January 26, 2012

Recently one morning my wife and I hosted the Concordia Retiree Book Club in the East Dining Room. The evening prior Ruth baked “out of this world” rolls  and also “Grandma Schmidt’s Apple Kuchen”. Our guests enjoyed the pastries served on elegant silver trays along with hot steaming coffee or tea. Book discussion completed enough “goodies” remained in anticipation of 0ur morning breakfast for several days to come.  The remaining pastries were placed on a ledge in the mailbox gathering area. Engaging in an extended conversation with a colleague we were out of sight of rolls and kuchen.  Conversation concluded we discovered that Munching Becketwoodian Thieves left a few crumbs for our breakfasts anticipated the next few days. Does this suggest Becketwoodians feel entitled to claim whatever, except permanent fixtures, as appropriate for the taking? Wednesday noon a buffet lunch is provided.  A note from staff was displayed early in the week advising those who loaded up their styrofoam containers after lunch to take to their dwellings would  be assessed a charge as consequence of their heist.

What to make of this? Some musings. Most of the Becketwood Cooperative members are educated and sophisticated with advanced degrees and successful professional resumes. Given this as fact, stereotypes aside, most would be expected to reflect a rather liberal political and social outlook.  This is a generalized conclusion.  What might one expect to be their political and social outlook?  Having listened faithfully to the GOP Presidential Debates a conclusion:  most Beckedwoodians, it seems, would be ideologically devoted to President Obama  who, as debate rhetoric states, is the “most food-stamp President” in American history”. A question:  where does “in American history” begin – with the Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, or, perhaps, the onset of the Revolution?  One suspects that “food stamp president” is a reference to FDR and the New Deal, Truman’s Fair Deal, and LBJ”s Fair Deal all of which as socialism beg for, in the debaters view, a radical restructuring, Furthermore recent debate rhetori suggest Brecketwoodians, in the main, are in favor of the European socialistic welfare state. What is even more frightening is this may even point in a more radical leftist direction (I dare not speak the word). Certainly the foregoing observation is stereotypic rhetoric that may clash with fact. What is, however, indicated is that overblown and often vacuous presidential primary debate rhetoric is confused as fact.

What may be concluded regarding the behavior of the Munching Becketwood Thieves who consumed Grandma Schmidt’s Apple Kuchen and left us bereft with only a few crumbs? If “it takes a village to raise a child”, similarly “it takes a Becketwood Cooperative to sustain its members”.  We sustain one another while respecting our individuality.  We also share as community our collective (dangerous word) welfare.  That being reality we were pleased to share the  tasty rolls and the delectable Grandma Schmidt’s  Apple Kuchen. We are content with the crumbs.

Published by profbartling1

Retired professor Concordia University, St. Paul, Mn. Taught mainly American History. Also taught in other areas of history, philosophy, and theology,


  1. Hi Mr. Bartling,

    I love this love you holding the line. I am laughing at “Beckedwoodians”! Ha…talking my language…
    Jane Weiss Lynch

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