It just doesn’twork

Somewhere in the country
Somewhere in the country

I took this picture in Tippecanoe County…unless I was in Montgomery County. I don’t really recall where I was. I know that I took the picture around three weeks ago. Sorry, that’s the best I can do.

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A short while ago I shared some political/topical songs from the 1960’s with a friend of mine. They were songs that I enjoyed back then, and still enjoy today. I knew that my friend would not enjoy them as much as I, but I hoped that she would listen and understand my political feelings when I was a youth.

Upon reflection, I see how silly I was. After all, my friend does not live in the U.S., nor has she, I believe, ever visited here. Also, she is very young, and wasn’t born until decades after the songs were new and relevant. What could I do?

“Hmmm,” thought I, “I can write out an explanation of the social, cultural and political references made in the songs. To make sure that I could do it, and to be prepared to offer explanations if asked, I took one of the songs and wrote an explanation. I chose “The John Birch Society” by Michael Brown, as sung by The Chad Mitchell Trio. I printed the song lyrics on left side of an 8 1/2″ by 11″ sheet of paper, and set to work putting my explanations on the right side of the sheet.

I tried to keep the explanations as brief as possible so that I wouldn’t have to add another page. That was my first mistake. I came to realize that what was so obvious to me would need a lot more explanation than a one half page précis. But even if I expanded the explanations, it wouldn’t work.

After mulling it over, I came to realize that even if I wrote a spectacular explanation that answered all possible questions, it would not work, because I couldn’t take my friend back to be in the moment. The song worked for me and others because it didn’t need to be explained. We were there. I cannot describe the cultural/political atmosphere, for lack of a better word, that we were experiencing without telling our views about the Cold War, Indochina, McCarthyism, and a ton of other topics. It was all part of whole that can’t be broken apart and then expect to tell the same story. I can’t recreate that, though I wish that I could. It just doesn’t work.

Side trip

At the Shaker Village
At the Shaker Village

I ran an errand for Cindy yesterday, returning some books to a publisher. Don’t ask; it’s a boring story. The trip was to Lexington, Kentucky, which is about 250 miles from here. There was a lot of road (re)construction going on. Well it is that time of year. I don’t believe that I have ever traveled through Louisville, Kentucky when there wasn’t road construction being done on Interstate Highway 65. Yesterday was no exception.

But that isn’t the thrust of this post. I made a side trip on the way back, and stopped at Pleasant Hill Shaker Village. Of course there aren’t any Shakers in the Village, but it appears that there once was quite a community in that location. As many of you know, the Shaker religion is an offshoot of the Quaker religion. Shakers are best known for their furniture, communal living, gender equality, the hymn “Simple Gifts,” and celibacy. Nobody is born into the church, so other means must be found to convert people to the religion. It is a tough sell, and has led to the dwindling of the flock.

When I arrived at The Village (not Patrick McGoohan’s Village in The Prisoner), there was a sign that declared it was Quiet Monday. In practical terms that meant that there was no admission fee. I believe that it also meant that there were no guided tours, but I could be wrong about that. The gift shop, however, was open. After wandering the grounds for a while and taking some pictures, I went in to the shop.

There were some items that you would expect to see, such as oval boxes, hand-made(?) brooms, wooden children’s toys, and some canned goods among other things. I was surprised to see a number of variations on Shaker Salsa. Who would have guessed that such a simple order of people would have developed such a fondness for spicy food. By the way, when I Googled Shaker Salsa, I got some disturbing results, so if you are family friendly, I would advise you to not look it up and click to see the YouTube video. Believe the warning that it may not be suitable for all audiences.

While perusing the tags on many of the items, I found that very few were produced in Kentucky, let alone by Shakers. But despite my cynical nature, I enjoyed my side trip, and I picked up some fruit jam for Cindy and a couple of post cards for myself. Who mails post cards anymore?