Sunday, November 08, 2015

5031 Frusty

Sunday, November 8, 2015

So now everybody is down on candidate Carson for saying he had been offered a scholarship to West Point, because "everyone knows that West Point is free for anyone accepted."  I've heard people I had heretofore considered intelligent snorking about it.  "Yeah, scholarship.   Snork."

Yes, Ben Carson has said some very weird stuff, but this isn't one of them.

What else do you call an offer of free tuition and room and board at an institute of higher education?  Last I heard, that's called a full scholarship.  Sheesh!  You really don't have to stretch that far to find stuff to razz him about.


"Sunday Morning" did a story this morning on a guy who carves the lettering on monuments.  You know, I'd never thought about it.  I guess I'd assumed it was done with some kind of machine, like a thingy you slap on there, and it routs out the letters according to a platten you put in it.

The country house is near the Catskills and the beginnings of the Adirondacks, so there are a lot of old mountain house resorts scattered around, many of which are now nothing more than foundations lost in the woods.  The resorts were built on the tops of mountains, with bare granite outcroppings from which you can see for miles. Those views are popular destinations for hikers.

Back in the 18th to early 20th centuries wealthy families would spend the whole summer at the resorts.

What I found fascinating about those outcroppings was the graffiti.  OLD graffiti. Names and dates, initials, entire classical quotations, some in Latin or Greek, carved into the granite.  I suspect it was likely young men bored out of their minds --- rich, classically educated young men with a lot of time to fill.   The work was not just scratchings.  It's that "V" shaped chiseling of straight letters with capitols, exactly as seen now on monuments.  Excellent work.

Of  course, there's modern graffiti here and there, too.  In spray paint and barely decipherable.  Made by youth who couldn't compose a Latin phrase to save their lives (except maybe E Pluribus Unum, but even then they would likely misspell it, even if they have a quarter in their pocket).

If ghosts could laugh, the mountains would ring.