I Soldiered With Charlie

Charlie and I first met under the most informal conditions imaginable—we were both stark naked. We were not alone in this, for with hundreds of others we were taking a physical examination for acceptance in the first officers’ training camp at Fort Myer, Virginia. The date was May 16, 1917. Read more »

A Brush Hollow Tale

Tucked away in rural southwest Wisconsin, where the west branch of the Kickapoo River crosses Route 82, is an area of the state known locally as Brush Hollow. It was there, after the turn of the century, that McGarry Morley spent much of his vacation time as a youngster, for his grandfather owned a local farm. Young Morley “loved the people, and thoroughly enjoyed all the various happenings.” Much time has passed since then, and Mr.Read more »

Rout Of The Varmints

At the time World War I was nearing its end, I was stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, as an officer-instructor in light field artillery (horse-drawn three-inch cannon known as French 75’s).Read more »

The New Teacher

DRAWN FOR AMERICAN HERITAGE BY LITNESS

The new teacher, Miss Flock, was hired just one week before country school opened. Through Mother’s last-minute influence,, two neighbor children, DeWayne and Orban, who were to attend the Catholic parochial school, enrolled instead in the rural schoolhouse, thus keeping it open one more year. My cousin Lois and I were the last of our family still in the lower grades, and everyone thought it best if we could continue at the one-room schoolhouse three-quarters of a mile away, rather than attend public school in town.Read more »

The Observant French Lieutenant

Form the Journal of Comte Jean-Francois-Louis de Clermont-Crèvecoeur

The Comte de Clermont-Crèvecoeur came to America in 1780 as a lieutenant in the Royal Corps of Artillery—a unit of Rochambeau ‘s army. The young French aristocrat spent three years here and recorded them all in a journal, now translated for the first time. He proved to be an eager observer—interested in everything, open-minded, usually friendly, and tending to sweeping, youthful generalizations. As well as reporting on military matters, he described houses, people, religious customs, and food.Read more »

The National Police Gazette

A Little Visit to the Lower Depths via

No one, it has been said, ever really learns to accept the fact that it was a coupling by his parents that produced him. The novelist Louis Auchincloss extends this and says we can never believe in the sexuality of our grandparents. Read more »

Reginald Marsh

A reminiscent tribute to a great American painter, with an evocative selection from thousands of unpublished sketches

Soon after Reginald Marsh’s death in 1954 an art magazine asked me to write about him. When I turned in the article the editor said he liked it but he had one reservation: “You say, ‘In my opinion he was the greatest artist of his time.’ Do you mean that? Greater than Picasso?”

“Yes,” I answered. Read more »

Last Of Four Installments A Michigan Boyhood

A FAMOUS HISTORIAN RECALLS THE COUNTRY WHERE HE GREW UP

We lived in Indian summer and mistook it for spring. Winter lay ahead just when we thought June was on the way. The school, the town, and the people connected with both were coming to an end that seemed to be a beginning. They had been created by an era that was closing, and nothing like them would ever exist again because what had brought them forth was gone; yet twilight at the end of the day looks much as it does at the dawn unless you watch the shadows move, and for a little while time stood still. The shadows were not coming down the slope.Read more »

A Michigan Boyhood

THIRD OF FOUR INSTALLMENTS A FAMOUS HISTORIAN RECALLS THE COUNTRY WHERE HE GREW UP

This is how it was in the old days. A family that wanted to go from here to there went by railroad train because there was no other way to do it. If the distance was very short, ten or a dozen miles only, you might hire a rig at the livery stable and let the horses do the work, and if you lived on deep water you might go all or part of the way by steamboat, but as a general thing to make a trip meant to take a ride on the cars.Read more »

A Michigan Boyhood

SECOND OF FOUR INSTALLMENTS

A FAMOUS HISTORIAN RECALLS THE COUNTRY WHERE HE GREW UP

According to the Bible, a city that is set upon a hill cannot be hid. We used to repeat that text often, and I suppose we were a little smug and self-righteous about it; our city was built upon a hill, and if it was visible to all men it had been meant from the first to be a sign and a symbol of a better way of life, an outpost of the New Jerusalem sited in backwoods vacancy to show people the way they ought to go. To be sure, it was not exactly a city.Read more »