Coaches Hot Seat Blog

Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Thursday, August 25, 2022 – Eddie Robinson

“Coaching is a profession of love. You can’t coach people unless you love them.”

And

“My players can wear their hair as long as they want and dress any way they want. That is, if they can afford to pay their own tuition, meals and board.”

And

“People talk about the record I’ve compiled at Grambling, but the real record is the fact that for over 50 years I’ve had one job and one wife. I don’t believe anybody can out-American me.”

And

“I’ve learned more about what the players meant to me and what they meant to the game. I never won a game – they did. You learn from every player because they’re not the same.”

And

“Everything I’ve done, I think I dreamed of it first.”

And

“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.”

And

“Coach each boy as if he were your own son”

And

“Leadership, like coaching, is fighting for the hearts and souls of men and getting them to believe in you”

And

“They call me the greatest. I know that the greatest football coach who ever stepped on the field is Coach Eddie Robinson. I have admired what he has done in turning boys into men. He is a credit to his sport as well as a credit to humanity.” Muhammad Ali

And

“First time I met Eddie was around 1968 up at Uniontown, Pa. I was an assistant coach at West Virginia, and he was the head coach at Grambling and very successful. He came up there and spoke at a banquet. I heard him speak, and he’s the kind of guy that you get close to immediately. … He was a people’s person. You can’t help but like him … I doubt if there is a coach in the United States that people have more respect for — and loved — than for Eddie Robinson.” Bobby Bowden

Eddie G. Robinson Museum

Wikipedia: Eddie Robinson 

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Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Wednesday, August 24, 2022 – Omar Bradley

“Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death.”

And

“Leadership is intangible, and therefore no weapon ever designed can replace it.”

And

“Set your course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.”

And

“This is as true in everyday life as it is in battle: we are given one life and the decision is ours whether to wait for circumstances to make up our mind, or whether to act, and in acting, to live.”

And

“Dependability, integrity, the characteristic of never knowingly doing anything wrong, that you would never cheat anyone, that you would give everybody a fair deal. Character is a sort of an all-inclusive thing. If a man has character, everyone has confidence in him. Soldiers must have confidence in their leader.”

And

“We have men of science, too few men of God. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner.”

And

“Wars can be prevented just as surely as they can be provoked, and we who fail to prevent them, must share the guilt for the dead.”

And

“The way to win an atomic war is to make certain it never starts.”

And

“With the monstrous weapons man already has, humanity is in danger of being trapped in this world by its moral adolescents.”

And

Military hero, courageous in battle, and gentle in spirit, friend of the common soldier, General of the Army, first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he embodies the best of the American military tradition with dignity, humanity, and honor. Gerald Ford, remarks upon presenting Bradley with the Presidential Medal of Freedom (10 January 1977)

And

An Armistice Day Address

By General Omar N. Bradley
Boston, Massachusetts
November 10, 1948

“TOMORROW is our day of conscience. For although it is a monument to victory, it is also a symbol of failure. Just as it honors the dead, so must it humble the living.

Armistice Day is a constant reminder that we won a war and lost a peace.

It is both a tribute and an indictment: A tribute to the men who died that their neighbors might live without fear of aggression. An indictment of those who lived and forfeited their chance for peace.

Therefore, while Armistice Day is a day for pride, it is for pride in the achievements of others—humility in our own.

Neither remorse nor logic can hide the fact that our armistice ended in failure. Not until the armistice myth exploded in the blast of a Stuka bomb did we learn that the winning of wars does not in itself make peace. And not until Pearl Harbor did we learn that non-involvement in peace means certain involvement in war.
We paid grievously for those faults of the past in deaths, disaster, and dollars.

It was a penalty we knowingly chose to risk. We made the choice when we defaulted on our task in creating and safeguarding a peace.

It is no longer possible to shield ourselves with arms alone against the ordeal of attack. For modern war visits destruction on the victor and the vanquished alike. Our only complete assurance of surviving World War III is to halt it before it starts.

For that reason we clearly have no choice but to face the challenge of these strained times. To ignore the danger of aggression is simply to invite it. It must never again be said of the American people: Once more we won a war; once more we lost a peace. If we do we shall doom our children to a struggle that may take their lives.

