"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
There are a lot of angry people out there, Manhattan correspondent Steve M. finds on riding the elevator:
Thursday morning, I rode down the elevator with five of my Upper West Side neighbors--including a young couple I may have not met before, accompanied by their two little sons. Also on board was an older lady I had known--mostly through pleasant elevator chats--for 15 years. The boys were wearing New York Mets caps, and the brief conversation moved quickly from the Mets to two doormen for our apartment building who were big, big Yankee fans. Thinking ahead to the way the lobby was likely to look in honor of this weekend's battle with the Red Sox, I mentioned all the Yankee paraphernalia that normally festooned the building lobby when the Yanks were in an important series. I joked that there might, however, be an unused square inch on the lobby desk where more Yankee paraphernalia could be fit in. At which point the elevator arrived at the lobby and the young dad, while picking up one of his sons, glared at me and said, in a voice of barely controlled rage: "Yeah, we need more Yankee paraphernalia, like we need more power for John Ashcroft."
Ah, my American flag lapel pin strikes again. Everyone exited the elevator in awkward silence.
Twelve hours later, I am heading back home to the most liberal (I really must look that word up!) spot in the United States of America. This time my elevator companions are a couple in their 70s. I have seen these folks in the building for years, but have never ventured beyond topics such as the weather. In reply to a question from the lady about what button she could push for my floor, I told her my floor number, and I added: "Thank you." That broke the conversational ice.
Him, in a tense voice, turning around to face me and pointing at my American flag lapel pin: "Does that mean you support George Bush?"
Me, after a pause: "It means I love my country."
Him, taken aback, and getting hotter: "Well I don't want to hear anything about that – I served, I was in the Marine Corps."
Me, smiling at my angry neighbor: "Marine Corps--that is the real deal."
At this point, we reached my floor and I made my awkward way past his nervous wife.