Local history, James Comey, Harmony Lake, Adam West, and a new experience


By Gary Abernathy - gabernathy@civitasmedia.com



This and that today…

Fun looking back

Just want to thank Jeannette Knauff for sharing her amazing scrapbook from the 1907 Hillsboro centennial, which we profiled last week. Several folks have stopped in the office to enjoy browsing the scrapbook. It will be here for a few more days, so make sure to stop in if you would like to examine it.

Comey’s feelings

Watching parts of former FBI director James Comey’s testimony last week made me think it would have been appropriate for the old Morris Albert 1974 song “Feelings” to be playing in the background.

Comey’s live testimony added virtually nothing to his prepared remarks that were released the previous day, other than to tell us how he “felt” moment by moment. The only “bombshell” was his admission that he orchestrated a leak to The New York Times. I find it highly doubtful it was his first leak.

What a great example he sets for everyone else in the FBI – if you don’t get a result you want (in this case, the appointment of a special prosecutor), go ahead and leak documents. Firing him was obviously the right move.

The very first questions asked of the new appointee should be, “Will you promise never to leak documents to the media, either during or after your tenure as director? And will you make it clear to everyone else in the FBI that leaking documents, classified or otherwise, is a punishable offense?”

Visit Harmony Lake

Lora and I spent an enjoyable evening at Harmony Lake on Saturday. I am still amazed at how underutilized the lake is, and I have to imagine that a lot of people still don’t realize it’s there, or they forget about it.

We were just looking for a quiet spot to enjoy a drive-thru restaurant dinner on a pleasant evening, and we almost headed to Rocky Fork Lake, which is great, too. But then Lora said, “Let’s go to Harmony Lake.” Great idea.

I’ve never been there without seeing the entire area being in well-manicured condition; the city obviously does a good job of mowing, weeding, etc. The new shelter house makes a great picnic area.

On this evening, there were just three or four other people there, with a youngster fishing (and catching!). We also enjoyed watching the Hillsboro Police Department’s canine handler exercise the K9 officer at the park. Beautiful dog.

As a reminder, Harmony Lake is located at Liberty Park. Just drive past the YMCA, keep going straight, drive through the gate, and there you are. It’s open every day, dawn to dusk.

Exhibit worth visiting

I want to strongly encourage everyone to visit the Highland House Museum and view both the visiting Brown v. Board of Education exhibit downstairs – on display through the month of June – and the permanent Lincoln School Exhibit upstairs.

Take the time to watch the documentary about the local desegregation fight of the 1950s that plays in the upstairs exhibit. I purchased a copy on DVD and enjoyed watching it at home. Very well done, and an important piece of local history.

The museum is open 1-4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Farewell, Adam West

Yes, the passing of Adam West over the weekend was very sad. I had just mentioned him in a recent column on Roger Moore, citing him as the favorite Batman for a lot of us.

After years of struggling to escape the typecasting of the cape and cowl, AW seemed to find a happy medium where he could appreciate his mark on history while still proceeding with a career in large part reanimated by former young fans who now were key players in the entertainment industry.

Adam West was a man who seemed very likeable with a good sense of humor. His tongue-in-cheek take on the Caped Crusader is always worth revisiting. Rest in peace.

Another new experience

Some of you have noticed – or were alerted by some of my family members on Facebook – that a column of mine was published last week in The Washington Post. The Post contacted me a couple of weeks ago, asking if I would be interested in writing some columns.

The editor who reached out was well aware of my weekly offerings here (the internet is amazing), including my criticisms of the Post, the New York Times, etc., and their coverage of President Trump. But she also had a good sense of humor about it.

It’s been fun to hear from friends all over the country, especially in D.C., after they did a double-take while reading their morning Post. It’s also been interesting to hear from strangers from all over the country – not only on social media and email, but some old-fashioned letters in the mail! — as other papers that subscribe to the Post’s news service picked up the column. Some of the responses offer a reminder that thick skin remains a requirement in this business.

I appreciate that the Post is interested in broadening its opinion sources, so we’ll see how it goes.

Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or by email at gabernathy@civitasmedia.com.

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By Gary Abernathy

gabernathy@civitasmedia.com