I dreamed that my wife and I had gone to our favorite luncheon cafe. When the waitress served our meal, we did what we usually do before we eat. We held hands and bowed our heads, and my wife prayed a meaningful but short “restaurant grace.” As I raised my head, two policemen were behind her snapping handcuffs onto her wrists and lifting her out of her chair. When I challenged them, one of the boys in blue told me that she was being arrested for public disorderly conduct.
I’ve been reading a lot about multiculturalism and cross-cultural understanding. We are supposed to suppress our inclination to believe that being an American is pretty fine and noble. All I hear about now is “inclusiveness.” What I want to know is, whatever happened to the “melting pot” that I learned about in Francis Huntington Snow Elementary School in Kansas City, Kansas? It seems to me that what we have now is the roots of anarchy.
Speaking about learning about our heritage in elementary school, I remember the boxes and lines that Miss Wanamaker drew on the black board that showed how “A bill becomes a law” with both Houses of Congress discussing the proposed laws in committees. Then amendments being introduced and voted on. Then a joint committee meeting to smooth out differences before the bill was finally voted on and sent to the President for his signature or veto. I guess most Congressmen and Senators didn’t have Miss Wanamaker for their fourth grade teacher. That’s a shame. She was a good teacher.
It strikes me that when I was a child in school, even in high school, so many of our teachers were “Miss,” unmarried ladies whose students were their families and their lives belonged to the local school boards. They taught several generations how to win World War II, how to make America prosperous, how to participate in community affairs with dignity, and how to become leaders. And the NEA was dedicated to teaching children rather than being consumed by its own self interest.
I remember a favorite college history professor of mine, Dr. Raymond Flory, said to us again and again: “Every form of government has within itself the seeds of its own destruction.” Used to be I often wondered just what that meant for a republican democracy. Sadly, now I know.
I was working in my yard the other afternoon, and it was so hot here in South Georgia that I picked up my garden hose, turned the water on, let it run for a bit, and drank deeply from the rushing water. My first thought was, “Take that, Michelle.”
One of my great-grandsons just had his third birthday the other day. We had a party for him with hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans, and, of course, a birthday cake. It makes me sad, though, that the little guy will never have the fun I had growing up playing outside with friends. He will probably have to learn to read when he is five. He will have a computer and play video games and listen to the clashing noises that pass themselves off as music. He will spend his life indoors instead of getting grass stains on his pants. Talk about having a deprived childhood!
Doesn’t it strike you as rather absurd that our last two Secretaries of State are failed presidential candidates? Does that say something about the quality of people with whom the president has surrounded himself?
Is Al Gore still alive? It was hard to tell when he was running for president and even more so now.
Speaking of global warming…I remember when I was in high speed radio operator’s school in Camp Gordon, Georgia in 1954 (Yes, I know it’s Fort Gordon now, but that was then.). It got so hot in our non-air conditioned classrooms that on several days our instructors took us outside to sit under shade trees for much of the afternoon. Maybe we just didn’t realize that our carbon footprint was creating a crisis.
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