Category Archive 'Anthracite Region'
23 Apr 2016

St. George’s Day

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Hans von Aachen, St. George Slaying the Dragon, c. 1600, Private Collection, London

From Robert Chambers, The Book of Days, 1869:

Butler, the historian of the Romish calendar, repudiates George of Cappadocia, and will have it that the famous saint was born of noble Christian parents, that he entered the army, and rose to a high grade in its ranks, until the persecution of his co-religionists by Diocletian compelled him to throw up his commission, and upbraid the emperor for his cruelty, by which bold conduct he lost his head and won his saintship. Whatever the real character of St. George might have been, he was held in great honour in England from a very early period. While in the calendars of the Greek and Latin churches he shared the twenty-third of April with other saints, a Saxon Martyrology declares the day dedicated to him alone; and after the Conquest his festival was celebrated after the approved fashion of Englishmen.

In 1344, this feast was made memorable by the creation of the noble Order of St. George, or the Blue Garter, the institution being inaugurated by a grand joust, in which forty of England’s best and bravest knights held the lists against the foreign chivalry attracted by the proclamation of the challenge through France, Burgundy, Hainault, Brabant, Flanders, and Germany. In the first year of the reign of Henry V, a council held at London decreed, at the instance of the king himself, that henceforth the feast of St. George should be observed by a double service; and for many years the festival was kept with great splendour at Windsor and other towns. Shakspeare, in Henry VI, makes the Regent Bedford say, on receiving the news of disasters in France:

Bonfires in France I am forthwith to make
To keep our great St. George’s feast withal!’

Edward VI promulgated certain statutes severing the connection between the ‘noble order’ and the saint; but on his death, Mary at once abrogated them as ‘impertinent, and tending to novelty.’ The festival continued to be observed until 1567, when, the ceremonies being thought incompatible with the reformed religion, Elizabeth ordered its discontinuance. James I, however, kept the 23rd of April to some extent, and the revival of the feast in all its glories was only prevented by the Civil War. So late as 1614, it was the custom for fashionable gentlemen to wear blue coats on St. George’s day, probably in imitation of the blue mantle worn by the Knights of the Garter.

In olden times, the standard of St. George was borne before our English kings in battle, and his name was the rallying cry of English warriors. According to Shakspeare, Henry V led the attack on Harfleur to the battle-cry of ‘God for Harry! England! and St. George!’ and ‘God and St. George’ was Talbot’s slogan on the fatal field of Patay. Edward of Wales exhorts his peace-loving parents to

‘Cheer these noble lords,
And hearten those that fight in your defence;
Unsheath your sword, good father, cry St. George!’

The fiery Richard invokes the same saint, and his rival can think of no better name to excite the ardour of his adherents:

‘Advance our standards, set upon our foes,
Our ancient word of courage, fair St. George,
Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons.’

England was not the only nation that fought under the banner of St. George, nor was the Order of the Garter the only chivalric institution in his honour. Sicily, Arragon, Valencia, Genoa, Malta, Barcelona, looked up to him as their guardian saint; and as to knightly orders bearing his name, a Venetian Order of St. George was created in 1200, a Spanish in 1317, an Austrian in 1470, a Genoese in 1472, and a Roman in 1492, to say nothing of the more modern ones of Bavaria (1729), Russia (1767), and Hanover (1839).

Legendarily the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George was founded by the Emperor Constantine (312-337 A.D.). On the factual level, the Constantinian Order is known to have functioned militarily in the Balkans in the 15th century against the Turk under the authority of descendants of the twelfth-century Byzantine Emperor Isaac II Angelus Comnenus.

We Lithuanians liked St. George as well. When I was a boy I attended St. George Lithuanian Parish Elementary School, and served mass at St. George Lithuanian Roman Catholic Church in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania.

StGeorgeXmas1979
St. George Church, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, Christmas, 1979. This church, built by immigrant coal miners in 1891, was torn down by the Diocese of Allentown in 2010.

21 Jan 2016

“Just a Couple of Beers at the Firehouse”

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McAdoo
I grew up in Shenandoah, so I know McAdoo.

I came across a classic Coal Region survival story yesterday, out of McAdoo, just south of Hazleton.

WNEP:

Justin Smith, 26, of McAdoo is what doctors are calling a medical miracle.

He was found nearly frozen to death on the side of the road about one year ago.

