LYNDEN, Washington — I never caught his name — not all of it.
He gave it to me at the end, when he had got up to leave, but his speech was soft and tentative and lacked the confidence of a younger man.
He apologized several times for the verbal stumbling. Said he was getting so old that he still knows what to say but has a hard time remembering the words. I think he worries he won’t even know what to say much longer. Maybe that’s why he decided to talk to me.
His first name was Jack. That much I got. He was 84 and looked older, with glassy eyes and double chins that were made up of loose skin rather than fat. He had hearing aids in both ears and they did the trick. As long as you were clear and deliberate, he understood.
Old Jack introduced himself to me at the Nuthouse, my local watering hole of choice and my de facto office. Looking back, I guess you could say I started it. Jack was sitting one booth over, opposite his adult granddaughter and entirely obscured from my field of vision.
The girl was wondering aloud at the odd customs of this small town. She said the first time she’d come through Lynden, she was baffled that stores here rope off the beer on Sundays and refuse to sell it.
“It turns out it’s a city ordinance,” she said.
I normally mind my business around other patrons, especially ones from out of town, but I couldn’t help myself. Local pride got the better of me.
“What do the guys do here if they’re watching football and they want a beer on Sunday?” she asked Jack.
“They stock up the night before,” I answered and returned to my book.
And then later:
Her: “Well what if you were mowing the lawn on Sunday and just really wanted a beer… I guess there probably isn’t much mowing on Sunday.”
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?