Recently one Sunday afternoon my wife and I along with good friends (Starley & Jan) went to see the play based on the Harper Lee book To Kill A Mockingbird. The book first came out in 1960, my senior year in high school. I had read the book some time back. (We were getting some real "culture. "on this afternoon)
Upon its release the book immediately won a Pulitzer Prize and made Miss Lee very famous. Lee grew up and had lived much of her life in Monroeville, Alabama although she had spent time working in New York City. Not too long ago my curiosity got the best of me and while driving back from one of my music festivals (Swamp Pop festival in Gonzales, Louisiana) I made it a point to drive through Monroeville. Pretty typical small southern town.
Some have said the book is the most read American novel ever. I cannot verify that but it has never been out of print since it was released. Think about that fifty-six years of continuous printing. The book is about the life and times of life in a southern small town during the years 1933-35. The Depression years. The two main characters are a young tom girl type, Scout and her lawyer father Atticus Finch. Finch the local town lawyer defends a black man accused of rape of what folks today would call truly a "redneck's" daughter. Racial injustice is a reoccurring theme all during the play.
As I sat and watched the play three words I kept seeing appear during the play. I thought of the words class, courage and compassion.
If you have never read the book, saw the movie (Gregory Peck) or the play do yourself a favor, do such. Little side note, possibly my all time favor actor, Robert Duvall, this was his first appearance in a movie. He appeared as Boo Radley.
Some great lines from the book/movie or play:
"I wanted you to see what real courage is. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what."
"People generally see what they look for, and hear what the listen for."
"Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I'd have the facts."
"But before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that does not abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."
"You just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, you don't let them get your goat. Try fightin' with your head for courage.
"Real courage is when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what."
"I was born good but had grown progressively worse every year."
(Love that line...how fitting of most all of us?)
"You can choose your friends but you sho'can't choose your family, an' they're still kin to you no matter whether you acknowledge 'em or not, and it makes you look right silly when you don't."
"We're paying the highest tribute you can pay a man. You trust him to do right. It's that simple."
(excuse me here but...don't you wish more politicians lived by this line?)
"There are just some kind of men who-who're so busy worrying about the next world they've never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results."
I leave us with this last one...."Things are always better in the morning."
So if you are reading this I hope it's at night cause things will be better in the morning...or that is what they tell us.
August 8, 2016