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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Howard Troxler: 'I'm too busy' is not an option

Columnist Howard Troxler is in his final week at the Times before taking off for the mountains of North Carolina. Today's column focuses on people who don't pay attention:

My father, who died in 2008, was a welder. He came home from working like a dog all day, washed off the sparks and the grime — and sat down to read the newspaper, which in those days came out in the afternoon.

He had a good idea of what the president and Congress were doing. You should have heard him talking about the Democrats and the unions.

He read the editorial page. He yelled at the columnists, except the rare ones he liked. "That one has some sense," he would growl, shaking the newspaper.

He knew what the mayor was doing. He knew what the School Board was doing. He thought the school superintendent was a moron.

He voted.

Only now, decades later, does all this take on a Norman Rockwell feeling — a hard-working American coming home to educate himself about the affairs of the day. Back then, it was just the normal routine to hear him go on.

Read the entire column here.

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 9:48am]

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