15 April 2008


when i was growing up in a small montana prairie town, my two favorite places to visit were the movie theater and the public library. at both, one could simply open one's eyes and feast on exotic places, people, times. windows onto the world. these places seemed to be imbued with a special kind of magic, able to transport me to places i'd only imagined -- and some i'd never suspected existed.

my family didn't own a tv until i was about 10. so i was no stranger to entertaining myself by the frequent and elaborate application of imagination -- creating games, reading books from an early age, and being entertained by the golden age of radio. television was something of a revelation, even if only in black and white, but it couldn't hold a candle to the big screen of a movie theater. and in many ways, neither could measure up to the incomparable pleasure of curling up with a good book. i've read literally thousands of books during my sixty-odd years on this planet. it would be impossible to distill them down to my favorite ten, or even a hundred. similarly, on a somewhat smaller scale, with movies.

someday, when i strike the lottery or write the great american novel (though i believe mark twain and herman melville already have some claim to that laurel), among my pet projects will be an endowment to my home town's library, to the movie theater, and scholarships to high school graduates whose college majors will be in music or biology or art or math or astronomy or .... see? too many valid and valuable fields to narrow it down. anything but political science, economics or theology. the world already has too many of those, to little good effect.

yup, i'm prejudiced. but hey, it's my fantasy, so i'm allowed.

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