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Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children.

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Thursday, November 30, 2006  

Winston Churchill's Birthday

The Llamas break out the pull-crackers in honor of the day.

A Churchill exhibition page at the Library of Congress provides the fine picture above of Winnie with Kaiser Bill in 1909. Somewhere, Otto Clemson Hiss is smiling.

The Library of Congress exhibit also recalls Churchill's trials over Constantinople (where the pope today presses a campaign of his own), and Theodore Roosevelt's underwhelmed reaction in 1900 on meeting the brash young Churchill, whom TR sized up as "a rather cheap character."

* * *

I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us.

Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.

Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'

-- Winston Churchill, June 18, 1940


Monday, November 27, 2006  

The Giant Turkey's Revenge

What better time than after Thanksgiving to post this Little Nemo favorite?

(Via Nick Sherman, 9/30/05)

See the whole strip in French and a gallery of others via Wikipedia.

More on Little Nemo: Salon * VQR


Thursday, November 23, 2006  

Gobble, gobble

This bird calls out for Bell's Seasoning. Save some stuffing for me.

In the spirit of the day, thanks to Don at Mixolydian Mode for nominating this site for a 2006 Weblog Award * To John at the Inn for his kind words on Veterans Day * And to all who've graced this place with their presence.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006  

Ask Not

In a Weekly Standard essay from six years ago, Noemie Emery describes what she calls the "Patriot party":

[T]hese are its planks:

* America is not merely a country; it is also a cause and a principle.

* Pursuit of this cause requires, at home, a guarantee to all of access to success, wealth, and power; and abroad, world leadership and the defense of order and freedom.

* American citizenship is a gift and a duty, and service a privilege. To deny this is to shirk one's duty to God and country.

The four charismatic presidents of the 20th century all belonged to this party, and have antecedents and cousins. The line begins with Alexander Hamilton, glory-hound and super-nationalist, who, when he failed twice to gloriously die for his country, still worked out a way in which he could. Hamilton was a hero to Theodore Roosevelt, whose only regret was that his own Spanish-American war was so negligible. This was not a problem for his fifth cousin Franklin, who faced crises so grave that he aged 30 years in his 12 years of service and died a frail old man at 63. FDR's ally in war was the ultimate glory-hound, the half-American Winston S. Churchill, who had the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" sung at his funeral. Churchill was a hero to John F. Kennedy, whose favorite programs -- the Peace Corps and space race -- were designed wholly to rouse an esprit de corps in the populace; and who gave the whole movement its signature slogan: Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.

Reagan was a member, as was Churchill, "the honorary English member of the Patriot party," she writes, and the standard bearer today is John McCain.

The TR-JFK ethic is that no obstacle is too great to be surmounted, and that people should want to do things that are difficult. The political theme of the Clinton-Gore era is that no annoyance, no matter how trivial, should have to be endured. Ask what your country can do for you, and then ask for more of it. But is this really enough?

The first man in a long time to suggest that it isn't has been John McCain. This puts him in line with an eclectic political brotherhood of TR, FDR, Reagan, and the two elder Kennedys. But FDR worshiped his Republican cousin; Reagan loved the ur-Democrat, Franklin D. Roosevelt; John F. Kennedy looked up to Churchill, his father's political enemy. Patriot themes can overcome traditional political divisions: Columnist Jack Newfield, an RFK acolyte, compares McCain to Reagan
and to Bobby Kennedy, brothers under the skin.

* * *

JFK in his own words

* * *

McCain 2008


Tuesday, November 21, 2006  

Around the Horn

This picture of the Chicago White Sox' Ray Schalk and antlered friend in 1913 was returned by a search on the phrase around the horn at the Library of Congress' online Chicago Daily News morgue, and is neither here nor there. But here and there is where I picked up the following roundup of interesting links:

The Creepy Mitfords: "There was something about the photos of all of them that I just could NOT stop looking at. They were all so gorgeous - and so breezy-looking - in their wool suits, and two-toned shoes - and marcelled hair - and light eyes - but there is something a bit blank in some of their expressions, and that - combined with their intense beauty - always seemed a bit creepy to me. Add to that the general love affair with fascism and with Hitler, specifically, that some of the Mitford sisters maintained until they died - and you just get a picture of a fascinating whirlwind of creepiness." Sheila O'Malley

A picture's worth a thousand words: Yet even without being manipulated, a picture can lie. Newspaper editor Callimachus reflects on an iconic Vietnam War photo that didn't tell the whole story.

