Out in the County

I had the day off today, and went with my wife out to visit a friend and see his collection of antique cars. We looked at and poked around in a ’31 Ford Model A, a ’40 Cadillac, and a ’56 Buick Special, to name a few.

After we left his house, we to lunch at a family owned restaurant. To get there, we had to drive across the county. I had the windows down, the radio on, and we were taking our time. We took the back way, and it’s like we went to visit America.

Shortly after I left the numbered highway, coming into a 3 way intersection I stopped to let an old Allis-Chalmers tractor putter by. The man in the seat looked to be in his 70’s, wearing a straw hat and overalls. The bush hog on the back looked well used. After he passed, I made the turn.

I passed an older farmhouse, freshly painted. The white standing out against the trees. A woman was gardening, the flower beds neatly laid out along the side yard.

The houses and barns rolled past. Some yards were cluttered with children’s toys, some with farm equipment, and others are clear. A lot of people were flying flags.

Along one curve, there was a brick ranch house, a paved driveway held an old pickup with a dog box in the bed. A metal garage stood open and there was a man on a riding lawnmower working on the back yard. What caught my eye was the flagpole in the front yard. It stood center, straight out from the front door, good sized, maybe 25 to 30 feet tall. The base was ringed with rocks and a small raised bed.

On the pole flew an American flag. A good sized flag, maybe 4′ by 6′, catching the breeze and standing out. Right below it flew a Gadsden flag. Same size.

I don’t know who lives there, and all I have is a mental snapshot as I drove by, but I bet if he and I sat down in the shade and started talking, we’d find some common ground. I wonder how long he’s had the flagpole, if he was in the military, or just patriotic, and I wonder when he added the Gadsden flag to the pole, and what it means to him.

It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.
— Samuel Adams


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