December 29, 2010

Flagged


One summer day at the lake an older cousin, some neighborhood boys, and my brother were readying a game of flag. The flag was a square, a square foot perhaps, torn from an old sheet, a dish towel, a rag. Tacked to a strip of whatever lumber could be found or filched, a yardstick, a dowel. I watched my cousin fasten his square, in a frenzy of intent, with tacks jammed all along the length of the fabric. My brother, snorting at his opponent’s excess, attached his with just three - top, middle, and bottom. It struck me immediately as not only confident and sufficient, but elegant. It was a turning point in my apprehension of the economy, and vested power, of good design.

Because I was young, it made a vivid impression. And the signal impressions of our youth become the banners under which we barnstorm the world. Geronimo!




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