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New Home, Old Cargo

Hello, Everyone,

Well, here we go, my second post to my blog on my webpage, And by the way, I am very much still fumbling about. A web-wizard I am most certainly not. Heck, I’m lucky to be able to spell HTML, much less write it. So, have patience with me. A lot of patience. Maybe you ought to start drinking now. Might make things easier.

Anyway, this is my blog. In fact, it is the continuing of a blog I’ve been doing for a very long time, explosive-cargo. Right now, it is on blogspot, here, But, as of today, it’s here and not there.

(I just realized something. I have been doing Xcargo -- first as a column in a newspaper, then as an e-zine, then as a blog -- on and off for something like thirty years. In a word, YIKES. How on earth did that happen?)

Old Mine Cart used to haul explosives
My Inspiration

Why the name “explosive-cargo?” Well, now, there is a tale to be told in that. And I’m going to tell it. Because I’m a verbose narcissist. And proud of it, I might add. It’s one of my more sterling qualities.

Anyway, the first real job in publishing was on a small newspaper in Connecticut. I was the proverbial cub reporter. One day, I was on my way back to the office after having been sent to interview somebody or other, when I found the road blocked ahead of me. Police and Fire Fighters were everywhere.

I popped out of my very little car (a generation one Honda Civic, no less. Made a Mini look like a limo) and asked one of the policemen what was going on. It seemed, he told me, that a propane truck had flipped on the road ahead. The driver had gotten out of the crash with only minor scratches, but given his cargo, he’d taken one look at the truck and then legged it as fast as he could for the sidelines.

I did some interviews, took a couple of pictures, and headed back to the office. Then, I wrote up the story and somewhere along the line it acquired the headline, “Explosive Cargo Overturns In Town.” And it ran the next morning.

After which we got a very indignant letter from a local reader, a chap who wrote us frequently, and for whom no issue was too small or mundane to comment upon (usually quite loudly).

His beef with my story was the headline. It was not an “explosive” cargo, he snapped. It was a flammable cargo. And it wouldn’t have exploded. At the very worst, it would merely have created a fireball and cooked us bystanders like a batch of turkey legs in a deep fryer. Or, maybe in this fat-conscious age, more like a sauté. With a dash of onion. Either way, not an explosion. World of difference.

Okay, maybe he didn’t put it quite that way. I threw in the turkey legs, gratis. (No need to thank me.) But that was his general point.

I thought it was one of the funniest things I’d ever read and when I got to do a column for the paper some months later, I knew there was only one possible title...explosive-cargo.

And it’s been that ever since.

Anyway, I look forward to getting to know you all, and I hope that I (and Xcargo) can provide a little entertainment along the way.

Until next time...

Onward and upward.


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