Parker Westbrook made himself as indispensable to this state as its name, which he spent decades defending, and even spelling properly. For more than a quarter of a century beginning in 1948, he served on the congressional staffs of various members of the state's delegation--at least four by our count--and became as deeply knowledgeable as any of the leaders he served--or maybe served him.
"BEIJING--One Thursday morning in June, 200 senior officials crammed into an auditorium in the Communist Party's top training academy to study a revolutionary idea at the heart of President Xi Jinping's vision for China.
I can still feel the warmth and light of the Southern sun on my 5-year-old face as I walked the block and a half up Texas Avenue in Shreveport to visit Aunt Lillie Beiruti--Aunt Lillie from Beirut--to distinguish her from another Aunt Lillie in the sprawling Syrian family who were our neighbors, friends and confidants on that polyglot street of immigrants.
When it comes to changing a state, which is only a political union, into a people, there is nothing like defeat. Not just losing a great war or enduring a great depression, but a definitive defeat that changes everything from then on, and spells The End of everything that has come before.
Here is Susanne Langer's eyewitness report, almost word for word, in the New Republic on the plight of those migrants seeking refuge in one country after another only to be turned back again and again:
Bernie Sanders has been the congressman from little Vermont (a state so small it has only one) since 1990 and one of its senators since 2006. And as columnist George Will notes, in all that time he's been indistinguishable from his Democratic colleagues. For he "caucuses with the Democrats. He gets his committee assignments from the Democrats, and he's seeking the [presidential] nomination, of guess what, the Democratic party." What a surprise.
You have to be careful at Franke's cafeteria in Little Rock, a combination senior center, local eatery and longstanding tradition (founded 1924), or some wild driver like me will drive right over you with his walker. The same goes for Bryce's in Texarkana (founded 1931), another local institution. Both have that hard to define but immediately recognizable sense of place.