ARMED forces can wage wars but they cannot make peace. For there is a wide chasm between war and peace—a chasm that can only be bridged by good will, discussion, compromise, and agreement. In 1945 while still bleeding from the wounds of aggression, the nations of this world met in San Francisco to build that span from war to peace. For three years—first hopefully, then guardedly, now fearfully—free nations have labored to complete that bridge. Yet again and again they have been obstructed by a nation whose ambitions thrive best on tension, whose leaders are scornful of peace except on their own impossible terms.

The unity with which we started that structure has been riddled by fear and suspicion. In place of agreement we are wrangling dangerously over the body of that very nation whose aggression had caused us to seek each other as allies and friends.

Only three years after our soldiers first clasped hands over the Elbe, this great wartime ally has spurned friendship with recrimination, it has clenched its fists and skulked in conspiracy behind it secretive borders.

As a result today we are neither at peace nor war. Instead we are engaged in this contest of tension, seeking agreement with those who disdain it, rearming, and struggling for peace.

Time can be for or against us.

It can be for us if diligence in our search for agreement equals the vigilance with which we prepare for a storm.

It can be against us if disillusionment weakens our faith in discussion—or if our vigilance corrodes while we wait.

Disillusionment is always the enemy of peace. And today—as after World War I —disillusionment can come from expecting too much, too easily, too soon. In our impatience we must never forget that fundamental differences have divided this world; they allow no swift, no cheap, no easy solutions.

While as a prudent people we must prepare ourselves to encounter what we may be unable to prevent, we nevertheless must never surrender ourselves to the certainty of that encounter.

For if we say there is no good in arguing with what must inevitably come, then we shall be left with no choice but to create a garrison state and empty our wealth into arms. The burden of long-term total preparedness for some indefinite but inevitable war could not help but crush the freedom we prize. It would leave the American people soft victims for bloodless aggression.

BOTH the East and the West today deprecate war. Yet because of its threatening gestures, its espousal of chaos, its secretive tactics, and its habits of force—one nation has caused the rest of the world to fear that it might recklessly resort to force rather that be blocked in its greater ambitions.

The American people have said both in their aid to Greece and in the reconstruction of Europe that any threat to freedom is a threat to our own lives. For we know that unless free peoples stand boldly and united against the forces of aggression, they may fall wretchedly, one by one, into the web of oppression.

It is fear of the brutal unprincipled use of force by reckless nations that might ignore the vast reserves of our defensive strength that has caused the American people to enlarge their air, naval, and ground arms.

Reluctant as we are to muster this costly strength, we must leave no chance for miscalculation in the mind of any aggressor.

Because in the United States it is the people who are sovereign, the Government is theirs to speak their voice and to voice their will, truthfully and without distortion.

We, the American people, can stand cleanly before the entire world and say plainly to any state:

“This Government will not assail you.

“You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressor.”

Since the origin of the American people, their chief trait has been the hatred of war. And yet these American people are ready to take up their arms against aggression and destroy if need be by their might any nation which would violate the peace of the world.

There can be no compromise with aggression anywhere in the world. For aggression multiplies—in rapid succession—disregard for the rights of man. Freedom when threatened anywhere is at once threatened everywhere.

NO MORE convincing an avowal of their peaceful intentions could have been made by the American people than by their offer to submit to United Nations the secret of the atom bomb. Our willingness to surrender this trump advantage that atomic energy might be used for the peaceful welfare of mankind splintered the contentions of those word-warmakers that our atom had been teamed with the dollar for imperialistic gain.

Yet because we asked adequate guarantees and freedom of world-wide inspection by the community of nations itself, our offer was declined and the atom has been recruited into this present contest of nerves. To those people who contend that secrecy and medieval sovereignty are more precious than a system of atomic control, I can only reply that it is a cheap price to pay for peace.

The atom bomb is far more than a military weapon. It may—as Bernard Baruch once said—contain the choice between the quick and the dead. We dare not forget that the advantage in atomic warfare lies with aggression and surprise. If we become engaged in an atom bomb race, we may simply lull ourselves to sleep behind an atomic stockpile. The way to win an atomic war is to make certain it never starts.

WITH the monstrous weapons man already has, humanity is in danger of being trapped in this world by its moral adolescents. Our knowledge of science has clearly outstripped our capacity to control it. We have many men of science; too few men of God. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. Man is stumbling blindly through a spiritual darkness while toying with the precarious secrets of life and death. The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living.

