Old Man Potomac, He Just Keeps Rollin' Along


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Some days when we contemplate the divisive and deluded doings in DC, it helps to look away from the grandiose and revered buildings that have hosted our government since it was moved there from Philadelphia in 1800 and to contemplate the broad, green, and ever forward pushing Potomac, the generally placid river that just keeps rollin’ through it.

Here we see a boater speeding along, hoping the wind in his ears will clear his brain of brow-knitting complexities, while another one rows by, lazily fishing in a johnboat for its still bountiful population of largemouth bass, an inadvertently appropriate fish to find hard by the halls of ceaselessly yapping Congress.

We see in contemplating its broad banks, not only a respite from the din of the ever-raging spin at our backs, but the assurance that, whatever happens, somehow the nation will flow on toward its distant destiny in the great ocean of the human experience and we find, even in the trees along its shores, nature’s ultimate lesson in peaceful and patient growth and recognize in the birds that flit in and out of them one of nature’s examples of how sanely its usual creatures go about the basic processes of life.

We have, in fact, never seen a bird have a nervous breakdown or, unless deathly hurt or ill, too sad to chirp.

Perhaps from time to time we should require our elected officials to leave the contentious halls in which they usually contend to stroll down by the riverside and allow the widely flowing water to moderate the shortsightedness that urgencies impress on them and to invite the opening of their vistas.

But they’d have to walk, not only for the camaraderie, but because the taxpayers would never be at peace about paying the taxi fares and limo rates for such an unproductive occasion. Better to have them back in the buildings, insular and, at least as far as public appearances seem, intently dutiful.

Tom Attea, humorist and creator of NewsLaugh.com, has had six shows produced Off-Broadway. Critics have called his writing “delightfully funny, " “witty, " with “great humor and ebullience" and “good, genuine laughs. "


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