Confehr: Sometimes, telling might not follow knowing

Friday, January 7, 2011

Just because you know something doesn't mean you have to tell.

An editor buddy of mine likes to repeat that advice from her editor who mentored her toward her position as a successor at the county newspaper.

It doesn't mean you hold back on repeating something interesting, even if it's just an old story that has gained relevance again, such as the following tale told by this county's veterans service officer on Wednesday afternoon.

As many of the Tribune's readers learned from that day's edition, Veterans Administration hospital pharmacies mail prescription medicine to their patients. It's not so uncommon for modern medicine to travel through the U.S. Mail. Pills arrive at my house in packages like the one Billy Hill displays in a photo today.

As most alert folks with experience know, the line in a TV ad for a medicine that addresses ED, "I didn't know," is a reference to another condition's medicine that causes ED, also known as "Sad Edward."

Former Sen. Bob Dole, a candidate for the presidency, brought Viagra to the public with dignity, sincerity and, you might say, a calm urgency. Now, we see anonymous couples with separate bathtubs looking at a sunset, or together during a home maintenance project bringing them together amid pastel colors on TV.

The product's active ingredient is prescribed by Veterans Administration hospital physicians for the men who've served our country honorably in the military service. That way, their sunset years may include a pastel colored bathtub of their own.

The prescription medicine allegedly taken from a package mailed to a veteran in the vicinity of Petersburg -- oh the irony of it all -- was not Viagra, but it could have been.

Given that, it's clear the VA has supplies of the magic medicine.

It used to be stockpiled at Alvin C. York Veterans Administration Medical Center in nearby Murfreesboro where an inventory revealed supplies were coming up short.

Billy Hill says magic meds' stockpile was moved from Murfreesboro to Atlanta -- like they don't have inventory shortages there.

Meanwhile, this is the opportunity to tell our anonymous friends who send emissaries to this newspaper's office: Thank you.

Your friend's identity is safe with us.

To those who continue to send anonymous messages through the mail, or dropped on a desk: Several times we already knew, or suspected what was described in the messages which are still appreciated, but sometimes the contents aren't told until the time is right.

Recently, we've received information about the administrator of one county department and another's central office. We've been told of a disagreement over a manager's decision to dismiss a long-time employee whose infraction seems, at first blush, relatively minor, but without a public record on the chain of events, there's a story of he said, she said.

Just because we know doesn't mean we will tell immediately. There's always going to be another edition and if it's a really good story, it will be worth reporting.

These views are the author's and not necessarily reflective of the Tribune's views.