Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dear Abby

One of the icons of journalism posted her last -30- last week.
Abigail Van Buren, nee Pauline Phillips, expiration date ran out last Thursday.
Biblically speaking Pauline adopted the pen name Abigail after the prophetess in the Book of Samuel ("Then David said to Abigail 'Blessed is your advice and  blessed are you' ") and Van Buren for its presidential heritage. Her first column appeared on Jan. 9, 1956, in The San Francisco Chronicle. She received compensation of $20 per week.
Her twin sister, Esther Lederer, earlier wrote as Ann Landers for The Chicago Sun-Times. She was swamped by letters and asked for advice from her sister.
She was forbade from sending letters out of the office so Pauline made inquires from the Chronicle.
Eventually a sibling rivalry ensued and they weren't on speaking terms for five years.
Abby tersely dispensed advise with a quick wit.
In 1976 she confided to People magazine that she had gone to see an X-rated movie. Her sister also wanted to venture forth to see it but was afraid of being recognized.
"How did you get away with it?" Landers queried Dear Abby.
"Well," Dear Abby quipped, "I just put on my dark glasses and my Ann Landers wig and went!"
They established themselves and the quintessential gossip columnists.
Ironically the Super Bowl pans out as a similar battle royale between two brotherly combatants, Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers, and John Herbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens.
Ironically, the Ravens garnered their mascot from the avian in Edgar Allen Poe's poem "The Raven."
And that most famous line, "Nevermore," might be wiped out if the Ravens can repeat their Super Bowl feat by capturing their second title.
It should be a defensive tussle. Don't expect John and Jim to talk to each other much until after the Super Him(baugh) Bowl.

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