Sitting Pretty: "I didn't want to be told that what I really wanted—a flushing toilet that I could sit down on—was irresponsible, amoral, close-minded." What's remarkable is that, at the end of the day, she still plans to marry her insufferably earnest compost-fixated fiancé. (Via Herald)

Rise of the Neo-Culpas: "It is imperative that we place Iraq into historical perspective, and realize that the ever-present Vietnam template is utterly wrong. Understanding Iraq, and likely most of the conflicts we will find ourselves in for the next 20 years, requires that we employ the right model: the Philippine Insurrection and Moro wars of 1898 to 1913." University of Dayton historian Lawrence Schweikart

Picture: Mr Taft in the Philippines, from History of the United States by Charles A and Mary R Beard (1921)

Power Line: Is your newspaper America's worst?

Happy Birthday, PJ O'Rourke: "Wherever there's injustice, oppression, and suffering, America will show up six months late and bomb the country next to where it's happening." * "The French are a smallish, monkey-looking bunch and not dressed any better, on average, than the citizens of Baltimore. True, you can sit outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee, but why this is more stylish than sitting inside and drinking large glasses of whiskey I don't know." * "Bachelors know all about parties. In fact, a good bachelor is a living, breathing party all by himself. At least that is what my girlfriend said when she found the gin bottles under the couch. I believe her exact words were, 'You're a disgusting, drunken mess.' And that's a good description of a party, if it's done right."




The film version of MASH by the late Robert Altman is supposed to be an anti-war pic, but really isn't; indeed, the book's author, Dr. H. Richard Hornberger, a conservative who couldn't abide the TV series, liked the movie so much he saw it seven times.

Dr. Hornberger, who wrote as Richard Hooker, a pen name inspired by his golf swing, spent most of his life as a thoracic surgeon in small towns on the Maine coast. His experiences as a captain in the Army Medical Corps during the Korean War led him to write three novels after returning from combat, the AP reported when he died in 1997.

Hornberger modeled the character of Capt. Benjamin Franklin (Hawkeye) Pierce after himself, his son said. Partly for that reason, he disliked the television series and almost never watched it.

"He liked the movie because he thought it followed his original intent very closely," William Hornberger said. "But my father was a political conservative, and he did not like the liberal tendencies that Alan Alda portrayed Hawkeye Pierce as having."

"My father didn't write an anti-war book," he added. "It was a humorous account of his work, with serious parts thrown in about the awful kind of work it was, and how difficult and challenging it was."

When the TV series finally went off the air in 1983 (having jumped the shark long before it outlasted the real Korean War by eight years), Newsweek went to Crabapple Cove, Maine, to interview "the real Hawkeye Pierce":

A conservative Republican, the 59-year-old retired surgeon has long been acutely uncomfortable with the show's anti-military tone. "Nobody is in favor of war," he explained last week. "But my characters weren't so liberal. The series seems to make the North Koreans heroes and the Americans bad guys. Once in a while I'll watch it for a bit and then some character will say something that will tick me off and I'll switch the dial."

Hornberger so loves the 1970 film version of "MASH" that he has seen it seven times. But he feels that the CBS series "sometimes tramples on my memories."

Hornberger cranked out two undistinguished sequels to "MASH," both set back home in the States. In "MASH Goes to Maine," a middle-aged Hawkeye reflects an ideological attitude that would horrify most of his TV-series fans. After being informed that someone had beat up a few political-science professors at the local college, Hawkeye replies: "They're a bunch of lefties, aren't they? Fella oughta kick the bejesus out of a liberal now and then just to stay in shape."

