Leaving Londonderry

Our time in New Hampshire is almost through. Yesterday we sold our house in Londonderry. I feel sad about moving, but we never really bonded with the place. I guess we will have to hit the road again searching for the home we never found. Now we are back in the Towne Place Inn in Manchester. There is symmetry. This is the same place we started and I will drive the same road to take the boys to school, only now I won’t continue on to Tufts. We are off to Virginia on June 19, stopping along the way in West Point. The Fletcher School experience is quickly receding into mythological memory. My computer crashed the last day of classes. It is courteous of the old machine that it waited until I didn’t really need it, but I lost most of my records. It goes to show that you should back up. I don’t think I lost anything I can’t replace. I remember most of the “big ideas” and they may even improve by being rethought.

I spent most of yesterday watching the Reagan funeral. What a big affair. He was my hero, a great man. Ronald Reagan’s clarion call to fight communism is one reason I went into the Foreign Service. We shall not soon see his like again. I think the outpouring of respect caught the establishment by surprise. Many of our intellectual elite liked to think of him as an amiable dunce. I always believed that history would be kinder to him than were contemporary pundits, but I am surprised how fast history is catching up with the old man. The thing I find surprising is how some memories are also changed. Dozens of pundits talked about the end of the Cold War. The ones on the right gave Reagan his proper share of credit for ending it on our terms. Those on the left said things like, “the Soviet Union was falling by itself, as we all knew.” I started the Foreign Service in 1984. I can’t recall even one mainstream pundit who thought that the Soviet Empire would disappear anytime soon. On the contrary, many thought the democracies would have to make serious accommodations to communism. World communism seemed on the ascent back then. Reagan was one of the only ones who saw the weakness in communism and for that he was derided as an “amiable dunce” or “reactionary fool” by the chattering classes, the same ones who now see the collapse of that benighted system as obviously known and forgone. I don’t really believe they have forgotten, since many have left written records, but they are covering, trusting in the notoriously short public memory to put them retroactively on the right side of history. I admit to some fault. I voted for Jimmy Carter in my first election (1976). It was a youthful indiscretion, but I am proud to say that I came to my senses and voted for Ronald Reagan in 1980. Mine was probably one of the few votes for him at the Webster Street polling place deep inside the “peoples republic” of Madison, Wisconsin. I am convinced if Jimmy Carter had been reelected in 1980, followed by Walter Mondale in 1984, we would still face the Soviet Union today, or worse it would have gone down in a bloody mess and taken us along. Defeatists and pessimists don’t make good leaders, no matter how intelligent, honest or admirable, and I do admire Jimmy Carter. He was much smarter in the academic sense. He had success at Camp David and started deregulation. It is just that overall he is a much better ex-president than he was a president. Maybe he should have just jumped to that step. Enough on politics.

I took some pictures of the area around our now former NH home. They are about a month old, so they are springtime pictures, but still applicable.