This is our twentieth century’s claim to distinction and to progress.

IN OUR concentration on the tactics of strength and resourcefulness which have been used in the contest for blockaded Berlin, we must not forget that we are also engaged in a long-range conflict of ideas. Democracy can withstand ideological attacks if democracy will provide earnestly and liberally for the welfare of its people. To defend democracy against attack, men must value freedom. And to value freedom they must benefit by it in happier and more secure lives for their wives and their children.

Throughout this period of tension in which we live, the American people must demonstrate conclusively to all other peoples of the world that democracy not only guarantees man’s human freedom but that it guarantees his economic dignity and progress as well. To practice freedom and make it work, we must cherish the individual; we must provide him the opportunities for reward and impress upon him the responsibilities a free man bears to the society in which he lives.”

Wikipedia Page: Omar Bradley

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Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Tuesday, August 23, 2022 – George S. Patton

“Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.”

And

“Always do everything you ask of those you command.”

And

“Americans love to fight. All real Americans love the sting of battle.”

And

“Americans play to win at all times. I wouldn’t give a hoot and hell for a man who lost and laughed. That’s why Americans have never lost nor ever lose a war.”

And

“Better to fight for something than live for nothing.”

And

“Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.”

And

“Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.”

And

“I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.”

And

“If a man has done his best, what else is there?”

And

“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”

And

“If we take the generally accepted definition of bravery as a quality which knows no fear, I have never seen a brave man. All men are frightened. The more intelligent they are, the more they are frightened.”

And

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”

And

“Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.”

And

“The time to take counsel of your fears is before you make an important battle decision. That’s the time to listen to every fear you can imagine! When you have collected all the facts and fears and made your decision, turn off all your fears and go ahead!”

And

“There is only one sort of discipline, perfect discipline.”

And

“We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people. Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.”

And

“You need to overcome the tug of people against you as you reach for high goals.”

Wikipedia Page:  George S. Patton

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Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Monday, August 22, 2022 – John Madden

“Coaches have to watch for what they don’t want to see and listen to what they don’t want to hear.”

And

“Don’t worry about the horse being blind, just load the wagon.”

And

“If you see a defense team with dirt and mud on their backs they’ve had a bad day.”

And

“Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.”

And

“The fewer rules a coach has, the fewer rules there are for players to break.”

And

“The only yardstick for success our society has is being a champion. No one remembers anything else.”

And

“The road to Easy Street goes through the sewer.”

And

“When your arm gets hit, the ball is not going to go where you want it to.”

And

“A team should never practice on a field that is not lined. Your players have to become aware of the field’s boundaries.”

And

“You can’t win games if you can’t get first downs.”

And

“You can’t win games if the offense can’t score.”

Wikipedia:  John Madden

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Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Sunday, August 21, 2022 – Johnny Unitas

“There is a difference between conceit and confidence. Conceit is bragging about yourself. Confidence means you believe you can get the job done.”

And

“I always thought I could play pro ball. I had confidence in my ability, You have to. If you don’t who will?”

And

“My father was totally dedicated to this game and made sure everybody on the team was just as dedicated, because it is the ultimate team sport.”

And

“Anything I do, I always have a reason for.”

Wikipedia:  Johnny Unitas

Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Saturday, August 20, 2022 – Barbara Jordan

“But this is the great danger America faces. That we will cease to be one nation and become instead a collection of interest groups: city against suburb, region against region, individual against individual. Each seeking to satisfy private wants.”

And

“Do not call for black power or green power. Call for brain power.”

And

“Education remains the key to both economic and political empowerment.”

And

“For all of its uncertainty, we cannot flee the future.”

And

“I felt somehow for many years that George Washington and Alexander Hamilton just left me out by mistake. But through the process of amendment, interpretation, and court decision, I have finally been included in “We, the people.”

And

“I never intended to become a run-of-the-mill person.”

And

“If we promise as public officials, we must deliver. If we as public officials propose, we must produce.”

And

“If you’re going to play the game properly, you’d better know every rule.”

And

“Let each person do his or her part. If one citizen is unwilling to participate, all of us are going to suffer. For the American idea, though it is shared by all of us, is realized in each one of us.”

And

“Let us heed the voice of the people and recognize their common sense. If we do not, we not only blaspheme our political heritage, we ignore the common ties that bind all Americans.”

