A funny ad in a letter to Avi, July 4 ’92

Sunday, October 28, 2007

4 July 92

Avril P. David

Dear Avi,

After the rainy day yesterday, today is pleasant and sunny. Everyone must be enjoying the day itself, but specially its independence meaning. To an American, July 4th is the day when this English Colony in the New World declared its independence as state from Great Britain. And the declaration was signed here in Philadelphia. Now, the U.S.A. is more powerful and is wealthier than its mother, Great Britain, just as some daughter becomes greater than her mother and father.

Every piece of life is a process of independence. A bud bulges from its mother to peel off and grow by itself. For a human being, the process is very long and demanding, because the requisites to survive on her own have to be earned in terms of cost which others lack. It used to be when I was a child, some old teachers were only elementary school graduates. The degree towards teaching in the elementary school was programmed to be earned after two years. Many employees, such as secretaries and stenographers, were only high school graduates. Now, even a college degree is common and doesn’t earn much for exchange in the job market. One must not only earn it, but excel and earn an advanced degree on top of it, in order to compete for employment or living. But the process of human independence is worth it. It means freedom and self-respect–freedom from want and freedom to be.

I stayed at home, awaiting Mai in case she would finally arrive from Chicago. I did chores, as well as watched TV on and off. It’s some commercials which I like, leaving me in giggles by myself. For example, there’s the Roy Rogers ad, involving three old men in focus, bragging to outdo each other. One of them, addressing young men and women who must be snobbish and finicky, said: “In my days, I had only one pair of shoes the whole year round.” The second old man, Roy Rogers, retorted: “You’re lucky. In our case, we had only one pair for the entire neighborhood. We used newspapers to wrap around our feet!” Then, the third old man quipped: “Feet! What feet?” The ad is funny. And it says something of men, as well. Men still brag like boys. They’re still the boys they were, deep inside. Without the speed and muscle of youth to rough and tumble, they linger with the mouth to brag.

I’m having a nice time. I manage to learn some more and to rethink ideas I’ve thought to be clear and meaningful. For sure, I miss everybody, especially when I eat alone. Take care. Love, Dad

[fg was in Philadelphia for his summer scholarship from the National Science Foundation in July 1992.]


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