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The Little Woman (she’s starting to warm up to the term) and I are avid readers of The Dallas Morning News — even though it costs a small fortune to have it delivered out here in the suburbs of Booger Woods. My day always begins with juice, my morning shot glass full of pills, my coffee, and the paper. TLW starts her daily retirement adventure with a Dr Pepper, pills, coffee, a Diet Dr Pepper, and the paper. When this routine is interrupted for either one of us, we tend to be out of sorts for the rest of the day.
In addition to inserts like want ads, automobile ads, realty ads, and personals, the News normally consists of five distinct sections — the national and international news section, the Metro-Dallas section, the sports section, the business section, and “Arts & Life” (the entertainment section). TLW and I swap these sections back and forth and our morning newspaper session ends with her doing the “Commuter Puzzle” (the easy one) and me doing the “New York Times Daily Crossword Puzzle (the hard one).
The “Metro” section is second only to “Arts & Life” as my favorite section. I have to get my daily fix of “Crankshaft,” “Garfield,” “Doonesbury,” “Mother Goose & Grimm,” “Zits,” and “Pickles” (which is a biography of TLW and me). After all that, “Metro” provides me with all the news in and around Dallas that I might need. If this section included a sports page, it would be just about as comprehensive as our humble paper, The Corsicana Daily Sun. Here are some comparisons:
Thursday’s Daily Sun was a total of 12 pages — the Metro had 10 pages. Both entities had some feel-good stories, some civic affairs stories, some commentary, weather forecasting, and obituaries. Speaking of obituaries, did you ever notice that people seem to die in alphabetical order? Interesting enough, the Metro had several references to upcoming Dallas area events while The Sun had three full pages dedicated to upcoming local events around our city and county. Who knew were were such busy little beavers?
The Metro dedicates the entire back page to national and state-wide weather reporting and forecasting which is prepared by the weather team from WFAA, Channel 8. It includes a five-day forceast, a national weather map, highs, lows, and forecasts for Texas cities, highs, lows & forecasts for cities around the country, international forecasts & highs and lows, phases of the moon and planets, the air quality, and pollen counts. Our Daily Sun features an AccuWeather.com regional version of much the same information compressed in a 6” x 6” box inside the front cover just before the obits. On a side note, I am pleased to report that, after a prolonged absence from the Metro weather page, Marfa has returned as the low temperature record holder for Texas.
Both entities had significant crime reports but there were some real contrasts in severity and impact on people’s lives between the Metro Dallas offenses and those in Corsicana/Navarro County. Here are some examples of those contrasts:
Metro Dallas: “Stick-toting crime fighter disarmed;” “Police say man killed by his son-in-law;” “Man arrested in August slaying;” “Man fatally stabbed in his apartment;” “2nd man dies in shooting at house;” “Man pleads guilty in Medicare fraud;” “Man gets 17 years in fatal DWI case;” and “Man gets life for fondling 6-year-old.”
Corsicana/Navarro: “A man who tried to steal $37 worth of ribeye steaks from the HEB was arrested at 11:40 p.m...;” “A vehicle was burglarized sometime Monday or Tuesday...;” “A five-year-old bull was loose Tuesday morning on Northwest County Road 0148.” “Two Charolais calves, one black cow and a Charolais cow have been missing since Monday...;” and “Thirty T-posts, and two used tires were stolen Monday...”
If nothing else, these stark contrasts between big-city living and small-town living make living down here mighty attractive, don’t you think? It’s just more comforting and reassuring to be living in an area where people actually grow and eat okra. And who cares if our home town newspaper is a miniature version of “Big D’s” product. Actually, everyone around here already knows the news before it’s published, we just read the paper to see if Managing-Editor-In-Chief Belcher and Publisher-In-Chief Linex II got their facts right.
I kid about our home town fish wrap but it will be a truly sad day if, and when, real newspapers become a thing of the past. I hope I never have to share a goofy computer version of the daily news with TLW over our morning coffee. Curses!
Dick Platt is a Daily Sun columnist. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org