Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Colossal Mistake

The thing about America that struck Gutzon Borglum was bigness. His parents had emigrated from little Denmark to the Wild West. So when their son John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum was born in Bear Lake, Idaho, in 1867, the … Continue reading

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Anna Karenina

The characters in Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina are not allegories or didactic figures that project the dogmas of Tolstoy’s Christian thought (as he does in The Kingdom of God is Within You). They are fully formed human beings, living in their … Continue reading

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The Aerobatic Swift

Out on the red-tiled terrace off the top floor of our Collegio Internazionale, there are many miracles. In one direction, the pride of Urbino – a bell tower that can surprise with alleluias through the old brick alleyways, and behind … Continue reading

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Lovesong of J. Alfred Somebody

I am Lazarus come from the dead to tell you all. No, that’s not what I meant at all. Still positive from Covid today, staying positive in my room. But I’m more like those perplexed in the marketplace on the … Continue reading

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Room with a View

I am in an unusual prison cell, isolated in Room 54 of the Collegio Internazionale, in Urbino, because I have Covid. The Italians require seven days of isolation from the time of my “extremely positive” test results yesterday afternoon. The … Continue reading

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Italian values

URBINO, Italy – These American undergraduates are getting their orientation from Mirko Marinelli, a director of GEV, the outfit that runs their dormitory. It’s a remarkable building — palatial, literally: a 15th century palace, the Palazzo Chiocci, which contemporary Italian … Continue reading

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My comments to USDOT re: rulemaking phase of Bipartisan Infrastructure Act

Agency: Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of TransportationDocket No. FHWA-2021-0022Jan. 14, 2022 I am a new EV owner, and instead of merely joining the chorus of complainers about the lack of charging stations, I’m trying to help my city of … Continue reading

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Searching for the Origins of the Appalachian Trail

The little trail we are hiking in the North Georgia woods belongs to us and the bears. The hardwoods overhead are as diverse as any in the Eastern United States. The ferns, galax, poison ivy and other native groundcover have … Continue reading

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Louellen Wright Murray, 1951-2021

This tradition of eulogies at Tate Annual Meetings has a certain shape. But no passing of those we love can really fit a pattern. The passing of my cousin Louellen Murray is especially hard and uncontainable. It comes way too … Continue reading

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What’s a Southern Gentleman Today?

Washington and Lee’s former SAE House, a lofty white plantation-style mansion on E. Washington Street in Lexington, Va., has stood nearly empty for seven years now. That’s because the chapter was suspended by the national fraternity and by the university … Continue reading

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