You are forever your mother’s child. There’s no way out, at least for me, even more than four decades after she brought me into this world. Though they might let go of the adult you have become, they never let go of the child you were.
For example. There I was on a blustery, sunny spring afternoon in the isolated berg of Choteau, Montana, tending to my bakery, “ZuZu’s-It’s a Wonderful Loaf.” Blustery as in garbage cans tumbling down the street and into the open plains and my building trembling beneath and a cacophony of wind-whipped whistles, howls and rumbles. Isolated as in two thousand miles away from my mom.
A stranger entered the bakery and looked around the various books and CD’s for sale in the gift section. An older fellow, gentle, with a comforting, intelligent face.
“Where you from?” I asked. Funny how I had only lived in Choteau, population 1500, for a year, but could already spot an outsider a mile away.
“Colorado,” he replied. “Visiting my mother in the nursing home. I was raised here.” His name was Bill Reiquam.
I gave him a cookie to nibble on. Funny how living in an isolated town of 1,500, for only a year at that, you become hungry for the conversation of outsiders. Reiquam’s was a comforting voice. We chatted warmly on a number of subjects as I rolled out the sourdough breads. He chanced upon an anthology CD of Moroccan music (complete with a Paul Bowles poem, read by himself).
“I served in Morocco as a doctor when I was young,” he offered. “I joined the Air Force after leaving Choteau.”
“No kidding! I was born in Casablanca. My dad served there, too, at the U.S. Air Force Base.”
Needless to say, that coincidence clinched the Morocco CD sale. I told him to drop by next time he was in town to see his mother at the nursing home.
A short while later the door to the back room of the bakery opened. Rather, Bill Reiquam pushed it open against the blustery wind and stuck his head inside, panting. Funny how the wind can steal your breath.
“When were you born?” he asked.
He smiled. “September. Then I was your pediatrician. I held you the very first minute of your life, at the Air Force hospital. I was the only pediatrician there.” Funny how sometimes when your mouth can’t find words, a few shared smiles, tears and hugs just take over and do the communicating.
The good Doctor Reiquam told me he probably saw me at least once a week for the first six months of my life. The many new American mothers, all of whom lived in apartments scattered throughout Casablanca, were lonely and homesick, and used imaginary illnesses of their babies as an excuse to make the somewhat adventurous journey out to the Air Force Hospital.
“There was nothing wrong with the babies,” he said. “I was more of a psychiatrist to lonely mothers in a strange land than I was a pediatrician. And they visited each other in the waiting room. It was the only social gathering place they had.”
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?