Reflections on January 6

The day after the bloody siege on the Capitol, I dug out an 8 x 12 black and white glossy of a bunch of teenagers standing on its steps. There’s me and forty-six classmates posing with our Congressman, John B. Anderson (who would later run for president as an Independent). We’d just graduated a few days before, the Hanover High School class of 1966. For three days we’d been packed on a bus, traveling from our little town in Illinois, stopping along the way to tour Gettysburg.

The Gals

My mother stands at the kitchen window in a worn chenille housecoat and bunny slippers watching Uncle Roscoe hang up laundry on the clothesline next door. She lights a Chesterfield. Her ritual is to take a long drag, pick the tobacco off of her tongue, then blow out a small gray cloud. She’s fond of saying that if she liked cigarettes any better, she’d eat the goddamned things.