Time magazine published its most fascinating double issue ever. Dated July 11-18, it features, on the occasion of the nation’s 240th birthday, “240 Reasons to Celebrate America.” Wonderful tributes and tidbits towards creativity, ingenuity and culture — by notables from all walks of life on what America’s all about.

Among the suggested “fixes” for America, humorist Garrison Keillor proposes we break up the partisan gangs in the U.S. Senate by seating Democrats and Republicans together — in order of age. The oldest towards the rear, the younger members up front, “so they get the idea that their time is brief.”

Taking this idea further, I’d suggest seating senators together geographically. From the speaker’s podium view: Californians, Oregonians and Washingtonians on the far left. The Midwest states would border the aisle — which would be redirected to meander, like the flow of the Mississippi River. Floridians on the far right, down front. Then up the Eastern seaboard with Mainers on the top right — presumably near the restrooms (a nice perk for Sens. Collins and King).

Perhaps our next president — whoever she is — decrees this as “The Way Seating Should Be.”

Filmmaker Ken Burns writes ebulliently about our national parks. Theodore Roosevelt deemed the federal park system as “noteworthy in its essential democracy.” Another historian proclaimed parks “the best idea the nation has ever produced.” As indeed they are.

Along that line, and in America’s unique proclivity for creativity and generosity, I believe Roxanne Quimby’s gift of the land to create another national park in Maine is a most precious gift that we should accept, forthwith — with grace and enthusiasm.

Aye, grab the shovels, lads!

To have a beer with the likes of Keillor, Burns and Quimby. To me, that’s what America’s all about.

Buddy Doyle


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