From Red Righter
Cuffs’ face was buried in the Friday edition of the Cecil Whig when I slid into his booth at the North Street Hotel. “I guess you’re engrossed in my latest column?” I said, breaking the silence and trying to get his attention. Not moving the paper or even offering me a glance, he snapped, “QUIET! Can’t you see I’d doing some serious reading here?”
Pleased that my latest opinion piece on the sprinkler issue had commanded so much of the ornery oracle’s attention, I waited until he had finished digesting my fine article. As he rested the paper on the table, Cuffs tapped the page with his finger and said, “Now that’s some good writing, and a real damn good story!” “Thanks,” I said, proudly, as I offered a wide grin.
“Not you, you moron!” Cuffs snarled. “I’m talking about that guy Carl Hamilton. He did a bang up story about those seniors down in Cecilton. Did you read it?” “Yeah,” I replied, recalling the front-page piece that spotlighted a great group of senior citizens, operating on their own, with no government handouts of any kind. Hamilton’s background information and interviews with members of the group presented a fine piece about independent, take-care-of-themselves, hard working American citizens.
The Cecilton group, called the “Lower Cecil County Senior Center” also goes by the name “76ers,” since it stated in 1976, during the Bicentennial. They have events, trips, program, plus affordable meals every week. The story was timed to coincide with the group’s 35th anniversary.
“Thirty-five years,” said Cuffs, “and they never took a dime of taxpayer money. You know what that means, Red?” After pausing to try to offer a fairly acceptable answer, I said, “They must be doing a good job, because they’ve lasted that long?”
Shaking his head in disgust, Cuff snarled, “That’s an obvious, unthinking, surface answer. I’m looking for something with more depth, with insight, something that would link these independent role models down in Cecilton to our present dire county financial situation.”