On Monday, he got the opportunity to thank everyone who helped him survive after spending nearly 12 hours out in the cold.

“I got done with work that day and we were going to the fire hall to hang out, having a couple drinks with some people, and I wanted to go home around 10 o’clock,” said Smith.

On that cold night last February, Justin Smith walked out of the Treskow fire hall, but never made it home.

His father Don found him the next day on the side of Treskow Road.

“I looked over and there was Justin laying there and he was laying face up there like this,” said Don Smith. ” He was blue. His face he was lifeless. I checked for a pulse. I checked for a heartbeat. There was nothing.”

“The coroner was on scene. The state police were on scene. They were doing essentially a death investigation,” said Dr. Gerald Coleman.

But Dr. Coleman, an emergency department physician at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Hazleton, refused to pronounce Justin dead when his body was that cold.

“Our mind is supposed to run the show, not our hearts because if your heart runs the show, you can run into some problems. I just kind of threw that to the wind and said, ‘No, not today,’” said Dr. Coleman.

A team in Hazleton performed CPR on Justin for two hours.

He was then transferred to Lehigh Valley Hospital Cedar Crest near Allentown where doctors used what’s called an ECMO machine to warm up Justin’s blood.

Doctors say flying Justin to Lehigh Valley’s Hospital near Allentown was a miracle in itself. They had to beat a snowstorm and do compressions on him the entire way.

“We knew we needed a big, big miracle,” Justin’s mom Sissy Smith said.

“When you have very low temperature, it can preserve the brain and other organ functions,” said Dr. James Wu of the Lehigh Valley Health Network.

Doctors said as Justin warmed up, his heart started beating.

Weeks went by before he actually woke up and realized where he was.

“It’s like I woke up from a dream, but it wasn’t a dream,” Justin said.

“When you look at the science of what happened to Justin, it was really hard to imagine that anyone on Earth could survive this,” said Dr. John Castaldo of the Lehigh Valley Health Network.

Now he’s back to his family he loves, golf, and school.

Justin lost his pinkies and all of his toes, but doctors call him a medical miracle.

25 Dec 2015

Christmas at St. George Church, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania

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St.GeorgeXmas1979
St. George Lithuanian Roman Catholic Church, Shenandoah, PA, decorated for Christmas in 1979. I served as an altar boy at Christmas mass here many decades ago.

The Diocese of Allentown had this church, the grandest and most architecturally distinguished in its town, demolished in 2010.

17 May 2015

Coal Region Ghost Towns

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GhostShenandoah
An elderly woman walks past the ruins of the former high school in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania.

WNEP 16 reports that several once-thriving communities in Northeastern Pennsylvania’s Anthracite Region, including my own boyhood hometown, all one-time mining boom towns, are discovering that, after their economic raison d’être has disappeared, the population vanishes as well.

[S]ome communities in our region are fast becoming virtual ghost towns.

The proof comes from the 2010 U.S. Census which found in three area communities more than 25 percent of the homes and businesses sit vacant.

The three communities are in the heart of the coal region. All experienced population and employment losses in recent years that left hundreds of vacant houses and storefronts.

In Mahanoy City, Schuykill County, according to the U.S. Census, 26.3 percent of its homes sit vacant.

Just a block from the main street a home is selling for less than a price of a used car.

Shamokin, Northumberland County also has a vacancy rate of 26.3 percent. Afternoon traffic rarely stops on downtown blocks that increasingly see buildings for rent or for sale.

Shenandoah has the region’s highest vacancy rate at 28.9 percent. …

Empty lots. Empty businesses that closed years ago.

“It’s a great little town, but it has an image problem,” said realtor Erica Ramus. She has a hard time selling property in Shenandoah. “I’ve brought people up here to show them downtown properties as far as commercial, and the comment I’ve heard is, ‘Why would I want to move my business to a dying old coal town?’”

A typical Shenandoah block consists of an empty building, another vacant storefront, a doctor’s office, another vacant storefront, then a bank branch. People downtown said the neighborhoods are even bleaker. …

A drive through Shenandoah’s east side finds abandoned, unlivable homes. Others sit vacant for years, with little hope of finding a buyer.

A rowhome for sale is covered with newspapers from the year 2000.

“They’re not dead, but they’re certainly ill,” said Wilkes University economics professor Tony Liuzzo. He said the communities spiraling downward where jobs and people leave and vacant homes stay vacant.

