Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Way the World is: the Maggie Boylan Stories


I was first sucked into Maggie Boylan's chaotic world in the collection entitled Every River on Earth, an anthology of Appalachian writers from southwestern Ohio. In that story, then entitled "Coming Home," Maggie had just completed her court-ordered rehab and was struggling to navigate the pitfalls of being labeled a known drug user who must steer clear of all other known drug users or be tossed back in jail. To complicate matters, most of Maggie's neighbors are dealers, users, or cops, her husband has given up on her, plus she has no ride. That hair-raising story in which Maggie must run a physical and spiritual gauntlet to maintain even one day of sobriety post-rehab made me want to root for Michael Henson's foul-mouthed protagonist.  If she is not an Everywoman, she is surely a familiar face in the undeniable scourge that is prescription drug abuse.

The Way the World Is: the Maggie Boylan Stories is Michael Henson's latest book from Brighthorse Books, 2015.  He already has an impressive array of publications in poetry and fiction with seven other works in print since 1980 from West End Press, MotesBooks, and Dos Madres Press, to name a few.  He is also a long time member of the Southern Appalachian Writers' Cooperative.  Add to his accolades that The Way the World Is has earned him the Brighthorse Prize in Fiction for 2014 and that he has been declared by official decree the Poet Laureate of Mt. Washington.  I think I would cherish that honor the most. Being recognized as someone important to one's own community speaks volumes about Henson's impact as a writer, a community organizer, and a substance abuse counselor.

But back to the compelling character Henson has created in this collection of linked stories, Maggie Boylan.  Described on the back cover as "Addict, thief, liar, lover, loser, hustler…queen of invective," the reader sees Maggie struggling to navigate the labyrinth of traps addiction sets for its snares.  In one story, Maggie gets her hands on ten dollars which she attempts to bring to her long-suffering husband, Gary, who sits in jail for something she has done, taking the proverbial "rap" for her. Yet, at every turn, former drug buddies are waiting to get that quivering bill from her addled and aching fingers.  The cycle continues.

The stories can all stand alone, of course, but they are arranged skillfully in an order that delivers dramatic tension and the satisfying feeling of having read a short  novel. In addition to Maggie, we meet deputies who battle with the shadowy cast of characters on Pillhead Hill, many of whom they have known since elementary school, reformed druggies who lend a hand to the wavering Maggie, judges who are part of the problem, and a couple of drug-doomed young women Maggie will alternately  hustle, help, and then grieve.

The cover art for the collection was done by folk artist Bonita Skaggs-Parsons, preserved in stark photograph by her daughter, Misty Skaggs. The tough questions raised for the reader by The Way the World Is  include what can we do now that heroin is part of the picture? How can we turn away from someone so real and in our faces as Maggie? Here is one passage showing Maggie's fight for sobriety:

"it would be just a short walk down her lane and across the road, over the bridge, and up that Pillhead Hill to the house. The lights would be on and the boys would be happy to see her. And of course, they would front her--one or two, or even three or four--enough to get her through this godawful night.

Without willing it or willing against it, she threw the little jacket across her shoulders and stepped into the yard. Without willing it or willing against it, she crossed the yard. At the edge of the road she stopped, out of old habit, and looked to the right and to the left.

Then when she looked forward again, she saw the coyote in the road. He had not been there when she looked to the right; he had not been there when she looked to the left, but now, as she looked to cross the road, the coyote stood directly in her path. He must have come up from the bed of the creek, she thought. As if in response to the notion, the coyote shook out his coat and cast a silvery spray into the moonlight. Maggie stood frozen in place." 

This review first aired on WVXU.org's AROUND CINCINNATI in May, 2015.  To listen to the audio clip of the review, click here.

The Seed of Me


Since poet, Karen George dedicates her latest chapbook of poems to her grandmother and mother, and since a photo of a mother and bride adorn the cover, reflected in the intimacy of a dresser mirror, I was prepared to read this group of poems as personal intergenerational legacy.  What I was not prepared for was how completely a poet's craft can transform the personal into the magical and universal. 

