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October 11 , 2009

Andrew Tully on Everything


Andrew Tully wrote thousands of columns during his illustrious career as an author and newspaper man, but back in the days before email and faxes and courier services, the mailing of an intended column sometimes went awry or delivery was delayed.  Therefore alternative columns, or “anytime” columns, needed to be kept on hand in order that deadlines weren't missed. Full of Andrew Tully's wit, compassion, direct and often irreverent observations, and an ability to laugh at himself, these tidbits from the collection of one hundred syndicated anytime columns written between 1962-1987 speak for themselves:

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Award winning war correspondent, Andrew Tully, covered the Batista take-over in Cuba in 1952 and the Castro take-over on New Year's Day in 1959, and later discussed why the invasion of Cuba failed in his bestseller, CIA The Inside Story.  In A Race of Rebels  (1960) he turns his first-hand observations about Cuba into a novel about…

On the increase in drunkenness:  Chairs and tables are the villains. Any bartender will testify that the drinker who takes a snort on his hind legs is a better judge of his sobriety than the celebrant glued to a chair. If it seems to be an effort to adjust a foot on the brass rail the time has come to pay up and blow the joint.

On the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier:  Resting there in his noble crypt, he is a symbol not of glorious victory nor of man's dedicated courage, but of something disturbingly simple. He is the affidavit certifying the awful truth that to the Sudden Death which prowls a battlefield no man has a name.

On Ogden Nash: There was also that wonderful poet, Ogden Nash, a fresh breeze every moment of his happy life. We writers needed him. He was on our side. Meanwhile, he preached daily that writing was just as respectable as selling used cars.

On cats:  I not only am unimpressed by cats, I am distrustful of them. I have always made it a practice never to lend money to a cat. Cats are deadbeats. Cats pout if not addressed as Lord This or Countess That.

Neighborhood cats patronize me when I walk down the street. They criticize my partiality for 15-year-old tweed jackets and chinos with narrow cuffs. A particularly offensive cat gave me a look of utter contempt when she learned I was living with a dog named Gypsy.

Later, the cat's master said he heard his cat telling a feline pal: "There goes the neighborhood."

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