I ran across this story a few weeks ago and once again felt a longing for the “good old’ days”. We can’t go back, but we can enjoy reading about one of many words whose meaning has definitely changed.
Square, another of the good old words has gone the way of Love and Modesty and Patriotism. . .something to be snickered at. . . or outright laughed at. Why it used to be that there was no higher compliment you could pay a man than call him a square shooter. The ad-man’s promise of a square deal once was as binding as an oath on a Bible, but today, a square is a guy who volunteers when he doesn’t have to.
He’s a guy who gets his kicks from trying to do a job better than anyone else. He’s a boob who gets so lost in his work. . . he has to be reminded to go home. A square is a guy who doesn’t want to stop at the bar and get all juiced up, because he prefers to go to his own home. . . his own dinner table. . . his own bed.
He hasn’t learned to cut corners or goof off. This nut we call a square gets all choked up when he hears children singing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.” He even believes in God. . . and says so. . . in public. Some of the old squares were Nathan Hale, Patrick Henry, George Washington, and Ben Franklin. . . Some of the new squares are Glenn, Grissom, Sheppard, Carpenter, Cooper, Shira. John Glenn says he gets a funny feeling down inside when he sees the flag go by. . . says he’s proud that he belonged to the Boy Scouts and the Y.M.C.A. How Square can you get?
A square is a guy who lives within his means whether the Joneses do or not, and thinks his Uncle Sam should, too. He doesn’t want to fly now and pay later. A square is likely to save some of his own money for a rainy day, rather than count on using yours.
A square gets his books out of the library instead of the Drug Store. He tells his son it’s more important to play fair than to win. . . imagine! A square is a guy who reads Scripture when nobody’s watching and prays when nobody’s listening. . . a guy who thinks Christmas trees should be green. . .Christmas gifts should be hand-picked. He wants to see America first in everything. He believes in honoring Mother and Father. . . and do unto others, and that kind of stuff. He thinks he knows more than his teenager knows about cars, freedom, and curfew.
So, will all you gooney birds answering this description please stand up. . . you misfits in this brave new age. . . you dismally disorganized, if improperly apologetic, ghosts of the past. . . stand up and be counted. You squares who turn the wheels and dig the fields and move mountains and put rivets in our dreams. . . You squares who dignify the Human Race. . . You squares who hold this thankless world in place!
Read about Charles Brower here: http://www.classictravelbooks.com/authors/brower.htm
Finding Joy in the Journey,