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   This began when I made my annual visit to a nearby Ethan Allen store¹.

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   They display furniture attractively, and I like to see what’s “new” and how they arranged things…

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   This time they caught me by surprise

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For more use the DOOR.

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   All the decorative books that stood on the bookshelves that were for sale were arranged in a way I’d never seen before:

   The books’ spines were out of sight against the back of the bookshelf, and the white paper edges faced the observer!

   Since our country’s been recently been hammered by its loss of free speech, I expected the worst.

   And I was right.

   No offensive words–or unoffensive ones–were in sight.

   I, of course, asked about this. Sales I suspect were slow and “they didn’t want to offend anyone.” A new policy. But the bookcases looked silly, and certainly out of place in American traditional furniture!

   But I² was offended.

   It reminded me of Hampshire College’s president ordering the removal of all American flags from campus in November 2016 after some students were hurt and offended by the “hate” it reminded them of³. Amherst citizens, however, did not take kindly to this. But the issue was there, and college administrators had to be corrected by an angry band of veterans and other “deplorables.”

   I want bookshelves for books that can easily be located and used–books that include those that are “for” and books that are “against” what knowing people think is proper.

   Keep these things in mind as you “participate” in activities on the 4th of July.

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   ¹ Name and location of store deliberately omitted.

   ² I’m not a member of a protected minority. Further, I am a descendent of Ethan Allen or his brother Ira. Records aren’t clear.

   ³ Many sites can be googled. Maya Rhodan wrote about this in the Nov. 28, 2016 issue of Time, which also can be easily located electronically.