I was delighted to find that one of my all-time favorite short stories (surpassed only by “Watch With Me”, the most profound exploration of community and mental illness I have read), “A Half-Pint of Old Darling” by Wendell Berry, is now free to read on Library of America. Please do read it.
Ptolemy Proudfoot and Miss Minnie did not often take a lively interest in politics. They were Democrats, like virtually everybody else in the vicinity of Cotman Ridge and Goforth. They had been born Democrats, had never been anything but Democrats, and had never thought of being anything but Democrats. To them, being Democrats was much the same sort of thing as being vertebrates; it was not a matter of lively interest. Their daily lives were full of matters that were in the most literal sense lively: gardens and crops and livestock, kitchen and smokehouse and cellar, shed and barn and pen, plantings and births and harvests, washing and ironing and cooking and canning and cleaning, feeding and milking, patching and mending. That their life was surrounded by great public issues they knew and considered, and yet found a little strange