Miss Mary Reilly, of Springfield, MA has a permanent seat at the table of the family that descends from Frank J. and Mary Swift Read. She assumed responsibility for Miss Swift, of Maysville, KY, after her parents were killed in a fire around the start of the 20th century. (see oldest photos >)
Life is more than what meets the eye; life is what our minds say meets the eye, too. The eye-world hums along according to natural law, the I-world goes according to whatever rules I train it to abide.
Harper Lee published To Kill a Mockingbird in 1960, a pivotal time in the United States, which had recently achieved a status unknown in human history. The second World War left the USA the last man standing, so to speak. No other country or association of countries was our equal – it wasn’t even close.
In 2015, Go Set a Watchman was published, which Ms. Lee thought was the book she wanted to publish in 1960, but was overruled by her book people. I am certain that there will be as much written about the circumstances of Watchman’s publication as about its literary merit.
My personal bias
… in favor of a chance to talk about 1960 is because that was the most fun year in the life of my family. It was the year we bought a new house near Lake Ontario and a red Country Squire station wagon in which we traveled to the faraway paradise of Cape Cod. In the summer of 2020, I stood on the same sand dunes as I did at eleven, next to my father, in 1960.
Just fifteen years earlier, my father had been a forward air observer on a mission to kill Nazis, and so he was thrilled to visit Marconi Station, site of the first transatlantic wireless communication, in 1903. His wartime experience included the use of radio to send coordinates back to his battery mates for them to aim 240 millimeter howitzers.
Lessons from my father
My mother told me that my father told her that he knew he would die young. She told him that if he left her alone with six kids to raise, that she never would say a kind word about him. As anybody who knew him knows, if you were not going to say something kind about David J. Read, then you would remain silent, because there was nothing else to say.
My father taught me how the English language works and he told me to think for myself.
Setting up a virtual bookclub to serve as a virtual family homestead seems to me like a good idea. What do you think?