A Bungalow By the Shores of Gitche Gumee

And when I get ready to retire I’m going to build me an up-to-date bungalow in some lovely resort, not in Como or any other of the proverbial Grecian isles you may be sure, but in somewheres like Florida, California, Santa Fe, & etc., and devote myself just to reading the classics, like Longfellow, James Whitcomb Riley, Lord Macaulay, Henry Van Dyke, Elbert Hubbard, Plato, Hiawatha, & etc. Some of my friends laugh at me for it, but I have always cultivated a taste for the finest in literature. I got it from my Mother as I did everything that some people have been so good as to admire in me.

Zero Hour, Berzelious Windrip

images-1.jpgAlthough this list of great literature suffers from age, it seems difficult to dismiss the possibility that the author, Sinclair Lewis, was not being a tad satirical.

You can look up the great works of such literary giants as Elbert Hubbard and Henry Van Dyke on Wikipedia as I did but the real eye-opener is this guy Hiawatha (not Longfellow’s epic hero). I don’t know if Windrip ever read any works attributed to Hiawatha (if there are any) but despite the vagaries of oral history, the story of Hiawatha is quite interesting.

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Remembering Buzz Windrip

Doremus Jessup, so inconspicuous an observer, watching Senator Windrip from so humble a Boeotia, could not explain his power of bewitching large audiences. The Senator was vulgar, almost illiterate, a public liar easily detected, and in his “ideas” almost idiotic, while his celebrated piety was that of a traveling salesman for church furniture, and his yet more celebrated humor the sly cynicism of a country store.

Certainly there was nothing exhilarating in the actual words of his speeches, nor anything convincing in his philosophy. His political platforms were only wings of a windmill.

— It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis