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Goodbye Dear Abby

The news Thursday was that Pauline Phillips, who created and penned the "Dear Abby" advice column has died.

It's almost a statement about the business I am in. 

She hasn't done the column for a number of years because she had Alzheimer's disease.

Her twin, Eppie Lederer, who did the "Ann Landers" column, died years ago.

But at one time nearly everybody in the U.S. got up and read one of their columns. Some, like me, were lucky enough to have two newspapers in their hometown, and they got to read both of them. 

In my hometown of New Orleans the morning Times Picayune has Miss Ann who was more conservative, but no less sharp tongued than her more liberal sister who ran in the afternoon States-Item. 

In the '60s and '70s when social mores were undergoing an upheaval, the letters they received and the advice they dished were hot topics around the water cooler and in coffee shops. One thing that was conceded to the ladies, they were smarter than us and maybe we should take their advice. 

It's amazing now. If I want advice I just have to put myself out there publicly on Facebook, Twitter or any number of sites and everyone is willing to give me advice for free — from their phones, from their cars, from their home computer, from their work computer. 

Usually it's totally useless. And that's what I miss about the two ladies — their advice was useful, whether we agreed with them or not. 

There's a lot of online stuff that is totally useless. Hopefully the printed stuff is embraced because it's well thought out. 

And, yes, this was written online first. SIGH.