“There’s an increase in pressure on the individuals who are remaining there and, of course, you don’t want to be the last one left holding the bag, so to speak,” Liuzzo added.

John Dopkin calls his east side Shenandoah block the loneliest place imaginable.

“I have no friends, all my friends are gone. I just lost my wife a year ago, and I’m waiting to go myself,” Dopkin added.

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29 Apr 2015

Baltimore Versus Shenandoah

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BadShenandoah
There were many mean streets in the Pennsylvania small town where I grew up.

I grew up in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, a major place of settlement for turn-of-the-last-century Lithuanian immigrants to the United States. Shenandoah was, even in my youth, a former mining boom-town, well along in the processes of decline and decay.

Shenandoah was a kind of miniature city. It had, everyone said, in its heyday, more barrooms than Philadelphia. Protestants, English, German, and Welsh, constituted a small, and shrinking, minority. The town’s population was overwhelming composed of recent Roman Catholic immigrants. Lithuanians were nearly a plurality, but there were also plenty of Poles, Ukrainians, Slovaks, Irish, and Italians. Main Street commerce was dominated by Jews, who lived on Oak Street in the grandest houses in town.

By my 1950s boyhood, once homogeneous ethnic neighborhoods were dispersed. My father bought two houses (he rented one) on the West side of town, in what had, long ago, been the Italian neighborhood. We got along well with our Italian neighbors, who were always stopping us to press fresh tomatoes and other vegetables grown in the backyards on us. When I was a bit older, I was especially popular with the old Italian men because I had grown into a tough guy and protected the Italian kids (Lithuanians like me looked upon Italians, like Jews, as helpless non-combatants) from the juvenile gangs who lay in wait to waylay smaller children to steal their money and to torment and sexually abuse them.

Lithuanians tended to get along with the Italians and the Pennsylvania Dutch, who usually voted Republican. We tended not to get along with the Irish and the Poles, who usually voted democrat.

Shenandoah was a basically working-class mining town (where the mines had just closed down forever), with a significant welfare-and-criminal underclass.

The Internet keeps me in touch today with friends I went to school with and with whom I served mass and who were in the same boy scout troop. One friend, now retired from the Air Force and teaching Systems Theory as an adjunct at several Southern colleges, was reminiscing not long ago, and reflected how his family and mine were “the nice families,” largely surrounded at the end of town by gangsters and scum.

Like most people born into working class families, I was brought up with a contempt for the welfare class and knew first-hand the profound fear that parents like mine had of sinking to the point of “going on relief.” With the mines closing, men were being everywhere thrown out of work, and times were hard in the Anthracite region. Everyone knew people who were up against it and who were proud enough that they would go hungry before they would take relief, and though we pitied their condition, we felt strongly that they were perfectly right.

As you may imagine, I’ve been hearing now, for more than 50 years, sob stories about the plight of the “disenfranchised” (who do actually have the vote) and the “impoverished” (by whom?) in the inner cities. Not surprisingly, I am entirely lacking in sympathy.

We were corresponding on Facebook yesterday about the rioting in Baltimore, and I said the kind of hard-core, unsympathetic things that elderly, white, redneck racists like myself are prone to say. The thread belonged to a bouzhy, female, liberal attorney friend from Yale, and I would have been slightly more diplomatic in my remarks had I realized that one of the readers and participants in the thread was a young, black female recent Yale graduate.

The young lady took offense at my comments, which has caused me to reflect on the peculiarities of racial politics. My preceding remarks were intended to make the point that, in Lithuanian immigrant society, the respectable people may have gone so far as to feel some pity for the welfare/criminal scum residing nearby, but we did not side with them against the police. We also did not tolerate their criminal activities. I personally used to walk to and from school deliberately taking different routes, patrolling to prevent two different well-known juvenile gangs from molesting younger kids.

No one could have set up a drug dealing station in any residential neighborhood in our town. Nor could any adult criminal gangs take over neighborhoods. If any had tried, and the police not intervened, there were plenty of male adult veterans of WWII would have taken care of them immediately.

So, why is it, I often wonder how it is that decent & respectable African-American people have to live in such bad neighborhoods, dominated by drug dealers and gangbangers? Are there no tough and law-abiding African-Americans? And how come the better black people all come a-running to stick-up on racial solidarity grounds for the thug Leroy when the cops beat up on Leroy’s ass? Back where I grew up, if the Lithuanian criminal elements “Hopper” or “Cutha” were seen getting belathered by Shakey the cop with his hickory nightstick, their respectable fellow-Lithuanians would have smiled with warm approval and defended Shakey’s conduct all day long.

