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Alexa ain’t got nothing on Abit
Harris Blackwood
Harris Blackwood

We have so much information around us these days. On a little speaker we have Alexa, Siri and Google. 

We can ask all kinds of questions, like what year did Man O’ War win the Kentucky Derby. By the way the answer is never, because he never competed in it. His son, War Admiral, did and won the Triple Crown in 1937.

When I was a kid, the greatest source of information was the World Book Encyclopedias in our house.

The other day at lunch, I had an informational speaker sitting at my table. It’s called an Abit, as in Abit Massey.

Abit has been a fixture at the state Capitol for many years. His age is a highly guarded secret. I have it on high authority that his birth certificate is kept in the same vault where they keep the formula for Coca-Cola.

When members of Congress list their net worth, they have a wide range to choose from. You’ll hear reports saying they are worth between $500,000 and $2 million. That’s a big range.

So, when it comes to Abit’s age, he is somewhere between 70 and 112. I would put him up against any 40-year-old in a memory contest.

At our lunch gathering, I was trying to remember names. He was rattling them off like an auctioneer.

It is not an exaggeration to say he knows everybody in the Capitol. He knows janitors, secretaries, lobbyists and governors. They also know him.

What’s amazing is this human memory bank also knows a thing or two about technology. When Blackberry was the smartphone rage, he had one of those. He has the latest model of iPhone and knows how to use most, if not all, of its features.

He is knowledgeable about pop culture. He has a grandson with a lead role on the daytime drama “Days of our Lives.”

I invited him to my class at Brenau to talk about colorful politicians. He regaled the group with stories that I had not heard (and I thought I had heard many of them.) He knew the outcome of elections going back years.

He works to keep himself fit and does things to exercise his mind and body. I know people who are of his era and they can’t remember what they had for lunch, much less important events of years gone by.

I am a big fan of Looney Tunes cartoons, particularly those with Bugs Bunny and either Daffy Duck or Elmer Fudd. There are several different episodes where a mad scientist puts an electronic cap on Bugs and one of the others and essentially transplants their brains. Elmer or Daffy begin gnawing on a carrot and saying “What’s up, Doc?”

There’s a part of me that would like to do that for an hour or two with Abit. I couldn’t do it more than that, because his beautiful wife, Kayanne, could not put up with me, even in Abit’s body.

I salute my friend for his mental acuity and hope that others come down the pike and attempt to duplicate his keen wit and memory.

Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page and on www.gainesvilletimes.com.
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