And

“More is required of public officials than slogans and handshakes and press releases. More is required. We must hold ourselves strictly accountable. We must provide the people with a vision of the future.”

And

“The citizens of America expect more. They deserve and they want more than a recital of problems.”

And

“There is no executive order; there is no law that can require the American people to form a national community. This we must do as individuals and if we do it as individuals, there is no President of the United States who can veto that decision.”

And

“There is no obstacle in the path of young people who are poor or members of minority groups that hard work and preparation cannot cure.”

And

“We are a people trying not only to solve the problems of the present: unemployment, inflation… but we are attempting on a larger scale to fulfill the promise of America.”

And

“We call ourselves public servants but I’ll tell you this: we as public servants must set an example for the rest of the nation. It is hypocritical for the public official to admonish and exhort the people to uphold the common good.”

And

“We must exchange the philosophy of excuse – what I am is beyond my control for the philosophy of responsibility.”

And

“What the people want is very simple – they want an America as good as its promise.”

And

“What we have to do is strike a balance between the idea that government should do everything and the idea, the belief, that government ought to do nothing. Strike a balance.”

Wikipedia:  Barbara Jordan

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Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Friday, August 19, 2022 – Tommy Lasorda

“About the only problem with success is that it does not teach you how to deal with failure.”

And

“Guys ask me, don’t I get burned out? How can you get burned out doing something you love? I ask you, have you ever got tired of kissing a pretty girl?”

And

“I believe managing is like holding a dove in your hand. If you hold it too tightly you kill it, but if you hold it too loosely, you lose it.”

And

“Pressure is a word that is misused in our vocabulary. When you start thinking of pressure, it’s because you’ve started to think of failure.”

And

“The only way I’d worry about the weather is if it snows on our side of the field and not theirs.”

And

“There are three types of baseball players: those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happens.”

And

“The difference between the possible and the impossible lies in a person’s determination.”

Wikipedia:  Tommy Lasorda

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Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Thursday, August 18, 2022 – Tennessee Williams

“A high station in life is earned by the gallantry with which appalling experiences are survived with grace.”

And

“All of us are guinea pigs in the laboratory of God. Humanity is just a work in progress.”

And

“Death is one moment, and life is so many of them.”

And

“Don’t look forward to the day you stop suffering, because when it comes you’ll know you’re dead.”

And

“Enthusiasm is the most important thing in life.”

And

“For time is the longest distance between two places.”

And

“Hell is yourself and the only redemption is when a person puts himself aside to feel deeply for another person.”

And

“I have always been pushed by the negative. The apparent failure of a play sends me back to my typewriter that very night, before the reviews are out. I am more compelled to get back to work than if I had a success.”

And

“I have found it easier to identify with the characters who verge upon hysteria, who were frightened of life, who were desperate to reach out to another person. But these seemingly fragile people are the strong people really.”

And

“If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it.”

And

“In memory everything seems to happen to music.”

And

“Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going.”

And

“Life is an unanswered question, but let’s still believe in the dignity and importance of the question.”

And

“Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.”

And

Luck is believing you’re lucky.

And

“Luxury is the wolf at the door and its fangs are the vanities and conceits germinated by success. When an artist learns this, he knows where the danger is.”

And

“Mendacity is a system that we live in. Liquor is one way out an death’s the other.”

And

“Most of the confidence which I appear to feel, especially when influenced by noon wine, is only a pretense.”

And

“Oh, you weak, beautiful people who give up with such grace. What you need is someone to take hold of you – gently, with love, and hand your life back to you.”

And

“Once you fully apprehend the vacuity of a life without struggle, you are equipped with the basic means of salvation.”

And

“Some mystery should be left in the revelation of character in a play, just as a great deal of mystery is always left in the revelation of character in life, even in one’s own character to himself.”

And

“Success and failure are equally disastrous.”

And

“Success is blocked by concentrating on it and planning for it… Success is shy – it won’t come out while you’re watching.”

And

“The future is called ‘perhaps,’ which is the only possible thing to call the future. And the important thing is not to allow that to scare you.”

And

“The only thing worse than a liar is a liar that’s also a hypocrite!”

And

“The strongest influences in my life and my work are always whomever I love. Whomever I love and am with most of the time, or whomever I remember most vividly. I think that’s true of everyone, don’t you?”