In our town’s high school, there was a 350 lb.+ football coach, nicknamed “Moose.” Moose, Mr. R., was not the sharpest pencil in the faculty box, and his academic role was to be homeroom teacher to the General section, the section of academically-hopeless criminals and mental defectives. Moose kept order with a heavy hand. One day, one of the leading bad hats sassed Mr. R., who responded by picking up the large console television set in the front of the room and hurling it at the offender. The bad boy went to the hospital with a broken arm and other injuries, and the whole town told and retold the story, grinning and gloating. Moose was admired, and no disciplinary proceedings whatsoever occurred.

25 Dec 2014

Christmas at St. George Church, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania

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St.GeorgeXmas1979
St. George Lithuanian Roman Catholic Church, Shenandoah, PA, decorated for Christmas in 1979. I served mass at Christmas there many decades ago. The Diocese of Allentown had this church, the grandest and most architecturally distinguished in town, torn down in 2010.

03 Aug 2013

A Neighbor’s Photo From Shorpy’s

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1938. “Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Joe Gladski, wife of a coal miner at Maple Hill.” Photo by Sheldon Dick, Resettlement Administration.

Shorpy’s, the great historical photo site, yesterday put up a photo from my old hometown.

Commenter Solo adds details:

Per the 1940 Federal census, the Gladsky family (Joseph and Sophia, their three children, and Joe’s father, born in what became Poland but was then the Russian Empire) occupied 422 West Lloyd Street in said town, Shenandoah Borough, Schuylkill Co, PA. Sophia is about 31 in this photo. … Joe died in Fairmont, West Virginia in 1961, age about 57. His son, Joe Jr., died at 73 in New Jersey. Sophia herself died in New Jersey in 1996, aged 89 years.

Some interesting touches in this shot are the rather worn armchair with faint shadow of an antimacassar on the back and the apparently new widow casings and baseboard.

I was born ten years later on a farm my father bought after the war in Locust Valley, but around 1953 my mother forced him to give up the farm and move back into town. In those days, working class families were lucky to own a single automobile, and most women (including my mother) never learned to drive. Living out in the country without transportation was naturally unpleasant for her.

We wound up living across the street and one block west from Mr. & Mrs. Gladski (with whom we were not acquainted as far as I know), at 515-517 West Lloyd. My father also worked as a coal miner at Maple Hill (the last of the collieries to shut down). Maple Hill ended mining operations in 1954. While working there, my father was once (briefly) buried by a cave-in of coal. He was able to dig himself out, but the fall had knocked his miner’s helmet off and one rock split open his scalp. He had to go to the hospital to have the wound stitched up. When he was an old man, you could see blue particles of coal embedded in the skin on top of his head.

Needless to say, I am old enough to remember this style of domestic furnishings. Mrs. Gladski was a good looking woman with the kind of aquiline nose which has always seemed to me to be a distinctly Polish feature.

Small world, isn’t it?

24 Jul 2013

Hometown Neighbor of Mine Makes the News

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I grew up in Shenandoah, which is only a couple of miles north of Gilberton.

I did not know that Gilberton (with its whopping population of 867, as of 2000) was actually a borough. I would have said that it was a patch settlement in Mahanoy Township, but what do I know?

I guess they must have incorporated it as a borough back in 1873 in order to gain some kind of political advantage pertaining to access to the Anthracite coal under the ground nearby.

Anyway, Gilberton is a borough and apparently even has its own police force (which I never knew). And the current police chief, Mark Kessler, has been posting some profanity-laced videos on YouTube, which have the kind of people he refers to as “libtards” at Raw Story decidedly upset.

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Example 1:

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Example 2, in response to libtard reaction to number 1:

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I’m willing to grant that Mr. Kessler’s political commentary seems to fall a little short of Edmund Burke’s, but I am naturally amused, and even a little proud, to find that the political views of a resident of today’s Schuylkill County, which I left over 40 years ago, still when you come right down to it so much resemble my own.

