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‘Be Smart, Be Kind, Stay Safe’

Newshounding is a word nigh extinct nowadays, with the word reporting instead holding sway. That’s OK, but ya can’t take the newshound out of some oldsters, particularly those who like me wrote for newspapers back in the day, as we graysters like to say. Write tight, get it right, keep in mind you’re writing for the reader not for yourself, a New London Day editor named Ray Rankin wisely advised me when a cub reporter under his wing I was way back in ’68. He could see that there was nothing I liked better than brazenly and boldly treeing some bad news for readers to rightfully bay at, but his “Greatest Generation” status, as we have come to call his gen’s distinction, assiduously sought to douse my fire with worldly advice intended to pass the torch of news-writing with all the gravity, sonority and dead-seriousness he could muster. Which brings me to the point I’d like to make to CTEX readers as Auld Lang Syne chimes in, namely intergenerational comity.

As I self-indulgently luxuriate in good health at age 76 with secure retirement by means of SS, I daily ride an expensive but worth every cent e-bike I bought 15 months ago and have pedalled 3500 miles since. Persons, places and things, thoses Big Three of Nouns, serially spark my newshound conditioned brain as I blissfully and blithely traveling along good ol’ USA Route 1 between the rivers Thames and Connecticut along SECT’s coastal plain. Ain’t all good, ain’t all bad, most of it is in-between. What’s clearest of all is that time eats all things. When I bicycle through a cemetery, which I do not forsake doing, mortal utter clarity seems to instantly and consequently overtake.

It’s here and now for all of us always, ain’t nowhere else being alive can be, and sure as gravity keeps us in place, we are imperfect beings in an imperfect world. I got the same hearty and heartfelt advice for any and all maturing or mature sentient beings from highschoolers to octogenarians, and I must attribute it, my old-days newshounding ways say. From New London’s school board member Elaine Maynard Adams. Just six words which she passes along to Facebook friends every day. To wit: Be smart, be kind, stay safe.

The tragedy universal to all times, ways, and places of recorded history, it seems to me, is that not enough humans generally have heeded, do presently and generally heed, nor likely ever shall generally heed Elaine’s sage and simple advice, it’s fair enough and factual enough to say.

Today, CTEX readers, let smart, kind and safe become your bywords for 2022. Such resolution shall cause no harm, I boldly daresay and brazenly bray.

George “Bud” Bray
Waterford, CT

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