Vol. 12, No. 2,856W - The American Reporter - March 18, 2006


Hominy & Hash
MARTHA, MARTHA

by Constance Daley
American Reporter Correspondent
St. Simons Island, Ga.

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- The last time I wrote about Martha Stewart I called the article, Goody, Goody! and explored the enigma so many of us share: that of taking satisfaction at seeing the mighty fall.

It's no coincidence the word "enigma" would find its way into the same sentence as the name Martha Stewart. She is an enigma, herself, is she not?

This morning I walked through the living room and glanced toward the television screen where Martha was shown pushing a wheelbarrow full of potted pansies around her yard. Her intentions were obvious: she would soon dig in and plant them.

At a station break, the headline news was shown as a teaser for the regular news program at the top of the hour. There she was, dressed in the now-familiar black coat. She paused for a moment before getting into step with a young man carrying a tray of Starbuck's coffee containers and escorting her up the stairs. The steps were lined with people, mostly well-wishes, I observed.

Bill Cosby was shown, casually dressed, just there in support of a friend. The voice over spoke all about the differing opinions regarding Ms. Stewart's taking the stand in her behalf. Would it not open the door for the prosecution to glean information about conversations no one previously on the stand could have confirmed?

Beyond these snippets once or twice a day, I have no direct knowledge about how the case is going for dear Martha. When she was first held up to criticism I have to admit I enjoyed the smudge appearing on her squeaky-clean image. At the same time, I didn't think her having called a friend with a stock tip was the end of the world as she knew it.20

Getting news and calling a friend is my style. I can't keep a secret. If you don't want me to tell anybody anything, then don't tell me. And, if you do tell me, although my intentions will be honorable, I'll swear someone to secrecy and then tell them ... just to relieve myself of the burden of being the only one knowing.20

Of course, I'm not in Martha's league with the possible loss of $40,000,000 as part of the equasion. But, hearing about something and telling about it, I could be guilty of that.

Further along into her trial, I learned she "changed an e-mail." Well, acting upon impulse is also something I could do, and I would then do exactly what Martha did as soon as my cooler head prevailed: I'd instantly put it back the way it was ... it wouldn't be right not to.20

I could never identify with Martha Stewart in the kitchen or the potting barn. No, not for a minute. She can whisk an egg into pure silk while I, using the same whisk, the same bowl and the same egg, would end up with yellow slime.

Don't even take me near a potting barn. Either I plant seeds or bulbs too deeply into the soil or commit them to too shallow a grave. Make no mistake, I'd have killed all chances of life. But, not Martha. She really can do anything. Where I used to try to emulate her at home, I now just shop for her labels.20

This court case, now; that's different. I hear in these sound bites following her days in court that she has quite a temper and putting her on the stand would not be advisable at all.

Where I could not identify with Martha in her homemaking crafts, I can certainly now commiserate with her in this pickle of her own making. I can get myself into something and I often have; only to have to extricate myself and swear never to that again ... until the next time impulse takes over.20

There are people who have to either write it out or talk it over before they formulate their own thoughts on a subject. Is that what Martha needed to do? Would I do the same were I in her shoes and $40 million were at stake? Or, would I say, oh well, easy-come-easy-go, and take the loss?

I don't know. I just don't know. I do know that truth will win out. I do know that breaking the law has consequences and it's never worth the time it takes to get around the law, whether legal or moral.

I do know that Martha's prayer ought to be: "Deliver me Lord from the judgment of the saints who have never been caught."

As for me, my prayer and my reminder is always: "There, but for the grace of God, go I."

Copyright 2006 Joe Shea The American Reporter. All Rights Reserved.

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