The American Year

Posted by on August 19, 2013

A Monday Morning Memo from The Wizard of Ads

White Wind is duty, pure and clean.
Yellow Fire has high and lofty dreams.
Red Earth is all adventure; Tom Sawyer to the core.
Blue Rain is quiet wisdom. Who could ask for more?

North, South, East, West:
Arrows pointing in four directions;
The compass that brought us here.

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall:
A quartet singing in harmony;
The four faces of our year.

George, Tom, Teddy, Abe:
A mirror in shining Dakota granite,
Reflecting what we hope to gain.

Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, Lincoln:
White Wind, Yellow Fire, Red Earth, Blue Rain.

Roy H. Williams

(Yes, I’m in one of those strange moods that makes people sometimes wonder if I have a pony tail and play guitar….The answers, by the way, are “No” and “No.”)

Today’s memo comes as the result of my recent realization that the soul of America is perfectly revealed in the faces on Mt. Rushmore: George Washington was a man driven by obligation and sacrifice, the perfect symbol of every father who ever marched off to war. Thomas Jefferson was a visionary of high ideals who saw in his heart what America ought to be, but in his flesh, fell horribly short of it. He wrote, “All men are created equal,” and inspired hundreds of his countrymen to free their slaves, yet Jefferson never freed his own. The author of the document that made us a nation, Thomas Jefferson lived a life of quiet hypocrisy, yet I’m hesitant to cast the first stone. How often have I failed to live up to the standards in which I believe? Teddy Roosevelt was rambunctious in his boyish enthusiasm, as much a maverick and a renegade as any hippie who ever burned a draft card. Abraham Lincoln was physically ugly, but held us together with the wisdom and tenacious commitment of a mother watching over her children; the embodiment of American grit and determination. No single one of these would be capable of telling the American story alone, yet together they sing it in perfect harmony. Four faces on a mountainside: the seasons of the American year.

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