“Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge,” during the long, cold winter of 1777-78…
* * * *
Right now I’m in between summer-vacation trips.
On Wednesday, June 1, I went back into the Okefenokee Swamp, on an overnight kayaking trip. (As detailed in “There he goes again…”) Then on the weekend of Saturday, June 11, I drove up to North Carolina for a grandson’s high-school graduation (I described that trip in On “latitude, attitude,” and other life changes, in my companion blog.)
Next up is a family trip north: Three cars, carrying five adults and seven younger folk, ranging in age from 10 to 22. Among other places, we’ll be visiting Valley Forge, the Liberty Bell and Philadelphia in general. (Seen at right, back in the 1910s.) Last but not least we’ll see Hershey, PA … “The Sweetest Place On Earth.”
Which makes this the perfect time to do a review.
There were two key points of “Great politicians.” (From two separate books I’d just read.) One was that – generally speaking – the presidents who’ve occupied the White House have been – overall – decent, honorable and capable. Then second was that “maybe the same applies to [today’s] politicians in general. (Gasp!)” Those points gave rise to a third thought:
Maybe today’s politicians seem especially nasty because many voters they’re trying to woo are just that way. Maybe today’s politicians are simply a reflection of the nastiness that seems to have taken hold of a large part of our population.
All of which brought up the difference in those who can work with others to come up with viable solutions to our problems, as opposed to those who just “curse the darkness.”
In other words, the difference between doers and complainers.
On a more positive note, the two RABBIT posts – Part I and Part II – started off about John Updike and his “Rabbit” series. (Five fiction-books on “the life of the middle-class everyman Harry ‘Rabbit’ Angstrom over the course of several decades, from young adulthood to death.”) But then Part II turned to the topic of both nostalgia and more hope for the future.
The “nostalgia” went back to 1969, a time when you could go into a bar, pay 40 cents for a beer and leave a dime for the tip. “And not get thrown out or insulted.”
Increasingly, people over 60 feel more like 40, and now they have the science to back them up… The new research argues that since life expectancy continues to rise, age 60 should not be considered old. It’s more “middle age,” because for many, there’s a lot of living left to do after age 60, even embarking on second or third careers.
I added, “you might say of the Christie Brinkley image below: ‘Now that’s turning 60!‘”
Did I mention that I turn 65 this summer, and have already gotten my Medicare card? Which means that I too “have a lot of living left to do,” and now don’t have to worry – so much – about those danged medical bills. For my part, later this summer – in August – my plans include hiking on the Chilkoot Trail. (“The meanest 33 miles in history.”) And taking a 16-day, 500-and-some-mile, canoe trip “down” the Yukon. (See “There he goes again…”)
But first I’ll have some extended quality time with my seven great-nieces and great-nephews.
As noted, the trip will include a visit to Philadelphia, a city whose “importance and central location in the colonies made it a natural center for America’s revolutionaries.” (Sounds interesting.) In other words, a city known as the Birthplace of American Democracy.
And maybe do some sampling of my own. (It’s nice being “65 as the new 35.”)
What was that about the “sweetest place on earth?”
* * * *
The upper image is courtesy of Valley Forge – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Re: Doers and complainers. The “Christadelphian” cited Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., as saying, “The human race is divided into two classes – those who go ahead and do something, and those who sit still and inquire” – or complain – “Why wasn’t it done the other way?” For more posts on the topic, just Google “doers and complainers.”
The lower image is courtesy of People magazine, people.com/people/article/0,,20780764,00.html. I included the image in On RABBIT – and “60 is the new 30” – (Part II), with the caption: “A good argument for ’60 is the new 30…’”