My father Bert (that’s Dr. Bert to you!) Is the Belmont Manor Buddha. Belmont Manor’s lobby reminds you of a country inn, but it is in fact a nursing home.
This week we were discussing the upcoming election when he pointed out that in spite of anything Donald Trump says or thinks — the Obama’s and the Clinton’s are part of the Warp and Woof of our society. I of course was unfamiliar with the term and needed him to explain it to me — Bert went on to say that the Obama’s were community organizers — like social workers, he said.
The great miracles and joys in my life are the surprising lessons from those I love.
I also received a text message from my son “Jason.” It was a photo of a passage from:
Life of an American Slave Frederick Douglass Boston: Anti-Slavery Office, 1845
Mr. Gore was a grave man, and, though a young man, he indulged in no jokes, said no funny words, seldom smiled. His words were in perfect keeping with his looks, and his looks were in perfect keeping with his words. Overseers will sometimes indulge in a witty word, even with the slaves; not so with Mr. Gore. He spoke but to command, and commanded but to be obeyed; he dealt sparingly with his words, and bountifully with his whip, never using the former where the latter would answer as well. When he whipped, he seemed to do so from a sense of duty, and feared no consequences. He did nothing reluctantly, no matter how disagreeable; always at his post, never inconsistent. He never promised but to fulfill. He was, in a word, a man of the most inflexible firmness and stone-like coolness.
Then he sent a text saying: “That’s me LOL…btw he’s a fucking beast the way he worded this.”
To translate my son’s vernacular to convey the astute literary criticism:
That is a flawlessly written and beautiful character description. I identity with it.
The LOL — laughing out loud is both that this passage describes a white slave overseer; and Jason is black. Further, the irony that Gore’s consummate ‘coolness’ is in fact a great character sketch of Jason. Likewise the Obama’s aren’t social workers, but we Fliegel’s are and that’s where we are meet on the path to social change.
My great guys. Bert’s political analysis, Jason’s unraveling his mystery! My warp and my woof. My surprises! How lucky I am.
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