By Jack Engelhard
Here’s Hemingway as told to A. E. Hotchner:
“They shot a lot of our good guys in the war –but the beauty of our country is that there’s a good guy born every minute.”
That’s for sure.
Hemingway disputed Gertrude Stein’s flapdoodle about a “lost generation.” He found replenishing generations in his own time and even in our time. Surely and prophetically he was speaking about the “good guys” fighting for us in Iraq and Afghanistan and standing guard for us around the rest of the world.
Whenever we get to despairing about “the youth” of our country, here they come again, another generation of stouthearted men and women.
Where do we find such kids? Don’t know. But know this: God keeps on blessing America.
Months ago, the lady was quoted as saying “for the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country.” Must be some other country she was talking about because in THIS country we all share the same pride, not for the first time and not for the last time. Michelle Obama was opening speaker at the Democratic National Convention and it is a pity that our politicians have not yet caught up to our athletes, and college students, on what it means to be an American.
Our universities insist on turning out a generation of Radical Left-Wing Robots, and yet, in the end, many refuse to be indoctrinated and “re-educated.” Maybe it comes from the soil – this gladness to be an American. Our professors keep saying No; our kids keep saying Yes. (True, the down-with-America crowd, young and old, remains an infestation.)
To The Olympics – A Final Word:
For my money, two athletes, above all others, emerged as the champions of these Olympics; Jason Lezak and Kobe Bryant. Michael Phelps merits all those laurels, but, blessed with an abundance of talent, he was expected to win enough gold to fill both pockets (eight altogether). Lezak, an old man of the sea at 32, was pretty much an afterthought.
Lezak was done no favors when he jumped in as the last man in the 4×100 freestyle relay. He began his race already a length behind Alain Bernard and on the turn for home, he managed to close the distance but the announcers were already calling it a done deal – we’ll manage silver, maybe. Nearing the wire, Lezak found another gear and, in a sensational display of last-gasp courage, outfinished the Frenchman by a nose.
That was pure valor, American-style. Later, Lezak said that he found that spark when he remembered that he was “representing America.”
Lezak’s performance was against all odds and that final heroic surge of his energized and spirited the entire swim team and the rest of our Olympians.
The message? There is no quit in us. It can be done!
Kobe Bryant and the rest of the Redeem Team forgot that they were millionaires and played the game of Olympian basketball with the joy, vigor and rage of a sandlot pick-up game where competition is severe and without mercy. Bryant spoke for himself and for his squad when he said that it was all about his country. He was unafraid to declare himself patriotic.
Yes, he said, to be patriotic is “cool.”
The entire contingent – all these fresh-faced young kids from New York to Nebraska — were of the same mind. USA! USA! USA!
Where do we find them?
Hemingway was on target. Yes, there’s a good guy born every minute. We find them along the war zones out yonder and upon the playing fields here at home.
Watching our kids at the closing ceremonies in Beijing, one thought prevailed; they were coming back to the land of the free, home of the brave.
Mostly, though, they were coming Home!
Jack Engelhard latest novel, THE BATHSHEBA DEADLINE, now in paperback, places journalism at the center of our war on terror. Engelhard wrote the international bestselling novel INDECENT PROPOSAL that was translated into more than 22 languages and turned into a Paramount motion picture starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. He can be reached, and his works can be viewed, at www.jackengelhard.com.