The Seed of Me, 2015, from Finishing Line Press is George's third chapbook. She is also the author of another title from Finishing Line, Into the Heartland,  2011 and Inner Passage, 2014, from Red Bird Chapbooks. Her first full collection, Swim Your Way Back was published by Dos Madres Press in 2014. 

I read The Seed of Me expecting a tribute to the poet's mother and grandmother for nurturing a creative spirit. Instead, I read about light bodies, broken dolls, missing spleens, birthmarks, motorcycle rides, bowling balls, and the dead among the living.  I read about blisters and  visions.  I read about the moon.

One of my favorites from this chapbook is "The Moon After a Poetry Jam." I love it for its musical language and magical  image. Here are just a few lines to let you know what I mean:

"Over the main road the moon hangs low, pregnant with rise,
and I unmoor to meet her in inky air. Down the winding

hill she hides behind tree clumps of humid-heavy leaves,
her glow a halo luminous above the crowns."

Another poem awash in magic imagery is entitled "Transformations, the Suspension Bridge."  In it, the poet recalls driving from Kentucky to Ohio over the Suspension Bridge on the day her grandma died:

"Parallel strings of light
transposed

to strands of DNA, pulsing.
Streetlamps flared,
floated from their posts,
drew together like magnets.

When the current entered,
I no longer heard
tires from the bridge,
felt the wheel vibrate,
smelled winter or river.

The moment peeled
forward, into place,
and lamps returned
to their posts
and subdued states."

In several poems,  the speaker engages with something beyond everyday experience--a current that both transcends and transforms time.

The poet recognizes her sensory connection to the extraordinary early in her life and describes her experience in the poem from which she draws her chapbook's title.  The poem is "The Dead Live at Hemlock Lodge, Natural Bridge, Kentucky."

"The first time  I felt the dead   among the living.  I was ten, on a 
family vacation.   The dining room air   dusk-heavy, as though we
trudged through waist-high water.   The dark wood of tables, chairs,
wall and ceiling beams   dimmed the midday light from the bank of
windows.  I neither saw nor heard the passed, only felt their current,
a pool.   No fear or torment, more like the salve of walking in woods
among tunneling insects   and roots.   I knew not to tell, as I knew
not to question   the nuns in school.   To keep beliefs and doubts
hidden.  I studied my parents' and sisters' faces, and buried the secret
in my soul. Not the place they said sin tarnished, but where the seed 
of me   burrowed, thinned, and branched."

The Seed of Me honors both George's mother and her grandmother through stunning universal imagery that connects even the most personal family story to the cosmic current.

This review aired in April 2015 on AROUND CINCINNATI, WVXU.org.  There were a few extra sentences about a then upcoming event for the poet that has already passed.  If you'd like to listen while reading, here is a link.

Every River on Earth


I read many compilations by and about Appalachians. But seldom have I read a collection so rooted in place as Every River on Earth: Writing from Appalachian Ohio published earlier this year by Ohio University Press. Edited skillfully by poet Neil Carpathios, the coordinator of the creative writing program at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, this intriguing collection is divided into four parts that speak to the paradox of Appalachian experience as defined in southern Ohio.

Carpathios acknowledges his "transplant" status in the introduction to the book's themes,"…this anthology started with a personal, maybe even somewhat selfish desire to better grasp my new home," he says.  Winnowing the 400 plus submissions down by the primary criterion of "quality," Carpathios sought to include a variety of styles, subjects and voices that he says took on a life of their own, falling organically into four sections:  "Family and Folks," "The Land," "The Grind," and "Home and Away."

The book takes its title from David Lee Garrison's poem which includes this lyric tribute to the land:

"Wind pokes the land in winter,
trying to waken it,

and in the melting snow 
I see rainbows and in them

every river on earth."

Donald Ray Pollock provides the longtime resident's perspective in his foreword to the anthology when he says, "no, I can't think of anywhere I'd rather live."  Even though he admits  his life in Knockemstiff has included factory work, hard living and eventually an alcohol and drug rehab, he asserts that while there is "ugliness and despair and heartbreak in these hills, there is also much goodness and mystery and beauty."  Later in the anthology, the reader is treated to the beauty that Pollock makes of heartbreak in his story of forgiveness, "The Jesus Lights."

