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MOM AND I WERE DEDICATED, EXPERIENCED MIDWESTERN DRIVERS. On Sunday, we drove the Lincoln across one of the roads at the northern end of Central Park, and found ourselves on Fifth Avenue. I was at the wheel, and we started downtown, aiming to see all of Manhattan at one shot before Mom and Grammy headed home.
Block after block passed. We hit every light on green. After twenty-odd blocks, the thought came to all three of us at once: Can we make it all the way downtown on green lights?
Uptown blocks passed smoothly. In 1966, on an early Sunday afternoon, there was almost no traffic in Manhattan. Fifty-seventh Street, green light, into the vast canyons of midtown. Forty-second Street? Smooth as glass, green light. I could tell, as we approached the vast open plaza of Herald Square, at Thirty-Fourth, that we might get stopped there, so I looked ahead and pushed it a bit, and we just slipped through on amber.
My mother chuckled. We were home free. The remaining thirty blocks we drove without a hitch, green light after green light, till we came to a halt at the Washington Square arch, the end of the grand avenue.
In the back seat, my grandmother gave out with her high-pitched laugh: “Hee!”
THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN THE LAST GOOD TIME my grandmother had. By the following year she had given up. She refused to put in her dentures, refused to eat, refused to leave her room.
When she died, we buried her in the Arlington cemetery, next to my grandfather. We held her funeral in our old church, which has long ago been torn down.
Almost nothing remains of her life: A hymn book from that church, with a dedicatory name plate inscribed in her hand to my grandfather’s memory, a recipe for lefse tucked in an old cookbook. I use her sugar spoon in my coffee canister. We have “Grammy’s good dishes” in our cupboard.
I still have dreams where I wake up in her old house and imagine myself living in Arlington. No one has ever influenced me more.
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?