Clip: "Kill 'Em Galop"


Monday, November 20, 2006  

RCB for Bond Girls

Boston.com puts the question: Who's your favorite Bond Girl?

The nod here goes to Daniela Bianchi of From Russia with Love, with the acknowledgment there is a lot to be said for Tania Mallet of Goldfinger.

Honorable mention to Honor Blackman for best name and karate chop, as well as for best Avengers Tie-in (with Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo).


Sunday, November 19, 2006  

Boola, boola

Yale downs Harvard in 123rd playing of The Game, 34-13.

Dan Shaughnessy writes:

So let those Big Ten behemoths laugh at Harvard-Yale. We still like The Game.

It tells us that it's time to lower the storm windows. It speaks to a certain purity of college sport. Sometimes, it even produces a gem of a football game (last year's triple-OT Harvard win in New Haven, for instance). Unfortunately, yesterday was not one of those days.

On an afternoon too warm for raccoon coats (though I did see a young woman wearing a Harvard letter sweater and pearls), the future business leaders of America clashed for the 123d time and Yale won easily in front of a sellout crowd. A couple of streakers, one with "MIT" stenciled on his back, proved more elusive than any Harvard ball carrier. When it was over, Yale students vaulted the cement walls of the ancient stadium and stormed the field, where they smoked cigars with their football heroes.

Elsewhere on the gridiron:

1 Ohio State beats 2 Michigan before 105,708 at Columbus, 42-39.

20 BC stays alive in ACC championship hunt, thumps 21 Maryland, 38-16.

Amherst recalls legendary football coach James Ostendarp, "the Darp," a "black and white photo come to life."

Ivy League fight songs


Saturday, November 18, 2006  

Miss Rhythm

Ruth Brown, RIP.

Interview, The Connection (7/17/03)


"Hello, Little Boy" >>> (at left)

"It's Over" >>> (scroll to end)

"Have a Good Time" >>> (scroll to end)


Tuesday, November 14, 2006  

Back from extinction?

The demise of the Yankee Republican is headlined by the Associated Press.

The New England Republican Council has canceled its conference in order to regroup. An organizer comments the region is "crying out for a centrist movement."

An essay by James Peyser in the Boston Globe's Ideas section calls for a rethinking of the GOP, with emphases on active citizenship and stewardship.

At Opinion Journal, Brendan Miniter says the GOP must strive to again compete in the Northeast. Matthew Continetti at the Weekly Standard agrees.

One thing that can be said of the GOP collapse in the Northeast is that it provides an opportunity to rebuild the party from the ground up, as the AP piece observes.

Old Dominion Tory comments re the AP article:

Speaking as a Yankee Republican, I am saddened by the demise of New England Republicanism because it means the rise of one-party states and the attendant increase in corruption and cronyism at the state and local level as well as the advancement of appalling policies at the national level.

The author also attempts a neat trick in staking out what it means to be a Yankee Republican, describing them as "socially liberal" and for the "protection of personal liberties, including support of abortion rights. . . .They also support embryonic stem cell research." The trouble is, of course, that the definition of socially liberal has been warped beyond recognition -- and the arbiters of what it means to be "socially liberal" are constantly redefining it. Somehow, I can't see Saltonstall, Herter, "Sarge," Theodore Roosevelt, and the Henrys Cabot Lodge embracing abortion on demand, partial birth abortion, embryonic stem cell research, the notion that porn (on-line and otherwise) is as deserving of protection as political speech, and "gay marriage."

If engaged properly on "social justice" issues and moral issues (think Rick Santorum, Ian Duncan-Smith, and RFK getting together), Catholics could be the core of a GOP revival in New England. I know it will be tough to surmount all sorts of ethnic stereotypes and grudges as well as neutralize the power of fashion (A Republican?! The idea!), but I have a feeling it could be done. There are millions of voters who don't bother going to the polls in Massachusetts because they have no one to vote for or, if they do, little hope of seeing them elected.

