This is a welcome development. Pennsylvania lawyer Richard Victoria has started an insurance coverage blog devoted to Pennsylvania insurance law. I wish there were more folks blogging about coverage law, because I consider it the most intellectually stimulating and challenging field of law on the face of the Earth, and I love to read and write about it. Although, due to some absences in our office, not long ago I had to step in and write an amicus brief on an anti-trust issue, and I will admit that was also pretty challenging and fun. But as attractive as anti-trust is, coverage is the one that stole my heart.
I often try to get other lawyers interested in blogging, but mostly I’m afraid I actually scare them off, because when they hear how much time I put into this blog, they fall silent and find sudden interest in looking at the floor or examining their fingernails. But that is the great thing about blogging, I’m just being me here. I’m doing what I like to do. You are someone else and you undoubtedly do things a different way, and that is what would make your blog unique and valuable. Blogging about insurance coverage is all about contributing to the debate, stripping away the blah blah blah and getting to the essence of communication with other people. Some of you out there — and you know who I am talking to — really ought to seriously consider it.
You would have your own reasons for blogging: for myself, I keep doing it because I enjoy storytelling. Many people think of NoDak, where I grew up, as a bland, colorless place, but it is far from that. NoDaks tend to be uncomfortable with direct speech, viewing it as rude, a sort of invasion of another’s personhood, and so communicate in allegories, metaphors and stories. One of my favorite stories is about our nearest neighbor on the farm, Earl Nelson. I have heard my brother tell this story at least 30 times, and to me, it just gets funnier every single time I hear it. Now that Earl has passed on, it has taken on a special poignancy to me, a tale of a time that was and is no more. One day Earl was out baling, and some malfunction occurred with the baler, probably the baler got jammed with hay. Now, a baler is pulled behind the tractor, and runs off the tractor’s power take-off, or PTO, which is a rotary shaft that turns at an incredibly and dangerous high speed. As Earl got the baler unclogged, he activated the PTO to make sure the baler was working, and the PTO caught his pants, tore his clothes off and threw him a good distance. Fortunately and somewhat remarkably, he was unhurt. He walked across the fields to his home, now wearing only his shorts and boots. As he walked in the door, his wife, Leone, said, "Earl, what happened to your clothes?" Earl responded, "Well, I got caught in the PTO and it tore them off." Leone said, in that strong Norwegian accent of hers, "Dammit Earl, them was a brand new pair of overalls."