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Yankee, Go Home

Sixty years ago an incident lodged in my memory forever as it seems, as I walked with the beautiful redheaded young lady who paused to ask me a question.  There above an old outbuilding—I hesitate to call it a barn—there was a weathervane appearing as the silhouette of a rooster.  But this image was perforated by several holes—.58 caliber, as I was later to learn—and my mother had a question for me: Now just who made those holes in the weathervane?  I had no idea, but the answer suggested some thoughts to ponder: “The Yankees!”  Whoever Yankees were, I, apparently, was not one of them, and neither was that lady with an abundance of red hair.  And though I have known my share of disappointments since, the most deflating was to find out later that “foreigners” thought I was a Yankee.  What a bummer, as they say in the parlance of our times.

I am still in contemplation of the implications of the image of the rooster and its ventilation.  I was to learn more from the lady with the red hair—for example, that her paternal grandfather had fought in the Civil War.  Though I could have asked for no better company than what I had at that moment of the blasted weathervane, I have sometimes thought that I could have used some additional feedback from, say, Homer, Heraclitus, Hegel, Marx, and Berra.  Among the five of them, they could have straightened...

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