Mollie, you are never unclear. I've been reading too many Agatha Christie mysteries or old Brontes. No, I've never been further than Canada or Mexico (unless Hawaii counts). I have this vision of the English countryside that bears no resemblance to reality. Rows of pristine hedges and gardens surrounding Pizza Hut? The fog from the moors drifting over McDonalds? The friendly pubs with the odd names have given way to franchises.
I love long comments - they give me something to talk about and I've always been better at responding than initiating.
I am so sorry about your one brother but grateful the other found a way out. I worry about my daughter who, at almost fifty and fighting cancer, has never found her way.
Bread sticks of course. How silly of me.
We have lots of examples of Horatio Alger here but it's become much harder. I was thinking about an article I had read about the Supreme Court which said basically if you hadn't graduated from the "right" college, usually Yale or Harvard, your intelligence and experience didn't matter. Several of our recent Presidents seem to bear that theory out. Stanford maybe but never the University of Arkansas or Chico State.
We seem to reach a certain level and then come to a screeching halt. There are a few exceptions (it doesn't hurt to have an acting career first) but there is a clique that runs this country.
I think college should be available to every child who wishes to attend and is capable of the work. I also think that attempting to force every child into that mold is mistaken. So many of our jobs here are in service industries of one type or another. Mine certainly were. If the country is not producing, who will these people in the service industries supply?
I'll stop before I start raving about outsourcing, cheap overseas labor, greedy corporations and the like.