bring up. In your quest for sympathy you no doubt accepted full responsibility for your column. How much did McConnell pay you to take this monkey off her back?
You remember Cathy. Before she was banished to the journalistic salt mines called The Georgetown Times, she was the editor of The News. She ran the paper like a Marine Corps boot camp. But we're not here to praise our clone of Brenda Starr, but to bury her. The responsibility of “The Bark Off the King's Tree” is on her shoulders. Indeed, her conscience.
When Cathy reaches the pearly gates and is greeted by Edward R. Murray and her folly is exposed, she will be banned form Paradise and made Cultural Affairs Editor of the Greeleyville Gangrene Gazette.
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