I read Larry Beahan’s Aug. 27 letter about soap box cars and engineering. Good letter and I saved it along with all of his articles reaching all the way back to the one about the jack-o-lantern under the Christmas tree. I very much admire his contributions to The News.
Sometimes I disagree with him though and that is the reason for this letter. In two of his columns recently he used the word “beautiful” to describe both sunsets and windmills. Aargh! Sunsets – yes, windmills – no! Upon reading that away I went to the filing cabinet where I keep all my descriptive adjectives and unloved nouns. First looking under the heading of “beautiful” I found puppies, brides, waterfalls and yes sunsets. But no windmills.
So I kicked a couple of unused adverbs back under the cabinet and double checked myself under the heading of “windmills.” Majestic, picturesque, lofty but no “beautiful” therefore I shall petition the High Court of English to have the marriage between those two words banned. Even a short engagement should be frowned upon.
The most beautiful sunset I have ever seen was about 80 years ago on a hilltop in the little town of Barnes Corners N.Y. A wide red band sat on the edge of the western horizon. Above that was a brilliant orange shot through with shafts of yellow.
This crowded upward into a sea of soft pink which slowly merged into a deep blue. A handful of horsetail clouds were flung across the heavens and the rising colors crept behind them just to emerge on the other side and greet the deepening dusk approaching from the east.
I told my father it looked like a rainbow had been turned on edge and wrapped around the Earth.
The road and the hilltop are still there. So is the view but now one sees herds of windmills pastured on the hillsides grazing on the winds that blow off the Tug Hill Plateau, churning out power for those living beneath them and destroying boyhood memories of a spectacular sunset.
Mr. Beahan, I am from the same town where your grandparents lived. Carthage. I am truly thankful that those “beautiful” windmills have not yet reached that sacred land.