Vernacular

For many years, I have been an admirer of Peggy Noonan’s writing style and cogent content.

I met her when she paid a visit to speak at the Lancaster Republican Woman’s Club some years ago. Sorry I don’t have the date.

In writing my story, I found some splendid quotes that she has provided during her career.

A club member provided me with a phone number where Peggy was staying in an LA hotel.

When I quoted her quotes, she said she had developed a phrase that could be used when she had worked on a speech that some political celebrity would deliver, without claiming all the credit.

Here are some of the precious words: “A speech is poetry: cadence, rhythm, imagery, sweep! A speech reminds us that words, like children, have the power to make dance the dullest beanbag of a heart.”

“Naps are nature’s way of reminding you that life is nice, like a beautiful swinging hammock strung between birth and infinity.”

“You can get so well educated in America that your thoughts become detached from common sense. You can get so complicated in your thinking that the obvious isn’t real to you anymore.”

“What we need most right now, at this moment, is a kind of patriotic grace — a grace that takes the long view, apprehends the moment we’re in, comes up with way of dealing with it, and eschews the politically cheap and manipulative. That admits affection and respect. That encourages them. That acknowledges that the small things that divide us are not worthy of the moment; that agrees that the things that can be done to ease the stresses we feel as a nation should be encouraged, while those that encourage our cohesion as a nation should be supported.”

“America has been through so much this year — world-wide illness, lock-downs, death, sickness, searing arguments about how to handle it all. We tried to do what we had never done before, close everything down to fight a disease and each day, in real time, face the economic, social and cultural repercussions. The personal ones too. It’s going to be the work of years to dig ourselves out fully, but there are many reasons to believe we can and will.”

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