In the opening section, "Family and Folks," I was instantly charmed with the poetic voice employed by Roy Bentley, with Jeanne Bryner's stunning imagery when describing her farmer neighbor at work, and by the sense of magic in poet, Cathryn Essinger's "The Way Things Are." Ed Davis takes a surprising offer from a desperate widower to create "a boiling Appalachian stew" from his novel-in-progress. And I am still giggling from Janet Ladrach's "The Farmer's Wife's Vacation."

The second section includes homage to the landscape of southern Ohio including two of my new favorite tributes to sycamores by Cathryn Essinger and Richard Hague. Essinger entitles her poem "Someday the sycamores…" and in her playful lines, supposes that someday these trees are simply going to walk away in reaction to an ever-hovering danger from development.  She closes her poem with these  lines:

"And if you watch carefully, if you sit down in the dark
when the moon, that old tattletale, is out of sight,
you will see them stand

on gnarled knuckles and inch away, see them gather up 
their children, hand in hand, and even if you call,
they will not come back."

Richard Hague is a Cincinnatian who has published 14 books, many that are set in eastern and southern Ohio. In his nonfiction contribution, he describes how easy it is to forget that we live in a natural world when the city swallows so much of it. Hague relates the sycamore hunts he and his late friend, Joe Enzweiler used to plan together. He also crafts many indelible descriptions of the trees:

"The sycamores edged the stream like a procession of white-robed deacons."

The third section of the book is entitled "The Grind."  It is here that we read about the difficulties of living in Appalachian Ohio.  Those ugly, desperate heartbreaks that Donald Ray Pollock warns us about in his foreword.  Among my favorite reads from this section--which was heavier on prose than the other sections--are Michael Henson's "Coming Home," "Destroying New Boston" by Brooks Rexroat and of course, "The Jesus Lights" by Donald Ray Pollock. In these raw stories, a recovering addict gets thrown right back into the path of cronies who will surely drive her to drugs, a bunch of bored teenagers accidentally wreck part of a town's painful heritage, and a man's grief illuminates a path for forgiveness.  While the circumstances in many of these tales are bleak, the characters are not. Many of them discover "the goodness and the mystery and the beauty" in their plights.

The final section, entitled "Home and Away" is largely devoted to those looking back at southern Ohio from somewhere else.  Whether it be Los Angeles, New Orleans or a fourteenth floor apartment, the characters and speakers look back homeward over time and distance.  My favorites from this section include Ronald D.Giles' "The Friday Night Dance," and Hayley Hughes' "The Fair."  Both are personal stories, but from very different time periods. Giles writes of an eighth grade dance experience in the 1950s while Hughes shares her more recent adventures at the Ohio State Fair with her father-- from her earliest recollections to her twenty-sixth year.  While Giles' maintains a strict narrative timeline, Hughes bounces around her quirky personal essay revealing the tricky relationship she maintains with home and family.  I also enjoyed the found poem in this section entitled "Portrait of Southern Ohio in Five-Syllable Road Signs" by Adam Sol.

While Every River on Earth laments the ugliness, despair and heartbreak of Appalachian Ohio. its quality of writing is testament to the goodness, mystery and beauty rising from a deep sense of place. Several of the authors have a reading scheduled at Joseph-Beth Cincinnati on April 4th at 2 pm.  You just might want to be there if you enjoy masterful writing or a great yarn.

This review originally aired on WVXU.org's AROUND CINCINNATI on March 27, 2015.  You can listen to the review at this link:  Listen to this review.


The Letters of Thomas Merton and Victor and Carolyn Hammer


We are no longer a letter writing society. A Facebook friend was lamenting that just the other day as she plotted to start her own letter writing club. At the holidays, my mother-in-law mourned the loss of handwritten letters from one side of her family. Since the matriarch had passed on,  no one who would take up the role of family scribe. E-mails, texts, Skype, and all manner of social media connect us instantly with those we know across the miles and oceans.

