11:55 AM EDT, March 29, 2013
Loyal readers of The Sun's opinion section may have felt a twinge of name recognition at the news of a 50-year-old Lutherville physician accidentally struck and seriously injured by an SUV on northbound North Charles Street Thursday morning. That might be because the pedestrian involved was a familiar name on these pages — Dr. Theodore "Ted" Houk.
If Dr. Houk had walked into an editorial board meeting last week, it's doubtful anyone would have recognized him on sight. But as a writer of letters to the editor, he enjoys a modest form of celebrity in our offices. Rare does a month go by when Dr. Houk does not offer us an opinion, or two or three, about the news of the day — most often about health and medicine.
His letters are usually short, direct and hard-hitting, the product one can only assume of more than two decades of experience writing them. They generally require minimal editing. Indeed, the Greater Baltimore Medical Center internal medicine specialist has been writing his pithy letters to the editor far longer than any writer or editor has served on The Sun's current editorial board.
Occasionally, he ventures into politics. During the beginnings of the Iraq War, he recommended the U.S. develop a car that runs on blood to spare the lives of U.S. soldiers overseas. But more commonly, he will rail against smoking, unhealthy eating and lack of exercise. And he practices what he preaches, commuting by running to work each day and living on a vegetable-rich diet.
To get to the point, as Dr. Houk so reliably does, we would just like him and his family to know that the editorial page staff of The Sun and a great many of our readers are thinking of him and wish him a full and speedy recovery. We look forward to the day when we can proudly post another of his thoughtful missives online or in print.
Of course, Dr. Houk probably would have written such sentiments in about three fewer paragraphs. And offered some blunt medical advice, too. But we will simply have to wait for his return to better educate us on our shortcomings. Get well soon, Ted.
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