Notes From There



“There is no way of writing well and writing easily.” Anthony Trollope

When I write letters home from prison it takes me at least six rewrites.  I wish I could write better so that I could write easier–and do it in half the rewrites.  Butt then it would only be half as good.


“Education makes a people easy to lead but difficult to drive, easy to govern but impossible to enslave.”

My mother was a Dr. Spock mom who believed in education and communication with us kids.  It was pretty easy to lead us with reason, but when she’d try to drive us to do something, I think we tended to drive her a little nuts.  Oh sure, we wanted to do the right thing, and we were a pretty good bunch of kids by and large.  But there was no way to keep us from sneaking out of the window on a warm summer’s night.


“Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it for themselves.”  James Barrie

I find when I’m cheerful around others, pretty soon I convince myself that I’m also feeling rather pleasant myself.  Then for some reason the whole world seems to be smiling and I find I am, too!


“If a man does his best, then what else is there?”  General George Patton

I was raised in a highly religious home and, I must say, I was rather offended that we were so easily condemned to eternal hell for some personal failure.  When I told my mom I’m on this earth to try to do by best–and not to be condemned for it–she said that I’d forgotten just one thing: her opinion.

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