More Addenda & Errata by Gary D. Crawford
The articles I scribble here each month sometimes result in commentary. Feedback is always welcome (well, usually) because writing for a magazine is quite different from public speaking. There, one may gaze out and see one’s audience ~ people rolling in the aisles, listening in rapt enjoyment, stamping out of the hall in disgust, rummaging for something to toss up at the podium or simply dozing off. (These last can be especially disheartening, for sometimes they awake with a sudden snort and mutter, loud enough to be heard at the stage, “My God, Evelyn, is he still talking?”) Wr iters do get feedback, too, from time to time, and sometimes long after publication. At a church dinner in the fall of 2015, a woman I didn’t know was seated next to me. When we introduced ourselves, she exclaimed, “Oh, yes, I really liked your article about the catalpa trees! I love them, too.” She was referring to The Fish-Bait Tree, which was a bit surprising, as it was published in July of 2012. The most useful comments are those that provide new information, either adding to or correcting my understanding of a topic. Yes, mistakes do happen, despite strenuous
efforts to consult with folk around here who know. Still, it is all too easy to run into what I have come to t hink of as “ The Come -Here Cow-Pie.” That’s when someone like me, who’s only been on the Eastern Shore for 38 years, puts two and two together and gets five.
Here’s an example. One day I dropped by our bank ~ yes, we had a bank then ~ and asked to put up a notice about a lecture soon to be held by the Phillips Wharf Environmental Center. While showing off the poster to the very lovely teller behind the counter, I effused, “You really ought to catch this talk. It’s about our area 12,000 years ago! And this guy has been doing research here for a long time, and he really knows his stuff.” She just smiled at me and said,