November 26, 1990

IN SOME GROVES of Maryland academe, he is known as Herb Dot. As in Herb. F. Reinhard, the embattled president of Frostburg State University.

This newspaper, being a cantankerous publication, has never recognized the Dot. Instead, it regularly refers to the FSU president as Herb F. Reinhard, thus dumping the period at the end of his first name. Future researchers, investigating the channeling of tax-free university foundation bequests into political coffers, may never know of the Dot.

Which reminds us of President Harry S Truman, who insisted that there be no Dot following his middle initial. This on the theory that since the S didn't stand for another name, but instead stood in majestic isolation signifying nothing, it didn't warrant a Dot.

All during HST's presidency, legions of reporters and copy editors kept misinforming the citizenry that there was a fellow named Harry S. Truman in the White House.

In fact, the page opposite made this mistake as recently as Nov. 21.

There just is no way out of this mess. Herb Dot and Harry No-Dot will be subject to indignities until the end of time.

IT NEVER ceases to amaze us what people collect. Lunch boxes, for instance. There is even a lunch box collectors' magazine published out of Cambridge, Mass., the home of Harvard University.

How about candlewick collectors? They recently held their annual meeting in South Bend, Ind. Thirty-one members and guests came from Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Arkansas.

Meanwhile, antique fishing tackle collecting is doing so well a company has opened in London that specializes in the old hook, line and sinker. (For weightier collectors, there is a new book on horse-drawn carriages.)

For his part, Wallace J. Moil, a retired U.S. Air Force master sergeant, gets a big blast out of collecting cannon. At last report, this Colorado man had accumulated 110 of them, ranging in length from half an inch to 32 inches. He estimates his arsenal is worth $6,000.

TECHNOLOGY advances so quickly we have trouble keeping up to date.

Even before we could afford a portable telephone that frees us from our desks, a Japanese firm is trying to convince us of the need to possess a phone that "easily fits into a shirt pocket."

It recently unveiled the "world's smallest and lightest cellular phone," 10.2 ounces, which it says "liberates the cellular phone from the car and briefcase."

But we thought the present cellular phone was liberating us already. Now, for a mere $1,195, we can gain a new sense of freedom.

Excuse us for a moment, our shirt pocket is ringing.

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