Mark Hartley, Editor
I do not wear jewelry. If people choose to adorn themselves with rocks and minerals, that`s cool. I`ve never wanted to wear any. The sole exception, I`m ashamed to say, was some minerals (gold chains) I wore for a brief period there in the 1970s - when disco was gyrating away on the floor. I just don`t examine jewelry with any interest. If you wear rocks, I probably won`t even notice. For some reason, I do tend to notice soil. Gardeners, ditch diggers, farmers - yeah, they might as well parade down the fashion-show runway: "Ladies and gentlemen, we now present Bert. Bert is wearing his faded jeans, smeared with a dusting of East Texas red clay from his backyard. His outfit retails for $1,589."
My lack of interest in jewelry includes wrist watches. Since I`m a journalist dealing with deadlines, I have to know what time it is. So clocks are among my circle of friends. Some people, though, must have the same feeling about clocks that I do about jewelry. The people who build exhibition halls and convention centers are all related - probably cousins - and the whole family hates clocks. You never can find a clock at a trade show.
As a journalist, I deal with three types of sources at a trade show - regardless of whether I just want to know the time or the details of a budding scandal. The first source is way up there on the chain of command, as they say. If I can even get them to slow down their stride in a convention center`s hallway, they`ll look at their watch and say, "I`ll get back with you on that." And about 10 p.m., back in the hotel room, I`ll get a phone call from that person`s spin doctor. "He thinks the time was somewhere between 2:45 p.m. and 3 p.m. when he passed you in the hall," the spin doctor will say, "but you can`t hold us to that."
I have mixed feelings about encountering the second source. It depends on how desperate I am for a quote. She`ll say, "It`s 2:49 p.m. And that is absolutely correct. If you ask that person standing over there, he`ll tell you it`s 2:51 p.m. But he`s a left-winger, and they set their watches two minutes fast. And the gal over there ... she`s in bed with the Clinton-bashers big-time. They think it`s 2:43 p.m. Now if you were to ask that guy behind us ..." Like I say, it depends on how desperate I am. I may fumble through an excuse and just walk away.
And then there`s you.
I always enjoy talking with you. Can you tell me what time it is? See, I don`t wear watches simply because I don`t want to, and, if you could just spare me a moment, tell me what time it is. How about your state of mind? I really wouldn`t mind knowing. RDH readers are the most entertaining and informative sources I know. I wish I had enough time to chat with all 66,000-plus readers individually. Since I don`t, I`m hoping you`ll take a moment to answer the survey on pages 23-24.
Forget about the time. What`s your state of mind?