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Summit Up

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column glad to have you as a neighbor.

And we mean neighbor, with a capital “N.” Forgive us the thantological waxing, but we’re taking this moment to recognize the passing of a childhood fixture for most of us – Fred Rogers.

Yes, Mr. Sweater-and-Slippers took the final train ride to make-believe land on Feb. 27. He was 74, for those who keep track of such things.



And while we can’t claim the sweetness and sincerity of disposition that Fred bore for decades, we’d like to think we carry on in the same vein of promoting community and education (despite the fact that we seem to scare children, but then again, so do clowns).

We like to provide our readers with food for daily rumination, but today, we’ll let Fred offer the fuel. Mr. Rogers once said, “I recently learned that in an average lifetime a person walks about sixty-five thousand miles. That’s two and half times around the world. I wonder where your steps will take you. I wonder how you’ll use the rest of the miles you’re given.”



Oh, that our future children could have grown up knowing you, Fred.

***

Yesterday, we wrote about the mysterious animals being left on our desk. Well, not actually the animals, but pictures of them (that’s not counting the rattlesnake someone left under our desk after a particularly derisive column about a certain political candidate, but as we said in our follow-up, we love Italian labor leaders).

Our Kiwi friend Hamish, who sounded a lot like Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin when telling us this, said the tuatara (one of the mystery animal pictures taped to our desk) is actually a rare, prehistoric lizard found (or rarely found) in the New Zealand wilds. He said they live to 100 years old sometimes, which is amazing because they’re pretty slow.

Hunh. We learn something everyday in this job (and sometimes not even the hard way).

***

Apparently, a “freezing” is not included in a “licking.”

We accidentally left our watch in the car Friday night. Those foolish enough to have been out there will tell you it was darn cold. Nose-hair freezing cold.

Now our Timex is kaput. The “licking” they’re supposed to be able to take must not include low temperatures.

You know, there used to be things you could rely on in this world. Our first Timex watch lasted us nine years – without having to change the battery.

But, hey, this is Summit Up Land. Who needs to know what time it is anyway?

***

It’s Sunday, and if the planets are properly aligned, we’re sitting by the fire with the dog on our feet and a few newspapers spread around us and a belly full of flapjacks …


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