If the Mass. GOP begins to rework itself as a party devoted to social justice (to include a well-argued pro-life position and eschewing socialism), prudent fiscal management, reasonable environmentalism, and an end to the Progressive Hack Alliance, it will begin to restore some balance and (dare I say?) dignity to Massachusetts politics.

My own sense is that the region indeed does need a centrist movement, and that a revived GOP indeed should emphasize active citizenship and stewardship.

I think a Catholic RFK sensibility – one that encourages sacrifice, stands up for the disenfranchised, defends life and appeals to the human spirit – would be a powerful inspiration for a renewed conservatism. This certainly would speak to me more than a mere appeal to self-centeredness -- which is what the Dems' libertinism, on the one hand, and GOP-Libertarian no-tax-free-market worship, on the other, tend to seem to me.

Old Dominion Tory comments:

I sense "The Pine Tree Manifesto" being developed.

I very much like that idea.

Reader input hereby is invited on the content of this manifesto, and on the tavern in which it should be drawn up.


Sunday, November 12, 2006  

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: Boston

You definitely have a Boston accent, even if you think you don't. Of course, that doesn't mean you are from the Boston area, you may also be from New Hampshire or Maine.

The West
The Midland
North Central
The Northeast
The Inland North
The South
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

What American accent do you have?

(Via Naked Villainy)


Friday, November 10, 2006  

Veterans' Days

Happy Birthday to the Marines, and to all vets: many thanks.

* * *

Canadian Army Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918), was dissatisfied with this poem and tossed it away, but it was retrieved by a fellow officer who sent it to newspapers in England. The Spectator, in London, rejected it, but Punch published it on Dec. 8, 1915.

"In Flanders Fields"

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Poppies traditionally are worn this time of year in Britain in connection with an annual appeal for ex-servicemen and their families. (Hat tip: Old Dominion Tory)

* * *

Worth reading:

Mr Punch's History of the Great War is online at Project Gutenberg.

And old friend Scott Belliveau, that Old Dominion Tory, has a review in Crisis Magazine of HW Crocker III's 400-year history of America at war, Don't Tread on Me.

* * *

The detail above from the Soldiers & Sailors Monument in Montclair, N.J., is from a photo gallery by art historian Lee Sandstead.

Massachusetts has a trove of celebrated war monuments, including the Minutemen at Lexington Green and the Old North Bridge, the Melvin Memorial in Concord's Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, the Shaw Memorial on Boston Common, and the Flanders Fields sculpture in Milton.

A Bay State town planning a beautiful and inspiring war memorial would be surrounded by classic examples from which to draw inspiration.

I mean no disrespect to the veterans of Wayland, Mass., when I suggest that the town's new monument represents a missed opportunity.

* * *

The Boston Herald's Jules Crittenden draws on interviews with veterans of the 1965 Battle of Ia Drang in Vietnam and his own experiences as a reporter embedded with a tank company in Iraq in a review of a book on Waterloo.

In one of our late night conversations about combat, about the gut memories that remain, one of the old Ia Drang vets said, 'I'll never forget the order to fix bayonets. I couldn't believe it. I thought the lieutenant was out of his fucking mind.' This was not the most intense of his experiences. He wears an eyepatch because there wasn't enough of his eyesocket left to hold a glass eye after the North Vietnamese came through finishing off the wounded when his platoon was overrun at the Ia Drang. But that was later, and he still remembers the gut feeling of the order to fix bayonets, leaving cover and moving forward into fire. 'I still don't know how I did it,' he says.

It is a common refrain among old soldiers. Barbero quotes Sgt. William Lawrence of the 40th Foot, on being ordered to bear the regimental colours.

"This, although I was used to warfare as much as any, was a job I did not at all like: but I still went as boldly to work as I could. There had been before me that day 14 sergeants already killed and wounded while in charge of these Colours and officers in proportion... This job will never be blotted from my memory; although I am now an old man, I remember it as if it had been yesterday. I had not been there more than a quarter of an hour when a cannon-shot came and took the captain's head clean off. This was again close to me, for my left side was touching the captain's right, and I was spattered all over with his blood. The men in their tired state began to despair, but the officers cheered them on continually throughout the day with the cry of 'Keep your ground, my men!' It is a mystery to me how it was accomplished, for at last there were so few left that there was scarcely enough to form a square."

