(Page 2 of 2)
* * * * *
As I ring the doorbell at Mr. National Review’s house (the chimes play a sprightly, if slightly discordant, Reveille), I survey his impressive property. The house, a solid brick two-story Federal, commands vistas in every direction from the top of a hill. A Revolutionary war-vintage mortar squats on the front lawn.
“Like that view, huh?” Mr. National exclaims as he snatches open the door. “So do I. Nobody around for miles!”
As I step into the tall entrance hall, decorated with banners, pikes, and coats of arms, a throbbing voice envelops me from speakers hidden — it seems — everywhere. “I believe…for ev’ry drop of rain that falls…”
Mr. National is shouting something at me. I focus my stunned attention. He’s twinkling at me, this youthful, silver-haired man in his gray flannel slacks and cardigan sweater, but I can’t hear a word. “Know who that is?” he bellows again. “Take a guess!”
“Uh, Vic Damone?” I venture at the top of my lungs.
Mr. National disappears to adjust a knob somewhere. The baritone voice drops to background level. Mr. National reappears, grinning. “Bet you didn’t know he could sing, did you?” With a wink, he hands me a cassette box, emblazoned with an American flag and the title, Songs of Belief. “Little private issue for those of us in the know,” he explains, winking again. “Come on in the living room.”
One is struck immediately by Mr. National’s collections. His living room, lined with shelves, displays powderhorns, thimbles, decorative plates, pewter, mugs, and steins — every one of them seemingly stamped or painted in patriotic or conservative themes. The thimbles, he says, come from his days as a charter member of Young Americans for Freedom (“a stitch in time…”). The plates (“mostly for the wife”) show grand American scenes: Eagles, canyons, mountains, amber waves of grain, family farms. The coffee mugs memorialize Republican caucuses and conventions back to 1952.
I spend a pleasant, if slightly addled, afternoon with Mr. National, well fortified with Scotch (“The sun’s over the yardarm someplace”), firing off muzzle loaders in the back yard and finally taking a spin in his Model T replica. Yes, we’re drunk, but as Mr. National points out, we drive only on his property, not on the public roads. Getting me home again is another matter. Mr. National calls a cab and I leave my car. Next day, painfully hung over, I hear my own horn beeping insistently in my own driveway just after dawn, and find that Mr. National has driven my car back for me. So I call a cab for him. Nice fellow. A little strange, but nice.
* * * * *
All right, now let’s tackle The American Prowler. But wait. We don’t have any ads yet. Get on it, will ya, guys?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online