austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Just maybe think of me once in a while

At the risk of filling my journal with reports of how My Niece Is Adorable, my niece is adorable. While driving back from the Chinese place I sat --- at her direction --- next to her in the back seat; she's a very organization-based person. I looked at her and saw her bundled up tightly in her car seat, and buckled myself up, and on impulse said to her, ``So are you flying to Cincinnati too?''

And to my delight, she said, ``Yes''.

Now I had my scene. ``Wonderful city, isn't it? Really fascinating place, especially that enormous fountain right in the middle of downtown. You know they've polished it up since then, but there's still that classic rock of the 70s playing all the time around it,'' since what three-year-old isn't familiar with the Tyler Davidson fountain or WKRP In Cincinnati? And from there I launched into a discussion of how Cincinnati got its name, with its heritage of honoring George Washington as the Modern Cincinnatus and who the original Cincinnatus was. And then, to my further delight, she began repeating the tale back to me. To her parents, I said, ``This is going to be her weirdest childhood memory ever.'' I guess until I visit next time.

(Actually, the story of Cincinnati's name is more convoluted, as all historical stories are, and between Washington and the city directly was the Society of the Cincinnati, an organization of Revolutionary War officers formed so the elite could proudly boast to everyone how humble and self-effacing they were. But why complicate the point?)

Her parents pointed out I was acting kind of like this iPad app my niece likes, that gives a frequently-updated little informational cartoon, and they showed me when I got back. It features some kind of animated robot disappointed to learn that (a) Britain already has a monarch and (b) she can't order executions or wars. The robot looked crestfallen. Most people go through that at some point.

Trivia: It was in discussing the symbol for the Society of the Cincinnati that Benjamin Franklin wrote his famous essay comparing the superiority of the turkey to the ``bad moral character'' of the bald eagle. Source: The First American: The Life And Times Of Benjamin Franklin, H W Brands.

Currently Reading: The Twilight Years: The Paradox Of Britain Between The Wars, Richard Overy.


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