It's nearly 200 years, but that's not so much time. It could be yesterday.

(Via Power Line)

* * *

At Dismuke, scroll down to Nov. 8, 2001, for "American Patrol" and other songs for Armistice Day.



Tabled, Scrod

One-hundred-seventy-thousand Massachusetts voters petitioned to have the question of same-sex marriage put on the ballot.

But Bay State lawmakers yesterday used parliamentary maneuvering to effectively quash any chance at a statewide referendum.

Gov. Mitt Romney called it a "triumph of arrogance over democracy."

Howie Carr writes:

Of course, the solons claim they aren’t really sidestepping the constitution. They didn’t adjourn, which would have enabled Romney to order them back into session, which couldn’t have hurt his 2008 presidential bid.

No, they recessed until Jan. 2, at which time they’ll recess until Jan. 3, at which time they’ll recess until . . . oh darn, the session ran out, and 170,000 people will have had their civil rights violated. But who cares about them?

It used to be, not so long ago, if a referendum question passed, the Legislature accepted the will of the people. Then the reps just started ignoring the results. Now they have apparently decided it’s just too darn dangerous to allow the people to vote, period.

Two days into the Deval Era and the so-called Progressive Hack Alliance already is paying dividends.



Johnny Sain, RIP

The Boston Braves ace, in tandem with Warren Spahn, inspired a famous baseball rhyme.

In 1948, via Corbis * His '51 Bowman card * Braves Field then and now.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006  

Silver linings for centrists

Joe Lieberman wins one for Scoop Jackson in Connecticut.

Jim Webb, who won the Navy Cross as a Marine in Vietnam, and whose son is a Marine on active duty in Iraq, is the apparent Senate victor in Virginia.

John McCain emerges with renewed political capital.

Pro-life Democrats among the winners include:

Sen.-elect Bob Casey of Pennsylvania;

Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska;

Gov.-elect Bill Ritter of Colorado;

Rep.-elect Heath Shuler of North Carolina, the former Redskins QB;

Rep.-elect Charlie Wilson of Ohio;

Rep.-elect Brad Ellsworth of Indiana;

Rep.-elect Joe Donnelly of Indiana.

It says here the "polarization" of the nation is overrated, and the party that captures the center is going to be successful.



"Don’t Blame Me – I Voted for Muffy"

Howie Carr:

As Nicaragua goes, so goes Massachusetts. After 16 years out of power, the Sandinistas are back, in Boston as well as Managua… [At] least a few of the moonbats are starting to peel the ancient Kerry-Edwards bumper stickers off their Volvos.

Brian C. Mooney:

That thud last night was the sound of the Republican Party hitting bottom in Massachusetts.

With the end of the GOP's 16-year hold on the offices of governor and lieutenant governor, Bay State Democrats in 2007 will enjoy a political monopoly unequaled by either party in any state in the country.

In January, Democrats will hold all six statewide constitutional offices, all 12 seats in Congress, roughly 7-to-1 majorities in both chambers of the state Legislature, and all eight seats on the Governor's Council.

The party's slide has been so precipitous that Republicans yesterday did not contest 130 of 200 legislative seats, fielded a challenger in only three of 10 congressional districts, and put up fewer candidates for statewide office (three) than the Green-Rainbow Party (four).

Rachelle Cohen:

[The] party, what’s left of it, is a shambles. Healey and Reed Hillman were the only credible statewide GOP office seekers. Down ballot? Except for attorney general, not even token Republican candidates. Treasurer? Secretary of State? Auditor? No one to run for district attorney in the state’s most populous county, Middlesex, to succeed Martha Coakley, or in Suffolk either.

In the 160-member Massachusetts House, 105 Democratic candidates had no GOP opponent. In the 40-member Senate, 23 Democratic seats went uncontested.

