Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Not So Much The Handshakes Anymore

One aspect of the colorful mosaic being fashioned in retirement by my friend and mentor, the Rev. Canon Mark Shier, is lending his mellifluous instrument to the production of public domain audio books, which he does as a volunteer. Along one of his literary back roads he discovered an 1895 collection of short stories called Red Men And White by Owen Wister, who also wrote The Virginian. Mark sent along this excerpt from the author's introduction, which resonates pretty well this political year:
With no spread-eagle brag do I gather conviction each year that we Americans, judged not hastily, are sound at heart, kind, courageous, often of the truest delicacy, and always ultimately of excellent good-sense. With such belief, or, rather, knowledge, it is sorrowful to see our fatal complacence, our as yet undisciplined folly, in sending to our State Legislatures and to that general business office of ours at Washington a herd of mismanagers that seems each year to grow more inefficient and contemptible, whether branded Republican or Democrat. But I take heart, because often and oftener I hear upon my journey the citizens high and low muttering, “There’s too much politics in this country”; and we shake hands.

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