Alice Walker knew the power of the letter when she created her epistolary novel, The Color Purple, in which an isolated protagonist, Celie. catalogues her unspeakable tragedies through letters to God.  In Soldier, Come Home, playwright Frank Wicks uses his ancestors' letters from the Civil War to teleport audiences into the sacrifices of real soldiers and families.  In December of 2014, two academics, F. Douglas Scutchfield and Paul Evans Holbrook, Jr. brought us a collection of letters between spiritual icon, Thomas Merton, and an extraordinary couple who printed many of his writings through their small press in Lexington,KY, Victor and Carolyn Hammer. I found the trio's letters a compelling read, offering a glimpse into the lives of those working for "the greater glory."

The collection from University Press of Kentucky entitled The Letters of Thomas Merton and Victor and Carolyn Hammer: Ad Majorem Dei Glorium is fully academic in its presentation of the letters, complete with explanatory endnotes and several appendices of supporting documents and bibliography.  For the Merton scholar, these conventions could serve as a springboard to further work on the poet, social justice advocate and theologian. But for the reader who just wants to know the hearts and minds of those engaged in a calling, the letters speak eloquently for themselves.

Scutchfield and Holbrook categorize the topics of the letters in an afterword as "art and spirituality, the collaborative publications, Merton's reading list, and mutual friends."  Victor Hammer and Thomas Merton open their correspondence by discussing at length the differences between classic and modern art. Hammer, a painter and master artisan of many crafts, also excelled at printing, bookbinding, calligraphy and typography, creating several uncial typefaces. When they discuss some of the illustrations that might accompany Merton's writing, both men reveal their ideas about how the sacred should be rendered. Hammer holds that only classical concepts can truly glorify, while Merton asserts that sometimes the poverty of line and space can suggest and serve. Their subsequent letters echo this discussion throughout the book, sometimes becoming quite humorous. At one point, Hammer begrudgingly calls Picasso, "an interesting experimenter."  And Merton responds to a picture of St. Notburga that Hammer sends him with these comments:

"I like her intelligent and alert expression(even though I think the most pure tradition of sacred art demands that the saint look a bit gaga and withdrawn) and find it very edifying."

Carolyn Hammer, curator of rare books at the University of Kentucky Library during most of the correspondence, located books for Merton's research and teaching. Most of the letters from Merton include a list of the books he was seeking at the time.  Sometimes the list reflects his immediate need--books on South American cultures to help him better understand the novitiates in his charge. Sometimes the book requests were solely to inform his writings and teachings on theology, philosophy, or poetry.  I found the book lists fascinating in themselves for their far-reaching scope of interests spanning such topics as ancient clerics, modern politics and philosophy, recent history, William Faulkner, W.H Auden, Shakertown, and the Tao of Painting. 

The letters also focus on the collaborations between the Hammers and Merton. Among the most interesting are the discussions of Hammer's painting Hagia Sophia Crowning the Young Christ, a pedestal triptych tempera on gold-ground panel.  Merton discusses the feminine nature of God in his letters to Hammer about the painting. Eventually, Merton and Hammer collaborate to publish Merton's meditative poem entitled Hagia Sophia(which translates to "divine wisdom.") Scutchfield and Holbrook include photographs of Hammer's work in their mid-book graphics.

Many of the people the Hammers and Merton knew in common were writers, publishers, and musicians.  For example, The Hammers introduced Merton to John Jacob Niles with whom he later collaborated. In the letters there are several mentions of Niles performing in Lexington and even of poet, Denise Levertov. While the Hammers frequently visited Merton at Gethsemani Abbey for picnic discussions, Merton was limited in his travels to Lexington unless on official Abbey business or for medical appointments. But the letters emphasize how much he valued being able to meet with the Hammers in person. Almost every exchange includes planning for future visits to continue discussions of their favorite topics, art and spirituality for the greater glory

Over time, it is still the letter that acts as primary source for so many historians, biographers, novelists, and playwrights.  There is a built-in sense of dramatic tension to a carefully presented set of letters between real people, or even imagined characters, that makes for captivating reading. The point of view is first-person, intimate, and often very revealing of the letter-writer's ghosts and obsessions. I value The Letters of Thomas Merton and Victor and Carolyn Hammer: Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam for the witness this collection bears creativity, intellect and growing friendship among those who collaborate to serve something bigger than themselves.

