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On Having Been There

September 2019

Harry G. Brown of Lockport, New York, writes us: “As a student of history, I thoroughly enjoyed ‘I Wish I’d Been There ,’ featured in the thirtieth-anniversary issue (December 1984). While the comments of each contributor about a significant event were enlightening and interesting, I wondered what might be the reaction of the common man who happened to be present at such a time. That well-known humorist Robert Benchley captured the situation perfectly in a brief essay; fortunately, it was illustrated by Gluyas Williams, who also was featured in the same issue of American Heritage . Therefore, I urge you to secure permission to reprint this brief article for the delight of your readers.” And we did just that.