How I got the byline Abby Moncus remains a mystery
Published: Saturday, July 16th, 2005
Recently, I began to receive letters that began with “Dear Abby” and sort of wondered what caused such salutations — until I decided friends were ganging up on me for some reason. Since they were arriving from various areas of our country, figured that e-mails had gone around but wasn’t aware that some of the people even knew each other. Finally, one friend was kind enough to let me know that the column appears on the Internet and that the byline shows it is written by “Abby Moncus.” That caused me to pause even more because I could see no reason for such a byline. Naturally, I blamed Aggie because she gets her paws mixed up some days and types whatever comes to mind, but she has assured me she didn’t do that or she would have used her own byline. At least I have learned that a number of friends read the column as it appears on the Internet, and that is one more way to keep up with activities in their home town. The byline even caused some to write even though they hadn’t written to me in many years. Several mentioned they tried to find my personal Internet address and were stymied when they learned I’m walking to the mail box and sending snail mail. One even reminded me that I shouldn’t have been surprised during the last Rattler Reunion when I was called Mrs. Babcock because I most definitely live in another century and should consider trying to do some catching up. Well, one of these days when I want to add further confusion to life on this corner, I may consider joining the masses, mainly to be able to find answers to many questions I have about subjects of interest, such as what is happening at the Great Southern Hotel in Killarney, how the sheep are doing on Ben Bulben, or if the sun still goes down over Galway Bay. I might even become interested in e-mail during a weak moment but would rather avoid all the spam and strange jokes that seem to be never ending. Besides, I already waste too much time playing with all these gadgets and shouldn’t begin surfing the net to avoid facing reality. Without writing and receiving letters via U.S. mail, I would miss major highlights of each day. I’m still old fashioned enough to be pleased to retrieve letters from the mail box, to open the envelopes in anticipation of reading them while holding real paper in my hands, and relaxing for a few minutes as friends share their news from afar. I guess I’m not quite geared for “instant messaging” any more than I am for eating instant potatoes. By holding the letter, I feel close to the writer. I can even peruse it while chewing on real potatoes and feel very satisfied with the results of both. Both satisfy the senses and bring pleasure. Even when the letters are to “Dear Abby,” I take great delight in the writers’ teasing and know they are having just as much fun as I am. They have given me a new voice to use in some of my letters and have added new life to some of my creative energy. They even gave me a subject for this week’s column, and that was most helpful because I was at an impasse before one of the letters arrived today to remind me about my new byline.
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