I do think that Police Chief Kessler is additionally a walking advertisement for Radley Balko’s new book on the Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces. That is some expensive ordinance that Police Chief Kessler is playing with in the second video. It was undoubtedly paid for by somebody’s tax dollars. And that kind of firepower, though obviously terrific fun to play with, is absolutely preposterous in relation to the character and levels of crime in as poor and little-populated a settlement as Gilberton.

22 Jun 2013

Upper Mauch Chunk, 1940

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August 1940. “Old house in Upper Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania. In the background is East Mauch Chunk.” Photo by Jack Delano.

Mauch Chunk, renamed as Jim Thorpe in 1953 in an outrageous feat of Babbitry, is the county seat of Carbon County. Described as “the Switzerland of Pennsylvania,” the town lies at the eastern edge of the Anthracite Mining region. Four Molly Maguire terrorists were hanged there in 1876.

Upper Mauch Chunk is distinguished by its proximity to a mountain ridge where rock hounds can find carnotite, a radioactive mineral containing uranium. Guess how I know that.

I’ve always had a personal weakness for old, decayed houses, and for the gingerbread Victorian ornamentation found on small town Pennsylvania houses.

From Shorpy’s.

07 Nov 2012

Pennsylvania Voted For Obama

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Schuylkill County, and doubtless Orwigsburg, voted for Romney, but it didn’t save them.

I couldn’t turn off the autoplay, so here’s a link instead:

2:28 video

20 Oct 2012

Our Town

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Shenandoah, Pennsylvania: South Main Street in the 1940s, a bit before my time.

My high school and elementary school classmate Norman Gregas posted on Facebook this Iris Dement nostalgic tribute to a vanished small town, particularly applicable in the case of our hometown whose treatment at the hands of time and economic change was exceptionally destructive and cruel.

27 Jun 2012

Remembering Lakewood Park

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Quomodo sedet sola civitas.

General readers will need to bear with me. One of the basic functions of my blog is to pass along items I would otherwise be emailing to friends.

I grew up in the Anthracite region of Northeastern Pennsylvania, one of the principal centers of Lithuanian settlement in the United States. The coal mining industry expired after WWII. Americans had en masse converted to oil for domestic heating, and new post-War environmental regulations made extracting coal below the water-table impossible.

Nothing ever replaced Anthracite coal mining. Over the next 60 years after the last colliery shut down for good, essentially everyone who could walk left after graduating from high school. Populations dwindled, and once prosperous towns became almost ghost towns.

One renowned local institution after another closed down as the years went by.

A friend from back home, now living in Maryland, last night, sent me this video remembering our long-gone local amusement park.

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At least the fine old Lakewood carousel survives and is today still being enjoyed by young and old in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Would you believe that I can look at this video and find the particular horse I preferred as a small child?

Hat tip to Henry Bernatonis.

15 Mar 2012

Happy Ides of March!

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When I was in high school, I had Latin in 9th and 10th grade. Our Latin teacher had a curious personal custom. He sacrificed annually, in honor of Great Caesar, on the Ides of March, the male student in each class who had offended him by doing the least work and/or being the most disruptive influence. He sacrificed additionally one female student from each class whose selection, I fear, was based only upon his own capricious whim and covert sexual attraction.

The sacrifice consisted of the victim being bent over a desk and receiving three strokes of a paddle, delivered by a six foot, 250 lb+. Latin teacher laying on the strokes with a will and putting his weight behind them. (I won’t name him.) Mr. X’s paddle was a four foot long piece of 1 1/2″ thick pine, produced in our high school’s wood shop by General Curriculum students, who did not take Latin, but admired Mr. X. The paddle was roughly in the form of a Roman gladius, and its surface was scored by a series of regular lines, because it was generally believed that a blow from an uneven surface was more painful.

Mr. X had a fixed policy of assigning the duty of construing the day’s Latin assignment on the blackboard in strict and completely predictable order, going up and down the aisles of desks. Two or three of the smart kids would always actually do the Latin, and it was our recognized duty to supply the translations in advance to the person who would be going to the blackboard.

Readiness to translate correctly was really vital, because Mr. X would apply his dreaded paddle to anyone who failed to write out the day’s assignment correctly on the blackboard. It was rare, but every once in a while some truly feckless idiot would neglect to seek out Kenny Hollenbach, Jack Rigrotsky, or yours truly, and would arrive at the blackboard, chalk in hand, unprepared.