And

“Time rushes towards us with its hospital tray of infinitely varied narcotics, even while it is preparing us for its inevitably fatal operation.”

And

“To be free is to have achieved your life.”

And

“We all live in a house on fire, no fire department to call; no way out, just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns the house down with us trapped, locked in it.”

And

“When I stop working the rest of the day is posthumous. I’m only really alive when I’m writing.”

And

“Why did I write? Because I found life unsatisfactory.”

And

“You can be young without money but you can’t be old without it.”

And

“The theatre is a place where one has time for the problems of people to whom one would show the door if they came to one’s office for a job.”

Wikipedia:  Tennessee Williams

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Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Wednesday, August 17, 2022 – Helen Keller

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

And

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”

And

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

And

“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.”

And

“It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision.”

And

“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.”

And

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”

And

“True happiness… is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”

And

“My share of the work may be limited, but the fact that it is work makes it precious.”

And

“Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.”

And

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

And

“People do not like to think. If one thinks, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant.”

And

“The highest result of education is tolerance.”

And

“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”

And

“We can do anything we want to if we stick to it long enough.”

And

“While they were saying among themselves it cannot be done, it was done.”

And

“One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.”

And

“We differ, blind and seeing, one from another, not in our senses, but in the use we make of them, in the imagination and courage with which we seek wisdom beyond the senses.”

And

“Tyranny cannot defeat the power of ideas.”

And

“Miss Sullivan touched my forehead and spelled with decided emphasis, “Think.”  In a flash I knew that the word was the name of the process that was going on in my head. This was my first conscious perception of an abstract idea.  For a long time I was still … trying to find a meaning for “love” in the light of this new idea. The sun had been under a cloud all day, and there had been brief showers; but suddenly the sun broke forth in all its southern splendour.  Again I asked my teacher, “Is this not love?”

“Love is something like the clouds that were in the sky before the sun came out,” she replied. Then in simpler words than these, which at that time I could not have understood, she explained:

“You cannot touch the clouds, you know; but you feel the rain and know how glad the flowers and the thirsty earth are to have it after a hot day. You cannot touch love either; but you feel the sweetness that it pours into everything. Without love you would not be happy or want to play.”

The beautiful truth burst upon my mind — I felt that there were invisible lines stretched between my spirit and the spirits of others.”

And

“No matter how dull, or how mean, or how wise a man is, he feels that happiness is his indisputable right.”

And

“A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships.”

And

“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”

Wikipedia:  Helen Keller

Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Tuesday, August 16, 2022 – John Steinbeck

“A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”

And

“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”

And

“I am impelled, not to squeak like a grateful and apologetic mouse, but to roar like a lion out of pride in my profession.”

And

“I have never smuggled anything in my life. Why, then, do I feel an uneasy sense of guilt on approaching a customs barrier?”

And

“I’ve lived in good climate, and it bores the hell out of me. I like weather rather than climate.”

And

“I’ve seen a look in dogs’ eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts.”

And

“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.”

And

“If you’re in trouble, or hurt or need – go to the poor people. They’re the only ones that’ll help – the only ones.”

And

“In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.”

And

“It has always been my private conviction that any man who puts his intelligence up against a fish and loses had it coming.”

And

“It has always seemed strange to me… the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.”

And

“It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.”

And

“No man really knows about other human beings. The best he can do is to suppose that they are like himself.”

And

“Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts… perhaps the fear of a loss of power.”

And

“Sectional football games have the glory and the despair of war, and when a Texas team takes the field against a foreign state, it is an army with banners.”

And

“The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true.”

And

“We spend our time searching for security and hate it when we get it.”

And

“Where does discontent start? You are warm enough, but you shiver. You are fed, yet hunger gnaws you. You have been loved, but your yearning wanders in new fields. And to prod all these there’s time, the Bastard Time.”

And

“Writers are a little below clowns and a little above trained seals.”

And

“We are lonesome animals. We spend all our life trying to be less lonesome. One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say — and to feel — ”Yes, that’s the way it is, or at least that’s the way I feel it. You’re not as alone as you thought.””

And

“One man was so mad at me that he ended his letter: “Beware. You will never get out of this world alive.””

And

“If I wanted to destroy a nation, I would give it too much and I would have it on its knees, miserable, greedy and sick.”