***This review originally ran in an edited version(for time) on AROUND CINCINNATI, WVXU.org on January 16, 2015.***
You can listen to the review as it aired at this link: Listen to the review

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Wildcat Memories: a Review




As the NCAA men's basketball season roars into our winter consciousness, I have a confession to make:  I am from Kentucky, have always lived in Kentucky, yet, I was not born into the Big Blue Nation of UK basketball. As a child, I sat with my sisters and father on Saturdays in front of the TV and dutifully rooted for the UC Bearcats. My dad was not really much of a sports fan, but he did enjoy college basketball, the Cincinnati Reds, and Big Time Wrestling. So, when those events were televised, we often gathered together in front of our black and white television, equipped with our own Jiffy Pop popcorn. We had no idea that nearly all of our rural neighbors were listening to Cawood Ledford on transistor radios, or standing on their rooftops to get their antennae to pick up the faint and faraway signals from Lexington.

I married into the phenomenon known now as The Big Blue Nation. You could not enter my father-in-law's house without the big console TV tuned in to the Wildcats. And forget about listening to whatever the network color commentators might have to say about the game. True blue fans of UK basketball--at that time--had their radios cranked up to hear the play-by-play from Cawood Ledford.  Never mind that the sound seldom matched the picture. We sometimes heard that the Wildcats had scored way before the basketball on the screen circled the rim and dropped through the net.  "This is the way true fans experience the game," explained my husband, "unless they are lucky enough to get tickets."

Because I know and love many members of the Big Blue Nation, I found Doug Brunk's Wildcat Memories : Inside Stories from Kentucky Basketball Greats, both informative and inspiring. Published in August by University Press of Kentucky, the narrative informs because Brunk organizes his material chronologically, tracing the development of the UK program to the very roots of basketball itself through the mentoring of storied coach, Adolph Rupp by his own coach at Kansas, Dr. Forrest C. Allen and Dr.James Naismith, the inventor of the game. But what sets this book apart from others on UK's winning program is the emphasis on inspiration.  Each interview subject reveals the people who influenced them the most while they played, coached, or worked for Kentucky basketball.  Some credited coaches, other players, secretaries, business leaders, pastors, equipment managers, governors, and coaches' wives. But all of them discussed the influence of the fans and the personal connection those UK fans have to the team. 

All-SEC forward MIke Pratt tries to sum up why UK fans travel the globe, selling out arenas and cheering their team wherever they play with this statement,  "Kentucky is a small state. It doesn't have  a professional baseball team or a professional  football team." Pratt  then continues to emphasize the devotion of the fans with this story, "The first time I realized how important basketball was to Kentuckians was during my freshman year when we traveled to Louisville to play at Freedom Hall. The varsity team went out and practiced, and then our freshman team went out and practiced--a shoot around  There were twelve thousand people there to watch that day's shoot around."

Says former coach, Joe B. Hall of the fans, "Kentucky is the Commonwealth's team, and the support goes from border to border."

"They're very knowledgeable, passionate fans," adds Kevin Grevey.

"The fans refer to themselves as 'we.' They say things like 'We're not rebounding the ball enough,'" says Jeff Sheppard. "They may live in Pikeville and have nothing to do with rebounding during a game going on at Rupp Arena in downtown Lexington, but they consider themselves a part of the program. They are." 

Each chapter of Wildcat Memories begins with important statistics to satisfy the serious basketball aficionado, but continues with first person stories of character, triumph, and connection that will draw in those readers who care more about the human factors that create this special basketball program.  Says Dan Issel in the foreword, "Once Doug emphasized that he was after stories about the people who impacted me during my time playing at UK, that got my interest. I know of no other book that has taken this approach and presented it in a format of firsthand reflections. We are all shaped and influenced by others in some way."

I personally enjoyed all the stories about equipment manager, Bill Keightly, also known as Mr. Wildcat, who served the program for 48 years. And I totally love that I can now put faces and stories to names like Cotton Nash, Jack "Goose" Givens, and Johnny Cox of the Johnny Cox All-Star Highway.

Heart-wrenching, yet inspiring is Derek Anderson's story about being on his own from age 11. He credits the UK program as being the first real family he ever had.

