Entertaining the young ladies at Spring croquet
One of Muffy Aldrich’s friends reminisces about (and defends) fraternity life at Cornell in the mid-1970s.
Itâ€™s a funny thing about me and my cronies. For us, college was about growing into manhood; sophomoric antics notwithstanding, we aspired to be grown-ups. Our models, sartorial and otherwise, were our fathers and our friendsâ€™ fathers, those stout fellows, which sounds hopelessly square but speaks volumes about who we were. “There is the presence of a fatherâ€¦a force of counsel and support that would have carried one, well-equipped, into manhood,” John Cheever wrote in his journal. “One does not invest the image with brilliance or wealth; it is simply a man in a salt and pepper tweed, sometimes loving, sometimes irascible, and sometimes drunk but always responsible to his son.”
Forgive me if I tend to romanticize the past. Like many of my age, I am bewildered by what it means to be an adult in a culture dominated by the values of children. How are children to be shown the way out of childhood by parents who want to be children themselves?
Read the whole thing.
Hat tip to James Coulter Harberson III