Meanwhile the number of unenrolled voters is up to 1.98 million, just shy of 50 percent of all voters and up 22,000 since 2002. Now there is a school of thought that many of those are closet Republicans, which, of course, raises the question of why they remain “in the closet.”

A commenter at TNR's Open University on the Dem consolidation of New England:

One party rule is never a great idea, especially in the corrupt political culture of Massachusetts. The idea that people here are so liberal is also laughable. Anyone who lives here knows that. Demonstrating that is a long article in itself. However, my own theory, is that New Englanders 1. hate Bush for the obvious reasons, but 2. hate the national Republican party precisely because it is so strongly identified with the South now. Old prejudices die hard. There is no way Chaffee, Johnson, Bass, Bradley, etc. were conservatives. They were traditional New England Republican moderates, even liberals on some issues. But the Bush/Dixie connection sunk them.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006  

Voting Day

Hub Politics * Hub Blog

Globe * Herald * RCP



Bean & Cod Index

Annual tuition & fees @:

Smith: $32,558
Wellesley: $33,072
Holy Cross: $33,313
Boston College: $33,506
MIT: $33,600
Williams: $33,700
Harvard: $33,709
Boston University: $33,792
Mt. Holyoke: $34,256
Tufts: $34,730
Amherst: $34,916

Monthly mortgage payment by Deval Patrick:


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Square feet in Kerry Healey's summer house: 7,000

Number of state Republican chairmen on Healey's husband's payroll: 1

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Google rank of this blog on a search for "Deval Patrick" banana in the tailpipe: 1



The Lost Brahmin

Old Dominion Tory stirs nostalgia for the vanished Brahmin wing of the Massachusetts GOP.

It has been a long time since the Bay State Yankee was a lively political animal in the Republican zoo. (What Saltonstalls and Lodges are left apparently are voting for Deval Patrick.) The Yankees aren't my tribe, and by the time I reached voting age the Mass. GOP was moribund, when not downright laughable.

But today, when Rex Mottram has superseded the Stimsonian ideal in Massachusetts politics, one does look back wistfully on a time when the state's senior senator was a 10th-generation Harvard-educated gentleman farmer who carried cartons of fresh eggs from his Dover farm to Washington.

And against Deval Patrick's and Kerry Healey's McMansions, give me John Sears' book-lined Beacon Hill study.

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Century in which John Winthrop Sears, Brahmin former GOP candidate for governor, said he ought to have been born: 17th

Sears interviewed in 1998 on the state of the Grand Old Party


Thursday, November 02, 2006  

Dia de los Muertos

Flickr galleries:




Larry & Flo



Wednesday, November 01, 2006  

'A reminder of how civilized the world used to be'

Massachusetts Republicans may be headed for Whig-ville, as Howie Carr writes today, but once they were a proud party.

Christian Herter, above, was one of their leading lights: in William F. Buckley's words, "a reminder of how civilized the world used to be," and in Tom Dewey's, "the cream of the bottle."

Herter, the Globe's Martin F. Nolan writes, "proved that politics is an honorable calling":

No one was deeper "inside" than Christian Archibald Herter. A Republican, he lived on Beacon Hill. His father painted the murals in the House chamber where Herter was speaker before he went to Congress in 1942, serving five terms before being elected governor in 1952.

"Chris Herter was the toughest, smartest politician I ever knew," his frequent opponent Tip O'Neill once said. "He had Brahmin manners, but was thoroughly partisan."

Herter went on to serve as secretary of state for President Eisenhower and trade negotiator for President Kennedy. He was on the cover of Time twice, in 1953 and 1959.

Bow-ties figure prominently in these archival images of him, via Corbis: Election night, 1954 * Governor, 1954 * Sec'y of State, 1959 * His sartorial example lost on Castro

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His father, Albert, was a noted artist. Among the elder Herter's works: Young Girl * Garden of the Hesperides * And the murals beneath the Sacred Cod in the Massachusetts Statehouse



All Saints Day

Photo from Warsaw by Kelly Jo Garner.


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