I hit up the monthly meeting of the local American Legion chapter last night. Copped a ride with my friend Wally O’Brien, a Korean vet, and a neighbor whom I’d never met before, whose name like mine is Richard.

Meeting this guy was worth the trip. He lives in a farmhouse up the road, tucked up at the edge of the state park. His barn is covered with DIY political graffiti, dating mostly from the Bush II/Iraq invasion period. A notable feature is the word for “peace” in maybe 15 languages. The surrounding land is well kept, though I never see any inhabitants about. I always assumed some old New England hippie type lived there ā€” and that turns out to be more or less the case, though the hippie in question is a World War II veteran, must be pushing 80 (the raw math of history demands this) and still has a bit of blond in his ponytail.

None of us had been to an American Legion meeting before. We were going last night mostly in a show of support for our friend Rosey Gerry, who just jostled aside a complete Tea Party bozo from the leadership of the local chapter ā€” a position known as Post Commander. Apparently the ex-honcho had managed to alienate the membership with his incessant fulminating about the latest right-wing outrage. Attendance at meetings had crashed to 5 or 6 out of a dues-paying roster of about 130.

Consider the nature of this accomplishment. We are talking about

  • old white guys
  • in a rural and small-town setting
  • who are wartime military veterans


and even these guys just could not take the whole Impeach Obama, God Guts & Guns palaver.

The meeting was pretty dull as one might expect, though Rosey has plans to invite interesting guest speakers to future gatherings. I did note some interesting passages in the Preamble of the Constitution of the American Legion, which is posted at legible magnitude on the wall and was recited at the start of the meeting. The tone is recognizable as post-WWII idealistic patriotic pacifism:

To combat the autocracy of both the classes and the masses; to make right the master of right; to promote peace and good will on earth…

In other words, disgusting left-wing sentiments that no god-fearing Republican would tolerate.

The meeting only lasted an hour. I count it as a win all around.