As a newbie UK fan, I often sat around the Schultz table at the holidays and heard epic stories about "Rupp's Runts," Larry Conley, and Pat Riley. I joined the club somewhere around Joe B. Hall and have been a serious fan all through the days of Eddie Sutton, Billy Gillispie, Rick Pitino, Tubby Smith and Coach Cal.  Every season we start anew with high hopes to make new memories.  We won't be in Rupp Arena working on rebounding, but we will be parked in front of our TVs and possibly our laptops and phones, tuning in our team. Or, we'll make a trip to one of their road games part of our family vacation. So, love us. Understand us. Forgive us. We adore our Wildcats. We cherish our Wildcat Memories. Christmas is coming. A fan near you could really appreciate Doug Brunk's fine book.

(Listen to the review at this link)
This review aired on WVXU.org on November28, 2014.

Kentucky Agate: a Review from Earlier in 2014


I have to confess to an early fascination with rocks. Maybe all kids go through a passion for classification some time during their early schooling, but I think my interest became a little pathological. It began with a tiny junior geologist box from the Cincinnati Natural History Museum that contained 12 small samples labeled carefully: slate, micah, rose quartz, granite, marble, feldspar are some of the names I remember from that box. Soon after acquiring this template, I began to notice hints of quartz, glints of micah in all rocks on the school playground. In time, I had filled my Valentine box--which I kept under careful guard from my younger sisters at the foot of my bunk bed--with what I believed to be valuable rocks and minerals.

Even as an adult, I have to confess to bringing back pieces of the places I have vacationed and depositing the foreign strata in my garden here and there. So, there  might be geodes among the tiger lilies and Maine beach pebbles in flower boxes. But I will assure you that none of my samples came from areas that forbid such collecting, like National Parks or endangered beaches.

So, I was delighted to come across Kentucky Agate: State Rock and Mineral Treasure of the Commonwealth by Roland L. McIntosh and Warren Anderson. Published in November by University Press of Kentucky, the book compiles hundreds of professional color photographs of agates taken by Lee Thomas along with geological maps of the areas of Kentucky most plentiful with these colorfully banded variety of chalcedony.

On page 5, the authors define agate simply as " a concretion or nodule of quartz of the variety of chalcedony. which is silicon dioxide."  While the authors are well-schooled in agates(McIntosh won an award for a video documentary on them and Anderson is a geologist at University of Kentucky,) the book never becomes incomprehensible to the casual rock collector or enthusiast. The text serves to classify agates, explore their collecting history in Kentucky, outline the geographical landscape where they have been collected, and then briefly explain their formation. The rest of the book is devoted to displaying the colorful variations of Kentucky's state rock as rendered by Thomas' vivid photography. There are even full color examples of the exquisite jewelry that can be created from slicing the agates into thin layers and buffing them into cabochon gems for silver-rimmed pendants, tie clasps.and belt buckles. The designs included come from Rachel Savane´of Savane´ Silver.

The geodes containing agates are not easy to find, and according to the authors, have probably been over-collected in the past 40 years or so.  However, a determined hiker in the scenic byways of Kentucky's Knobs region could be rewarded with a prized specimen by knowing the history of agate formation and where to look. While the authors acknowledge that over-collecting has made agate discovery rare, they still tell the reader when and where to look in the counties most likely to have examples of nature's artwork.  So, if you study the pages of Kentucky Agates: State Rock and Mineral Treasure of the Commonwealth and plan an early spring hike along the stream beds of Estill, Powell, Jackson, Menifee, Madison or Lee County, will you find a rough geode that will reveal banded red, orange, purple and yellow designs inside?  Maybe. Maybe not.  But if you're like me, sometimes the quest is just as tantalizing as the prize.

This review aired in 2014 on Around Cincinnati, WVXU.org.  Listen to the audio at this link.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Birthday, Kurt Vonnegut!


Every year I search for a link to this quote from Breakfast of Champions to commemorate November 11th, which is my mom's and Kurt Vonnegut's birthday.  I want to thank them both for their service to humanity. Then it came to me--duh--I have my own blog that has somehow lain dormant for almost a year. I have probably written more this year than usual, but have somehow failed to repost my reviews or anything else here. So now, I have a very "braver self worthy" day to commemorate. And I choose to do so with this quote:


"I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.
Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day is not."

God Bless you, Mr. Rosewater.