The Frogmarch

"I've got to pull up my stakes and roll, man." --Jean-Jacques Libris de Kerouac

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Me 'n' Thomas Jefferson

Dear T.J.--

I can call you TJ, right? 'Cause it seems like I know you. I mean, this is gonna sound weird, but I've been in your house what you did with the place, Monticello. And your library, too, come to think of it. But I'm not some sort of stalker or fanboy or anything. Don't get me wrong--I mean, remember when you established the philosophical foundations for modern representative democracy? Yeah, that was awesome. Declaration of Independence, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"? Rad. The Louisiana Purchase? Man, you took Napoleon to school. Owning a bunch of fellow human beings as slaves and fathering children by them? Er.... well, those were different times, right? I ain't judging nobody.

But I'm not trying to harsh your mellow, Teej. I just thought you'd like to know about this. Remember when you were Minister to France from 1785 to 1789? And when you weren't doing business or amassing a kickass wine cellar, you used to travel around the country? And that one time you spent, like, four days in Lyon? Well, the folks here sure remember. In fact, they're putting up a commemorative plaque. Check it out [photo].

They made a big deal out of it, TJ; they even sent the US Ambassador for the unveiling--that's right, the guy with your old job. He's a good egg, you'd like him (unlike the last guy, who couldn't even speak French and just got the job because of who his cousin was. That's just how we do things now, TJ). I got wind of the event and showed up because I thought there might be free know the French, amiright, Teej? Well, there was, and those little cake things to boot.

Anywho, they're going to put up the plaque along the Saone river near the house where you stayed. The house hasn't changed much [photo], but remember the Pont d'Ainay, the bridge there that you mentioned in your journals? Well, it got washed out by a flood, and some time after it was rebuilt the Germans blew it up in the war. There's nothing left but the abutments on either side of the river [photos]. So they'll probably put your plaque somewhere around there. I just hope they put it high enough so that everybody who comes by doesn't feel compelled to rub your nose.

Take 'em easy, Big Red, and holler back when you get a minute.

Your Homey,
Sarsippius J. Frogmarch III


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