My fourth grandchild was recently born to my daughter Danielle and her husband Chris. They named him Asher Jackson and he was born just after midnight. The next morning one of the nurses brought in the daily paper to save as a memento of what else was happening on the day of his birth.
As might probably be true for a lot of kids being born these days, the headline was not that good nor was it inspiring. Then again, that might hold true in the cases of every child born in every generation since headlines generally tend to be more dire than uplifting.
I wanted to give him a better newspaper experience than the Culpepper Star-Exponent had provided him. A few days after returning home I saw my opportunity and wrote the following letter to the editor of the Virginian-Pilot. It was a chance for Asher to get his name in print and also someday look back to recall (fondly, I hope) that his grandfather was one of those old cranks that were always writing letters to the editor complaining about one thing or another. I entitled it,
Don't Blame Asher.
Re “Price of gas here skyrockets this week” (businessday, Feb. 5): I learned in the paper today that gas prices have spiked again in just the last few days. That’s like going out to the driveway to get the paper and reading the headline, “Sun Came Up This Morning.” Tell me something I don’t already know.
Tell me why the price is higher and why it rose so quickly. And telling me it is because the price of oil has gone up won’t cut it. Let’s put a little pressure on the petroleum industry to explain them selves.
Last week I drove up to Culpepper for the birth of my grandson. Before I left I filled my gas tank with $3.16 per gallon gasoline. Two days later, when I began my return trip home, gasoline had risen to $3.39.
I know that the birth of Asher Jackson adds one more consumer to a world already burdened by a shortage of resources. But the kid is just 8 pounds and won’t be driving for another 16 years. Certainly we can’t blame him for the price increase even though it coincided with his birth.
So tell me, whom do I blame?
As luck would have it the letter got in only they left something out—specifically all the stuff about Asher. Now when he looks back he will only see an editorial in which I am again complaining about gas prices, much as I did in another editorial back in October 2005. He really will think I'm an old crank and he just may be right.
The one thing I do know for sure is despite what any headline might say; the arrival of Asher Jackson was the best thing happening on January 30, 2013.