OK, I’m back.

It took 39 hours from the boat landing in Hong Kong, through a night in the weirdly empty enormous Beijing airport, to a lucky transit ahead of snow in O’Hare to be here, but here I am.

I regret I wasn’t here to note Carol Griffee’s passing. There’s a famous Arkansas Gazette story about her trip to Washington to cover the Wilbur Mills Tidal Basin scandal in 1974. She’d run younger reporters ragged. When one of them returned to the Gazette bureau after a long siege of coverage, and found Carol no longer on the phone, working sources, he exclaimed, “The Grif is gone.”

She arose from behind a desk, where she’d been catching a few winks between investigative duties, and shouted, “Oh, no I’m not.”

Same thing for me.