Slippery slope to fogeydom | Editorial

Dennis Box, editor of the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, the Bonney Lake Courier-Herald and the Covington/Maple Valley/Black Diamond Reporter., recently oversaw the Journal of the San Juans while editor Scott Rasmussen was away. We decided to share one of his columns in our pages. Enjoy.

I have officially become a fogey. How and when I slipped down that slope is a conundrum to me, but all the young wonder-kid reporters working for me have confirmed my fogeyness.

I have hired young, talented and very smart reporters at the Courier-Herald and Covington Reporter. What was I thinking? I’m dumb and I hire brainy (palm hits my forehead).

My drooling slide into ol’ fogeydom was gleefully pointed out to me when I told Ray Still and Sarah Wehmann, both young reporters, I planned to shoot a haying season shot for the front page.

I immediately began to think back to happy hay days on my family farm. Haying season was the hot time in the old town when I was young. I thought they would all be waiting on the edges of their chairs to hear my haying season tales of adventure.

What follows is an accurate rendition of the dialogue between Sarah and me (with Ray secretly rooting her on) that has been carefully crosschecked with my imaginary friend (who always agrees with me).

Sarah: “Is that a word?” Me: “Is what a word?” Sarah: “Hay…ing?” Me: “Haying?” Sarah: “Did you make that up?” Me: “No I didn’t make it up. (My most haughty voice) Do you know when I was a kid we never went to school in June because that was the beginning of haying season?” Sarah: “What is it?”

Smash my forehead on my desk… twice.

Me: “You know hay… haying… in bales… throw them around… get all sticky and itchy… look cool like that black and white movie where pretty girls sing songs and dance around with bouncy dresses and always want to kiss the guy who throws bales around and is sticky and itchy.”

I got blank stares and sympathetic nods followed by knowing sidelong glances as if I don’t notice because I am petting my pink squirrel that talks and always agrees with me. Sarah smiled that smile and asked, “Did you take your medicine this week?”

In desperation I call my other crack reporter – surely she would know about haying season.

“What did you say?”

“Haying season… haying season… you know hay, season, bales?”

Long silence.

“I had a friend that grew up on cow farm. Does that help?”

A cow farm… a stupid cow farm. I checked to see if I was drooling on my shirt, or if there was an incision on my head from a lobotomy I had forgotten about. I politely told her the term is dairy farm, or beef farm … not cow farm. Cow farm makes me want to throw up, but if I do I give them evidence to put me away in a very quiet place.

OK, I admit it. The wonder-kids are a wonder and I am a card-carrying ol’ fogey. The wonder-kids can text using their fancy opposable thumbs. I text with one shaky finger and it takes me five minutes to spell the word “the”… correctly.

They can post pictures with their phone in two seconds flat. My phone calls all sorts of people for no reason. It is the spawn of Satan.

Fine. I am apparently a member of the lost cow farm generation. Since I have suddenly slipped down the slobbery slope of fogeydom I will now embrace it.

That’s Mr. Ol’ Fogey to you.