The only things that are thrown out as trash in newspaper offices are the things that might be useful in researching a future story. The things that somehow never got thrown out are old telephone books.

Yesterday, C&P's new Maryland Suburban book showed up in our office, its cover illustrated with the reproduction of an evocative watercolor painting of the famous Burnside Bridge on the Civil War Antietam Battlefield in nearby Washington County. The painting is by Harry Lamar Richardson of New Market.

MetroScene got to wondering what C&P had featured on its directory covers in the past few years. Within moments, from desks within a dozen feet of MetroScene's mountain of clutter, we found undiscarded books from 1981, 1982 and 1983.

In 1981, C&P featured a photographic shot by Michael L. Smith of geese flying over the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. In 1982, it shifted to some ground-bound birds -- penguins -- at the Baltimore Zoo, as depicted in a painting (so realistic it looked like a photo) by artist Tara H. Moore. In 1983, C&P turned to a photo by Jeff Zaruba of a replica of the Dove, one of two ships that brought the first settlers from the British Isles to Maryland in 1634.

If only for the heck of it, MetroScene is discarding the old books and thus forecloses a similar column in 1985.