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When a Southern Historian Disdains Robert E. Lee
The Southern Historian

Hair: Brown and short
Height: Average
Weight: Average
Age: Young enough that he never had to worry about being drafted and sent off to Vietnam.
Country of Origin: Southern Baptist
Occupation: The scholarly pursuit of Dame History
Hobbies: Golf. He also enjoys being a block monitor of hot water consumption

Dr. Livingstone, I presume.

Above: David finds the fabled "Lost People" of the land of BigSofa and attempts to refine their debating skills on American History. One will notice an extra figure in the rendering, which is the gray ghost of the Southern General Robert E. Lee, which has followed David around since he disdained specializing in the Civil War for early Nineteenth Century American History. "I am not a killer," General Lee endlessly repeats in his attempt to convince David he was an excellent strategist.

Below: David, having fought in defense of the Puritans, preserves Thanksgiving and ensures that he may forever enjoy turkey.

A happy family of the sixties enjoying Thanksgiving
It occurs to me that David (the Southern Historian) would enjoy living in Japan, and despite his passion for American History I don't imagine he would miss America all that much. I don't know why--perhaps because he has disdained Robert E. Lee--a vision came to me recently of David sitting on a tatami mat in front of a low Japanese table, enjoying a typical Japanese meal with some Japanese. To be more precise, David, now teaching American History at a Japanese university (or something down that line), is having one of his regular once-a-week meals over at the apartment of a fellow professor. The fellow professor and his wife have taken David under their wing, and the dinners which were originally a matter of professional and social obligation quickly evolved to be a matter of friendly habit. Each week the discussions continue on into the night a little later, and a little later, until finally, with the help of a little too much sake, the wife of the Japanese professor is falling asleep on the floor while the two colleagues continue with their bantering at the table, voices sometimes raised too high as they debate on whether or not it was the ghost of Robert E. Lee which disguised himself as Christ and appeared to the Native Americans, bringing with him plans for the Ghost Dance religion and intentions of stirring up trouble in the West.

David has been in Japan a year or two at this point. Soon, he will unexpectedly meet and fall in love with a Japanese woman. They will marry and have children. Eventually, David will become fed up with the city and, like an increasing number of Japanese, will move to the back country, the western region, the hinterland of Japan, in search of a closer-to-nature, slower-paced life. This will be made possible by his now being a published scholar who is able to write in such a way that Everyman can pick up one of David's books and enjoy the tragic-comedy of American History. He will become the Carl Sagen of American History.

An eccentricity of David's, which will entertain his Japanese wife, is that he will insist upon celebrating the North American Thanksgiving Holiday each year. There will be turkey, cranberry sauce, giblet gravy, yams, mashed potatoes, squash casserole and pumpkin pie. They will have friends and neighbors over. David will become famous in America for his friendly, non-academic Everyman books on American History, while in the western region of Japan he will become famous for his yearly Thanksgiving feast.

Japanese children flying kites
Above: A heart-warming scene from the back-country of Japan, to which David will flee in his desire to get closer to nature.
As for the photographs of Thanksgiving past and present, both were taken from Disney's Wonderful World of Knowledge, Volume 11, copyright 1971 as an updated and enlarged English version of an encyclopedia printed in the Italian language by Arnaldo Mondadori.

The caption of the photograph in which there is a dead duck resting atop many pumpkins reads, An American family dressed as Pilgrims act out the first Thanksgiving. You will notice, however, that the little girl has on black patent leather Maryjanes. One would think that if they went through the trouble of hunting and shooting a duck for the photo that they could have dressed the girl in shoes a little more realistic than Maryjanes. Also, the right pantaloon leg of the little boy is hitched higher than his left leg. This is not a mistake; it is a secret code, just as the little girl's Maryjanes are actually a secret code. Indeed, it is a little-known fact that the pilgrims still existed in this country as a cult as late as the early twentieth century, held together by a refusal to let go of the baroque. One prank of theirs was the Priory of Sion. Another was the notion of the Native Americans possessing a language which they communicated by hand signs and smoke signals. It was the pilgrims and puritans themselves who, far too immersed in Baroque ideology, had long employed subversive codes so that they might communicate to each other secretly in public, even when they were the only public about. Ann what's-her-name (the Quaker) infuriated her fellow Puritan and Pilgrim brethren by teaching Helen Keller this secret code, which is why she was run out of town.

Assorted People



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