When I was a young reporter on a certain newspaper in the South, fresh on a new job, I took a fancy to a sweet and pretty young woman (that’s how we talked in those days) working on what newspapers quaintly called “the Society pages.”
One day one of the older reporters, eager to be helpful, stopped by my desk. “It’s none of my business,” he said, “but the managing editor regards your young lady as his private stock.”
Perhaps the managing editor only wanted to inspire the object of my affections to a great career in journalism. But managing editors were fearsome beasts in those days and I knew how to take a well-meant tip. I soon moved on to Washington — I heard later that the young lady married a lawyer — and in the nation’s capital I found out (newspapermen being quick learners) that senators are not the masters from Olympus they think they are, and are in fact a lot like managing editors, accumulating and cultivating private stock.