A little over a year ago we moved from the close quarters of
central Shadyside to the more spacious, leafy streets of Highland
Although the greater East End and its incumbent communities
have for decades been a magnet for a wide range of ethnicities and
socio-economic substrata (Squirrel Hill still is home to one of America’s
largest concentrations of Jews, Oakland draws students from around the globe,
Bloomfield is our Little Italy, Lawrenceville could be Warsaw West) it is
Highland Park that mixes the whole stew together. Our neighbors are white, black, gay,
straight, young professionals, retired professors, Episcopalians, Agnostics. Sometimes, the mix can be tense, and we still
have a bit of a problem with crime, although it is mostly of the nuisance
variety. We all love this place, and
when we walk our dogs, or push or strollers, we look each other in the eye and
say hello. If small town America
I have not written in a while, and there has been too much to catch up on, but I feel that I may have spent too long in exile. Since I signed off from this site, we have experienced great joy, deep sorrow, shock and surprise, birth and death. Life.
I went to our new polling place this morning, getting to the local school at 6:35 AM, twenty-five minutes before the polls would open. I was already twentieth in line. As we all waited and made quiet light conversation, we grew to about fifty. By the time I walked out at ten after seven, at least a hundred of my neighbors shuffled in a good-natured democratic conga line.
I am not much on hope. For me, hope is a gauzy concept sold by politicians and preachers to the weary as a way of diverting attention from today’s misery or, rather, enabling a failure to deal with reality while making a tidy profit. Call me a cynic.
However. However. In all the elections in which I have participated, from the very first in a village church basement through the intervening decades, I have not sensed such a calm resonance of the varied carols of America: a strong, willful, respectful, joyous evocation of a unifying, profound demonstration of common good.
I won’t say how I voted. The vote itself matters less than the practice. I have no doubt, for the first time, I think, that whatever the outcome, we have in front of us two fine men--upstanding, steeped in Patriots’ tea—and I will be happy no matter who wins.