To the editor:
Thank you for Robert Lee’s guest column of Nov. 15.
It was a contribution from Mr. Lee that I can finally say I really enjoyed. His past forays into political commentary, such as his Nov. 7 offering on Syria, too often degenerate into rants against a President who he clearly dislikes, and simply fall flat. On Nov. 15 it seemed that he wrote from the heart, and it was a piece that worked well.
Mr. Lee and I are of a similar age, and he must have enlisted in the Marines around the time that I joined the Army. Military service was not very popular in those post-Vietnam days of the early 1970s, and I commend him for serving during a time when the parades and the “Thank you for your service …” greetings were practically non-existent.
I share as well, his childhood evocations as I have sometimes joked that my own youth was sort of Beaver Cleaver with a Mayberry accent. I think Mr. Lee tapped convincingly into a few explanations of what went wrong while, I suspect, he recalls our childhood peers whose home circumstances were not so much Beaver nor Donna Reed.
Surely he switched the TV dial from 50 years ago this month, and just about anything during 1968: a couple more major assassinations, the “Poor Peoples’ Campaign”, and the Vietnam War turning sour, for examples, and then, Watergate … clearly, more forces were prevailing upon our Mayberry world than Mr. Lee’s Hollywood citation, but his point is well taken.