Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Three Beautiful Things 06/28/10: Krakauer and War, Julie Whitesel Weston and Kellogg, Weeding

1. I finished Jon Krakauer's Where Men Win Glory. No matter how much firepower, how many schemes, how sophisticated the planning, how just the cause, or how superior the training, military enterprises are carried out by complicated human beings: flawed, heroic, limited human beings who are in over their heads. I don't know if Jon Krakauer had it in mind as he wrote this book, but the lasting impression it made on me was that no matter who he discussed, whether it was Bush, Clinton, Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice, generals at the top of the military chain, platoon leaders on site in battles, or Pat Tillman racing up a hill to provide cover for his fellow soldiers, they were all in over their heads, no matter the political party, policy, strategy, religious belief, personal philosophy, or anything else. And, yet, men and women say and write things as if they understand what's happening and as if solutions exist.

2. This evening I started reading The Good Times Are All Gone Now, a combination memoir, oral history, and documentary history of Kellogg written by Julie Whitesel Weston. Her father was the emergency room physician who treated me when I was gassed and blinded in a flash roaster at the Bunker Hill Zinc Plant in July, 1973. I'm learning more about Doc Whitesel, about the immigrants who came to Kellogg, and about how Julie Whitesel Weston experienced (and experiences) Kellogg. She's about ten years older than I am, and this relatively small difference in our ages is significant in accounting for the differences in our experiences growing up in Kellogg. Inevitably, our experiences were different, too, because of the work of our fathers -- as well as my work, following my father's footsteps, at the Zinc Plant. I'm eager to finish Weston's book and reflect on it more. I'm enjoying seeing Kellogg through her eyes and her memory.

3. I got another section of our gardens weeded. I'm doing my best to focus on one section a day. So far, so good.

1 comment:

inlandempiregirl said...

Now I want to read the book again. There was so much there. Would you bring Julie's book to the reunion so I can read it? I started Saving Milly: Love, Politics, and Parkinson's Disease by Morton Kondracke last night. Kept me up very late.