And

“Man, unlike anything organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments.”

And

“Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream.”

And

“And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for it is the one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system. Surely I can understand this, and I hate it and I will fight against it to preserve the one thing that separates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be killed, we are lost.”

And

“In every bit of honest writing in the world … there is a base theme. Try to understand men, if you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and nearly always leads to love. There are shorter means, many of them. there is writing promoting social change, writing punishing injustice, writing in celebration of heroism, but always that base theme. Try to understand each other.”

And

“I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. It might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.”

And

“The profession of book-writing makes horse-racing seem like a solid, stable business.”

And

“Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of a man. Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, whether in art, in music, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anything. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man.”

And

“It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure on the world.”

And

“I guess this is why I hate governments. It is always the rule, the fine print, carried out by the fine print men. There’s nothing to fight, no wall to hammer with frustrated fists.

And

Excerpt from Travels with Charley, John Steinbeck

The next passage in my journey is a love affair. I am in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection, but with Montana it is love, and it’s difficult to analyze love when you’re in it. Once, when I raptured in a violet glow given off by the Queen of the World, my father asked me why, and I thought he was crazy not to see. Of course I know now she was a mouse-haired, freckle-nosed, scabby-kneed little girl with a voice like a bat and the loving kindness of a gila monster, but then she lighted up the landscape and me. It seems to me that Montana is a great splash of grandeur. The scale is huge but not overpowering. The land is rich with grass and color, and the mountains are the kind I would create if mountains were ever put on my agenda. Montana seems to me to be what a small boy would think Texas is like from hearing Texans. Here for the first time I heard a definite regional accent unaffected by TV-ese, a slow-paced warm speech. It seemed to me that the frantic bustle of America was not in Montana. Its people did not seem afraid of shadows in a John Birch Society sense. The calm of the mountains and the rolling grasslands had got into the inhabitants. It was hunting season when I drove through the state. The men I talked to seemed to me not moved to a riot of seasonal slaughter but simply to be going out to kill edible meat. Again my attitude may be informed by love, but it seemed to me that the towns were places to live in rather than nervous hives. People had time to pause in their occupations to undertake the passing art of neighborliness.

I found I did not rush through the towns to get them over with. I even found things I had to buy to make myself linger. In Billings I bought a hat, in Livingston a jacket, in Butte a rifle I didn’t particularly need, a Remington bolt-action .22, secondhand but in beautiful condition. Then I found a telescope sight I had to have, and waited while it was mounted on the rifle, and in the process got to know everyone in the shop and any customers who entered. With the gun in a vise and the bolt out, we zeroed the new sight on a chimney three blocks away, and later when I got to shooting the little gun I found no reason to change it. I spent a good part of a morning at this, mostly because I wanted to stay. But I see that, as usual, love is inarticulate. Montana has a spell on me. It is grandeur and warmth. If Montana had a seacoast, or if I could live away from the sea, I would instantly move there and petition for admission. Of all the states it is my favorite and my love.

At Custer we made a side trip south to pay our respects to General Custer and Sitting Bull on the battlefield of Little Big Horn. I don’t suppose there is an American who doesn’t carry Remington’s painting of the last defense of the center column of the 7th Cavalry in his head. I removed my hat in memory of brave men, and Charley saluted in his own manner but I thought with great respect.

The whole of eastern Montana and the western Dakotas is memory-marked as Injun country, and the memories are not very old either. Some years ago my neighbor was Charles Erskine Scott Wood, who wrote Heavenly Discourse. He was a very old man when I knew him, but as a young lieutenant just out of military academy he had been assigned to General Miles and he served in the Chief Joseph campaign. His memory of it was very clear and very sad. He said it was one of the most gallant retreats in all history. Chief Joseph and the Nez Percés with squaws and children, dogs, and all their possessions, retreated under heavy fire for over a thousand miles, trying to escape to Canada. Wood said they fought every step of the way against odds until finally they were surrounded by the cavalry under General Miles and the large part of them wiped out. It was the saddest duty he had ever performed, Wood said, and he had never lost his respect for the fighting qualities of the Nez Percés. “If they hadn’t had their families with them we could never have caught them,” he said. “And if we had been evenly matched in men and weapons, we couldn’t have beaten them. They were men,” he said, “Real men.”

Wikipedia: John Steinbeck

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