Monday, May 12, 2014


Recently I have been worrying about the depth of the footprint that will trace my former presence when I finally depart this place.  It’s a nagging idle concern, certainly, triggered I think by noticing that someone had removed me from their “blogroll.”  (For non-initiates, a blogroll is a blog recommendations links-list that bloggers post for their readers.)    

Previously, I considered my inclusion in this particular blogroll to be my singular measure of fame in this world. The excision returned me to  total & absolute obscurity.

Obviously (and I promise not to belabor the subject), this pointless dull worry shouldn’t distract me from the Main Event consisting of trying to live a virtuous productive life, matching an estimable reach to a formidable grasp, and imbuing my daughter with these goals.  As for fame, when an active, well-informed person like me experiences continual & mounting difficulties recognizing the celebrity names and faces in the “fame magazines” I buy every week, that should be a sledgehammer-obvious clue that fame is temporary like Achilles & a doubtful neighborhood for sightseeing or loitering. 


Last night at Zach’s graduation party with our Sproat cousins, we had a joyous, deeply affecting time overlooking the West Chester golf course, appearing appropriately “baronial” in the twilight.   In this fine company I remembered and thought about Maj. General Smedley D. Butler (a cousin from the other side of the family) eternally resting nearby in Oakland Friends Cemetery, my late mother-in-law Caroline Butler Prutzman (also at Oakland), and especially Captain William Sproat of the Continental Army, who fought with General George Washington and wintered at  the 1777-78 Valley Forge encampment. The encampment included within its boundaries Signal Hill, Chester County's apex, which lends its name to my house. 

Captain Sproat, a survivor of the 1777 Paoli Massacre, lives here with us.  He beckons and commands our attention constantly by opening locked cabinets and closed doors & shifting positions.  He has friends here with him. They all seem to be living it up in Elysium unconcerned about the depth of their footprints, which clearly are substantial enough.   


No comments:

Post a Comment