Eyre Affairs

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Location: New York, United States

Monday, July 03, 2006

"While the stars enter into their shining life..." ~ Jane Eyre

Tonight I crept over to one of my bookshelves and pulled out one of my favorite books.

It is not a novel, nor is it thick and dense. It is about 56 pages long. It was given to me 14 years ago by my father - a gift from one patriot to another. The contents of this book never cease to excite me. The title of the book is called The Spirit of America by Barbara Milo Ohrbach. It is a collection of American quotes, songs, and recipes.

I love taking this book out on the Fourth of July. I never tire of reading quotes about Lincoln, reading the ingredient list to all-American dishes such as Mom's Old Fashioned Apple Pie, and reading the list of state birds and state trees. (New York's state bird is the bluebird and our state flower is the rose.) This kind of Americana is something I cherish and enjoy, just like all other Americana. (I have a really nice red, white, and blue wooden star piece on my door; see photo above)

Despite all of the imperfections and injustices in this country I am very much aware of and witness as a public educator, I still know in my heart this is the best place to live in the history of the world. I see nothing wrong with romanticizing America. I always shall always be a romantic when it comes to the United States, just like like George Washington, Ben Franklin, John Adams, and Henry Lee did back in 1776. If these people did not romanticize the concept of America, than we wouldnt be here, now would we?

I certainly romanticize the Fourth of July. When I have my own house one day, I want to have a party for hundreds with big picnic tables, tons of all-American food, Americana everywhere, sparklers, and patriotic music. Until then, I will celebrate nicely with a small BBQ tomorrow with my family.

I rarely do memes, but I can't resist doing one in celebration of America's Birthday. Happy Fourth of July!

Favorite All-American...

Bands: Boston, Creedence, Eagles
Foods: Barbecued chicken, Mac and Cheese, Pumpkin Pie
Beer: Purple Haze Abita
Drink: New York Egg Cream
Superhero: Superman
President: Teddy Roosevelt
Documentary: Ken Burn's The Civil War
Song: Jack and Diane by Mellencamp
Novels: The Great Gatsby, The Bridges of Madison County, Where the Heart Is
Poets: Ginsberg, Hughs, Plath
Movies: Singin' in the Rain, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, To Kill a Mockingbird
Photographers: Matt Brady, Ansel Adams
Monument: Lincoln Memorial
Military Man: General William Tecumseh Sherman
Painter: Edward Hopper
Dancer: Paul Taylor
Athlete: The Bambino
Musicals: West Side Story and 1776
Woman: Abigail Adams
Man: Martin Luther King Jr.
Quote: "America is a willingness of the heart" - F. Scott Fitzgerald

8 Comments:

Blogger work in progress said...

Some randomness (because I just got my butt kicked while waiting tables and I'm feeling very random)
ala WiP:

I can't listen to MLK's 'I have a dream' speach without crying...Good choice.

What is New York Egg Cream?

I love how patriotic you are. It's inspiring and enviable.

Have you noticed the annoying trend (at least it's the case in my area) of having our Independence Day celebration on July 3rd? WTF? (pardon my abreviation) Shouldn't we celebrate Independence day on...umm, INDEPENDENCE DAY? Not the tonight's-better-for-me-because-I-have-to-work-tomorrow day.

I'm just sayin'

12:21 AM  
Blogger Barry said...

I guess I share your romantisizing of America too - I just usually keep it low key.

3:36 AM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

WIP ~ Oh how I love your randomness!

I used to show MLK's speech to my public speaking class (I no longer teach the course) and got chills each and every time - I understand your tears.

My father took me to an old fashioned soda fountain place as a kid and insisted I try an Egg Cream. I said NO! I didnt want to drink eggs! Lo and behold, it has no eggs! It has milk, seltzer, and lots and lots of chocolate syrup! I think my dad drank one weekly as a kid in Brooklyn!

You are right, I am totally unclear as to why anyone would celebrate on the 3rd. If there is one thing worth losing sleep over, it is partying for this country! :) I hope you have a lovely fourth, my dear!


Barry ~ Thinking about all of you who are serving overseas today. I hope you have a great Fourth of July!

7:54 AM  
Blogger Night Flier said...

Love Ansel Adams! Saw an exhibit of his work in St. Petersburg FL last spring! :)

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Resurgere said...

Found your blog through some *extremely* random acts of surfing - you write very well! I guess one would hope you can, being you're an English teacher and all, but...

Anyway, the Lincoln Memorial - a brilliant thing from an era that fascinates me, an era of bigger and better (the early 20th century, very delayed from the time of his death). I visited there on a trip to DC and found the text of his 2nd inaugural address on the wall - quite an overwhelming work of prose to read from a huge wall.

7:23 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Vixen ~ Arent they just amazing photos to see in person? I saw a documentary on him; what a cute little old man!

RSG ~ Thank you so very much for visiting and for your kind words.
Have you read any Lincoln biographies? I read Shenk's recently which focused on his depression. It was wonderful. He is even more of a hero in my eyes after learning about his internal battles.

7:29 PM  
Blogger David said...

What a great list. You always have such great taste. (Not that I expected you to put down Kid Rock for favorite poet or anything.) ;)
My favorite book of all time is "The Grapes of Wrath." When people talk vaguely of writing the "great American novel," I always think of that one.
My favorite American music is Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." I listened to it last night, actually. His music fits that F. Scott Fitzgerald quote, I think.

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Through a Glass Darkly said...

What a great list. I might have to steal the idea to cheer myself up about our country.

9:37 AM  

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