Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I Do Too, Ms. Evans

One of these days I'm going to write a blog called, "The Things Parents Do For Children" -
It will include things like searching in the dark for a spare key, then sitting in the child's home office at 2:30 AM, calling each of said child's credit card companies to cancel accounts after the child realizes her purse has been stolen from the Texas dancehall she's boot-scooting around on a September Saturday night. 

It will also include rummaging through thirty-three years of items collected in a man cave that will be demolished for that same child's wedding. 

We're tearing down the white garage (not to be confused with the Red Barn) that has housed our chest freezer and pre-lit Christmas wreath for as long as I can recall.

As Momma, Dad, Cody and I sort through decades of Dad's collectables that occupied his time far before Shorthorns did, we've found a little bit of Bowman Superior Genetics history: Micky Mouse fishing poles, size 4 cowboy boots, welding rods and walnuts still hanging out to dry - 18 years and counting. 

We've also found content for today's blog. 

Last night we cleaned out a (no kidding) turquoise cupboard that was hanging in the garage when Momma and Dad bought the place in July, 1979. Tucked away in a box was a sheet of paper that was folded, musty and yet, still glossy. The only timestamp I could find on the piece read, 
"Compliments of the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company
Akron, Ohio
Roots Blower
1854 - 1954"

 I had never heard of piece or the author; but Dad recalled both well. He made Cody and I stand in the midst of white garage destruction and read the article. I'm so thankful he did. 


I Speak for Democracy
By Elizabeth Ellen Evans
I am an American.
Listen to my words, Fascist, Communist.
Listen well, for my country is a strong country, and my message is a strong message.
I am an American, and I speak for democracy.
My ancestors have left their blood on the green at Lexington and the snow at Valley Forge
- on the walls of Fort Sumter and at Gettysburg
- on the waters of the River Marne and in the shadows of the Argonne Forest
- on the beachheads of Salerno and Normandy and the sands of Okinawa
on the bare, bleak hills called Pork Chop and Old Baldy and Heartbreak Ridge.
A mission and more of my countrymen have died for freedom.
My country is their eternal monument.
They live in the laughter of a small boy as he watches a circus clown’s antics
- and in the sweet delicious coldness of the first bite of peppermint ice cream on the 
      Fourth of July
- in the little tenseness of a baseball crowd as the umpire calls “Batter up!”
- in the high school band’s rendition of the “Stars and Stripes Forever” in the
      Memorial Day parade
- in the clear, sharp ring of a school bell on a fall morning
- And in the triumph of a six-year-old as he reads aloud for the first time.
The live on in the eyes of an Ohio farmer surveying his acres of corn and potatoes a pasture
- and in the brilliant gold of hundreds of acres of wheat stretching across the flat miles of Kansas
- in the milling of cattle in the stockyards of Chicago
- the precision of an assembly line in an automobile factory in Detroit
- and the perpetual red glow of the nocturnal skylines of Pittsburgh and Birmingham and Gary.
They live on in the voice of a young Jewish boy saying the sacred words from the Torah: “Hear O Israel; the Lord our God, the Lord is One. Thou shalt love the Lord with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy might.”
- and in the voice a Catholic girl praying: “Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee”
- and in the voice of a Protestant boy singing: “A mighty Fortress is our God. Bulwark never failing”
An American named Carl Sandbur wrote these words:
      “I know a Jew fishcrier down on Maxwell Street with a voice like a north wind blowing over corn stubble in January. He dangles herring before prospective customers evincing a joy identical with that of Pavlova dancing. His face is that of a man terribly glad to be selling fish, terribly glad that God made fish, and customers to whom he may call his wares from a pushcart.”
There is a voice in the soul of every human being that cries out to be free. America has answered that voice.
American has offered freedom and opportunity such as no land before her has ever known, to a Jew fishcrier down on Maxwell Street with the face of a man terribly glad to be selling fish.
She has given him the right to own his pushcart, to sell his herring on Maxwell Street,
- she has given him an education for his children, and a tremendous faith in the nation that has made these things his.
Multiply that fishcrier by 160,000,000----160,000,000 mechanics and farmers and housewives and coal miners and truck drivers and chemists and lawyers and plumbers and priests----all glad, terribly glad to be what they are, terribly glad to be free to work and eat and sleep and speak and love and pray and live as they desire, as they believe!
And those 160,000,000 Americans----those 160,000,000 free Americans----have more roast beef and mashed potatoes, the yield of American labor and land;
more automobiles and telephones
more safety razors and bathtubs
more Orlon sweaters and aureomycin, the fruits of American initiative and enterprise;
more public schools and life insurance policies, the symbols of American security and  faith in the future;
more laughter and song -
than any other people on earth!
This is my answer, Fascist, Communist!
Show me a country greater than our country, show me a people more energetic, creative, progressive -
bigger hearted and happier than our people, not until then will I consider your way of life.
For I am an American, and I speak for democracy.

And I do too, Ms. Evans. 
If you agree, I sure hope you'll pass this on. 

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