Mr. X typically broke the current paddle over the defaulter’s posterior, and the mental defectives in shop class would gleefully commence the fabrication of a new, yet more elaborate, edition of the famous paddle.

Every March 15th, two 9th and 10th grade Academic Curriculum sections would look on with the same sadistic interest of Roman spectators at the gladitorial games, as Mr. X conducted his sacrifices. I can recall that he struck the pretty strawberry blonde with the well-developed embonpoint so hard that he raised dust from her skirt. We were a bit puzzled that girls actually submitted to being beaten with a paddle for no reason, but all this went on undoubtedly because the legend of Mr. X the fierce disciplinarian had enormous appeal in our local community. The whole thing was fascinating, and it all made such a good story that everyone, student and adult, in their heart of hearts, enthusiastically approved.

Mr. X would never be allowed to get away with that kind of thing today, alas! In Hades, poor Caesar must do without his sacrifice. And it is my impression that Latin instruction has rather overwhelmingly also become a thing of the past. Kids today learn Spanish. Modern languages are easier and thought more relevant.

Tim de Lisle would not approve. He recently argued that Latin the best language.

If you work with words, Latin is the Pilates session that stays with you for life: it strengthens the core. It teaches you grammar and syntax, better than your own language, whose structure you will have absorbed before you are capable of noticing it. Latin offers no hiding place, no refuge for the woolly. Each piece of the sentence has to slot in with the rest; every ending has to be the right one. To learn Latin is to learn rigour.

The price for the rigour is the mortis. Soon enough, someone will helpfully inform you that Latin is a dead language. In one way, sure, but in others it lives on. It is a vivid presence in English and French, it is the mother of Italian and Spanish, and it even seeps into German. More often than not, the words these languages have in common are the Latin ones: it remains a lingua franca. The words we take from Latin tend to be long, reflective, intellectual (the short, punchy words we didn’t need to import: live, die, eat, drink, love, hate). Business and academia, two worlds with little else in common, both rely more and more on long Latinate words. The European Union speaks little else. Ten years ago, for another article, I had to read the proposed European constitution. It was a long turgid parade of Latin-derived words. The burghers of Brussels were trying to build a superstate out of abstract nouns.

Management-speak and Euro-blather are Latin at its worst, but learning it will still help you cut through them to find clarity. It is a little harder to bullshit when you’ve learnt Latin (though quite possible to bluster, as Boris Johnson proves). And if you stick at it you discover, after no more than eight or nine years, that this is a glorious language per se.

Its literature has stood the test of millennia: Ovid is diverting, Lucretius is stimulating, Cicero is riveting. Horace can be a drag—like a bad weekend columnist, always wittering on about his garden and his cellar, except when coming out with quotable drivel about how sweet it is to die in battle. But his contemporary Virgil is majestic. He set himself the most daunting task—giving Rome its own “Iliad” and “Odyssey”, in a single epic, while staying on the right side of an emperor—and pulled it off. I did French and Greek too for years, and enjoyed them, but nothing quite matched up to the pleasure of reading the “Aeneid” in the original.

Hat tip to Bird Dog.

I think Mr. de Lisle is quite right about the benefits to one’s writing skills of the study of the classical languages in one’s youth, though personally I do not admire (or have good) Latin at all. I had two years of high school Latin, and I still have great difficulty in figuring out who is doing what to whom in the typical Latin sentence. I much prefer Greek, and I would far rather read The Iliad in the original than The Aeneid.

14 Mar 2012

“Yellow Wall”

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Nancy Clearwater Herman, Yellow Wall, 2012

This Hopper-esque painting of houses in Manayunk, a neighborhood in the northwest section of Philadelphia, viewed from the Cynwyd Trail by Nancy Herman reminded me very powerfully of the view of house roofs I saw looking out the attic window of my boyhood home in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. I was startled and a bit moved by nostalgia. It seems that densely built, working class Pennsylvania neighborhoods have a pretty strong degree of architectural similarity.

The artist writes:

This is the last painting from the Cynwyd Trail for now. I know I will be returning to these close-ups of Manayunk from the trail sooner or later as I love the shapes created by the roof tops. While I am painting them I imagine living in these houses, which adds to the fun. Everything looks so cheery on this sunny afternoon but what is it really like to live there?

She actually sells these for only $125. If that one weren’t already sold, I’d have liked to have acquired it.

Hat tip to Vanderleun. How did he find it, I wonder?

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