Say a group of immigrants want to build a mosque in Mayberry, right next to All Saints Church. WWAD: What Would Andy Do?
The question, of course, never surfaced in the beloved Andy Griffith Show that chronicled life in the bucolic town of Mayberry, untouched by the battles of civil rights and war that festered in the 1960s.
Wouldn't it be great if one of the world's best travel writers, after
60 years and fortysome books, went back through her work and notes and
plucked out hundreds of haunting, revelatory, shimmering moments— brief
encounters that "have been sparks of my work," she might say, "if often
only in glimpses—a sighting through a window, a gentle snatch of sound,
the touch of a hand . . . fleeting contacts [that] have fuelled my
travels down the years, generated my motors, excited my laughter and
summoned my sympathies."
One morning this summer I was basking in the sun With the brother closest to me in age. We had been Brought up almost as twins but then took disparate Roads, as twins do. He was sobbing and I was near Tears and the ocean was muttering. I heard a heron. We had been having the most naked open talk we’d Had in many years. I wanted to tell him how deeply I loved him but words are just so weak and shallow. So I talked about the forsythia bush we used to hide Under together. It was the safest place on the planet. The light was always amazing in there and it wasn’t Ever muddy somehow and you were draped in gold. It was a hut a huddle a tent a canopy a cave a refuge. Sometimes you have to use a thing to say something Else. We do this all the time. We talk sideways, yes? But sidelong is often the only road that gets to where You know you need to go. So much means lots more Than it seems like it could mean. Tears, for example.
John Coleman, who died recently, presided over Haverford College during the tumultuous Vietnam War era. He sympathized with students’ antiwar protests but also tried to channel the antiwar movement in constructive ways. When students considered burning the American flag, Coleman placed a washing machine at the center of the campus and encouraged students to wash the flag instead. He persuaded dozens of college presidents to sign an antiwar statement. On sabbaticals he took blue-collar jobs to explore the gap between academics and workers (Inside Higher Ed, September 12).