Phone rings. Hello, “Hey Calio I see you are unemployed”. It is Maude. Maude is my alter-ego. She retired from working the deli at Walmart; short, thin, is around her late 70’s but her wrinkled face makes her look like 90 after years of heavy smoking and I expect some alcohol abuse, and a few missing teeth, from years of not seeing a dentist.
Outspoken, not very educated but a heart of gold. She was a solid Democrat all of her life, but in the last presidential election she became a Trump Democrat, suckered in by his promises of dreams her kind couldn’t resist and never achieved. A typical Trump target.
“I guess you could say that Maude,” I replied. “They gave you the old heave ho huh, Calio,” as she kept shoving the knife in my back. “Told you all that writing about Trump was going to get you canned”, her voice getting louder.
Whoa, hold your horses Maude, not how it went down. I received an email from the Editor saying they were cutting expenses and could not longer afford to pay me, ($45 a week) however I could continue writing my column on LOCAL NEWS ONLY, FOR FREE, AND IF I WANTED TO WRITE POLITICALLY, I COULD DO SO AS A LETTER TO THE EDITOR.
Which meant; The paper would have editorial control over my columns, what I write, a violation of my first amendment rights, second, they have editorial control over editing my letters as was done last week in a letter from a Laurel resident, where the thrust of her letter was cut by two paragraphs.
If the offer was to write on any subject, I may have taken that option. If my $45 a week was going to break the paper, I would have been glad to do that.
After all I started writing for Bryant Richardson when he started the Seaford Banner weekly, went with him after he sold the paper to Chesapeake Publishing who had purchased the Seaford Leader, then again when he started the STAR, some 40+ years total. I even have a share of their stock when he started the STAR.
That was the notice I received, no phone call, no meeting, nothing. So I never replied; I guess to them it meant “I quit”.
“Well kiss my…” I interrupted, “Don’t say it Maude”, I knew what was coming. It’s over and done with, subject closed, I firmly stated.
“Well, that’s a hell, I mean heck of a way to be treated, not got the courage to call you or meet with you. Well, I’ll be damned, I mean darn”, she replied”.
Maude it was a great ride, the Richardson’s treated me well, they gave me notoriety, which allowed doors to open for me. Mrs. Richardson loved reading your columns.
“What do you think happened”, Maude asked. I answered, “Well you know Bryant is a Republican state senator. I figured my Trump writings got some of his readers and advertisers upset, along with his party. He and I had discussions on the subject, cordial, but I knew the door to my future with the paper was closing fast. The paper is right wing.
“What is a right wing,” Maude replied. The right side of a bird I answered. “Oh” she agreed. Shuss
Now I can concentrate on my Blog, write more stories, really have a good mix.
“What’s a blog?” Maude asked. Too difficult to explain, I asked instead, How are you making out with Trump?
“Gotta go Calio, bye,” she answered and hung up the phone. Another time I guess.