dolls and baseball gloves and toys to children of indigent parentsrnevery Christmas. Prodded by bluenoses—usually transientrnProtestant ministers—the cops had to raid her once or twice arnyear, but she was always forewarned by her friends in the policerndepartment.rnEdna’s is long gone; lechery, too, has been abstracted, madernunreal. Next door to Edna’s old place is Batavia’s first X-ratcdrnvideo store and vendor of what used to be so charmingly knownrnas “marital aids.” So rather than disport with the local doxiesrnthe boys can stop by after work and pick up a video filmed inrnthe province of Mexico called Los Angeles, and make like GrahamrnParker: “I pretend to touch and you pretend to feel.”rnPlenty of the guys already have their applications in at whatrnwill soon be one of Batavia’s biggest employers, the new Immigrationrnand Naturalization Service holding center that our congressman,rna callow Bosnia hawk and PAC-aholic and Gingrichrnboytoy named Bill Paxon, has obtained for us. As if the Atticarnprison revolt of 1971 did not leave a jagged enough scar: nowrnwe can look forward to playing jailer to frightened and angryrnHaitians who will slit our throats at the first chance. Prisonsrnand waste dumps: the growth industries on Main Street in thernAge of Clinton and Dole. And even the prisoners and the wasternhave to be imported.rnAt this point I should bemoan the globalization—thus thernnegation—of local art and thought, but I won’t. I shouldrnaffirm that wonderful line by Morrisscy, the Oscar Wilde ofrnpostpunk English music:rnWe look to Los Angeles for the language we usernLondon is dead, London is dead, London is dead.rnBut I can hardly claim virginity in these matters, knowing, as Irndo, the words to the theme songs from both The Brady Bunchrnand The Partridge Family. And besides, though I yield to nornman in my hatred of French sex comedies, they are not thernproblem. As a gal from Northern Virginia once said, “I knowrnthe problem is me.”rnLike the old men who resist going metric, we have it withinrnour power to nurture 1,001 little regional revivals. Like the oldrnpaper-rock-scissors game, one handful of dirt trumps an entirernglobe. We are in the position of Edward Eggleston, the Indianarnnovelist of the 1870’s, who wrote: “It has been in my mind sincernI was a Hoosier boy to do something toward describing life inrnthe back country districts of the western states. It used to be arnmatter of no little jealousy with us, I remember, that the manners,rncustoms, thoughts, and feelings of New England countryrnpeople filled so large a place in books, while our life, not less interesting,rnnot less romantic, and certainly not less filled withrnhumorous and grotesque material, had no place in literature. Itrnwas as though we were shut out of good society.”rnInstead of whining about New England’s hegemony or plottingrnthe assassination of I lenry Wadsworth Longfellow, Egglestonrnwrote The Hoosier Schoolmaster, and we ought to follow hisrnexample. Every Main Street and Oak Street and Elm Street deservesrnits own record, its own poem, and the lack thereof is notrnthe fault of Sumner Redstone or David Geffcn or BoutrosrnBoutros-Ghali, however horrid these men and their playthingsrnmay be. Good old Ed Howe understood that “in every townrnthere is material for the great American novel so long expected,rnbut no one appears to write it.”rnThe tools of our regeneration are at our feet, if we’d just takerna minute to look down. “Art, although potentially universal inrnsignificance, is always more or less local in inception,” as GrantrnWood wrote. Wood painted “American Gothic” for his musernand murals for the amusement of Cedar Rapids businessmen:rnthe perfect synthesis of art and life on Main Street. He did sornat the same time Henry Luce and the American Centuriansrnwanted their uppercase Life to replace our lowercase lives, andrnyet vvc endure. Our own historical society recently put togetherrna wonderful exhibit of the work of Batavia’s own GrantrnWood, the naturalist Roy Mason, kind of a Winslow Homerrnwithout the p.r. agent; Mason supported himself by paintingrncalendar art for the Family Liquor Center and the Baker GunrnCompany, among others. My lawyer, my dentist, my car repairman,rnmy barber, the guys who fixed our roof, and so on, arcrnall kids my brother and I played ball with or went to school with,rnand if this is possible in as devastated a place as Batavia then Irncan’t help but feel optimistic about the prospects for an Americanrnrevival. The ingredients are still there for us.rnThe great Edward Abbey called his classic Desert Solitaire “arntombstone . . . a bloody rock,” and he advised readers to “throwrnit at something big and glassy.” But though some may “lovernthe sound of breaking glass,” as a reprobate Englishman oncernconfessed, after the brick shatters the window all you get arernshards in the yard and splinters in your feet and a mess to cleanrnup. Rocks and bricks are no match for the tanks and bombs andrnorganized hatreds that prop up the state. The colossi of globalismrn—Disney, the U.N., Time Warner—are impregnablernagainst conventional weapons anyway, but just as H.G. Wellsrnslew the invading Martians with “the humblest things thatrnGod, in His wisdom, has put upon this earth,” so must we preservernour homes, our streets, our towns, with acts of recovery,rnrestoration, and resurrection, and the seed, the prayer—rnour only prayer—is love. crnIS THE ROC^KFORI)rnINSTITUTE IN Y()l!R WILL?rnPerhaps a better question is:rnDo you have arncurrent will?rn~Â¥”f not, the laws of your particu-rn1 lar slate will determine what isrnJLto be done with your estate uponrnyour death. In addition, unlessrnthere is proper planning, federalrnestate taxes can claim up to 55% ofrnyour property. If you would like torndiscuss elements of your estaternplanning, please write or call:rn(815) 964-5811rnLEGACY PRCKJRAMrnTHEROCKFORU INS 1111 “IErn934NORTH MAIN STRl’.l-TrnROCKFORIXIL 01 KMrn14/CHRONlCLESrnrnrn