Hagerstown, the ultimate getaway?

September 21, 2009

To: Amy Argetsinger

Reliable Source columnist

The Washington Post

Dear Ms. Argetsinger,

Well, well, well, looks like someone didn't figure on anyone from Hagerstown logging time with your Live Chat on the Post Web site last week. Unfortunately for you, Amy, the Stumble Inn where I normally spend my Wednesday mornings just got a WiFi connection, so in between swabbing hay out of my neck fat and bouncing quarters into a jar of pickled okra, I was able to follow the thread.

As you know, this all began when Oprah Winfrey's private jet recently touched down at the Hagerstown airport and the speculation began. Why would Oprah come to Washington County, home of sunshine and stink bugs?


The conventional wisdom held that she was visiting the president during his Labor Day stay at Camp David. After all, what other reason could there be for Oprah to grace us with her presence -- unless she was looking for "before" candidates for an episode on brain transplants?

So, to recap, the Live Chat exchange in the Post went like this:

"Question: Where did Oprah go? Definitely to Camp David -- not that much to do in Hagerstown. Plus, we had no sightings, and folks in Hagerstown would have noticed Oprah!"

"Amy Argetsinger: Oh, come on, Hagerstown has all kinds of great sights. Perfect weekend getaway, isn't it? I mean, there's Antietam, and there's ... well, there's ... OK."

Oh Amy, how could you say this about a town that has a Wal-Mart where Kevin Federline once shopped? For shame.

We are a cultured lot, Amy. Why, just last week I was in your fair city for Cavalia -- although I confess that my wife only got me to go by telling me that "Cavalia" was a dessert.

Now, I know, that from time to time, I myself have been known to take a shot or two at Washington County (Motto: We're Right Across the River From Harpers Ferry). But this is an Animal House situation -- Hey, they can't do that to our pledges; only we can do that to our pledges.

As for Antietam, I don't know how we feel about being word-association fodder for the bloodiest day in American history. (And if O'Malley asks for one more tax increase, we'll be able to lay claim to the second bloodiest, too.) But it should go without saying that here in Hagerstown, we have many, many other reasons to visit, which I will get to in a minute.

Of course, there had also been rumors that Oprah had been house hunting in the Washington, D.C., area. I don't know whether, technically, Hagerstown qualifies as the Washington area, but even if it does, I have my doubts -- unless she has a hankering for an abode overlooking the dirt track.

She might, however, have the need to come to Hagerstown to find a safe house for Dr. Oz. If that dude gives one more "healthy eating tip" for women to inflict on their husbands, I know about a million guys who are going to be going after him with a machete.

Anyway, I did promise you, Amy, that I would enumerate Hagerstown's many advantages, but much as I would like to, I am unfortunately out of space. I would offer to give you a personal tour of our many assets, however. It shouldn't take more than 10 minutes of your time.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2324, or by e-mail at Tune in to the Rowland Rant video under, on or on Antietam Cable's WCL-TV Channel 30 evenings at 6:30. New episodes are released every Wednesday.

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