I was wandering through the exhibits at the Northwest Hort Expo at the Wenatchee Convention Center Tuesday, and was overwhelmed. The sheer high-tech flashiness of it all was impressive. You could spend the next several days gathering information on everything from pheromone sprays to postharvest fungus control to H2A-compliant portable housing. There were dozens of vendors and hundreds of people wandering in an out and hundreds more listening to presentations from a worldwide selection of experts and scientists, and an occasional lawyer, at the Washington Horticultural Association Annual Meeting.
“Hello. You have reached GoAheadAndBuyIt.gov, your federally sponsored source for consumer and acquisition encouragement. To speak to an adviser, please press 1 followed by the pound sign, followed by 2, followed by the star sign, now.”
Thanksgiving should be a tricky holiday in the land where church and state are rightly subject to a degree of separation. The First Amendment of course says Congress shall pass no law “respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” That was first on the list for the Founders, who knew their new nation had its origins in their ancestors’ escape from the interminable religious wars of Europe and the bloody struggle over state-sanctioned religion.
It reads like a classic tragedy. The characters are doomed, pushed toward their inevitable ignominious fate by their very nature — their instinct, desires, prejudice and frailty. They can’t help themselves. They do what they do because they must, even if it brings their own destruction. Everybody can see it coming.
Where was I? We all remember. Nov. 22, 1963, would leave an indelible mark on a buzz-cut blond 10-year-old boy who liked nothing better than to read history and imagine what it was like to live during a major world-changing event. I would learn, this day.