For balance on this snow day, I’m dragging old self-satisfied George Will over here with his thoughts on the Arizona shootings. I don’t like George Will’s opinions but I used to appreciate his writing when he was on the back page of Newsweek for years. In 1987, George Will used his Newsweek column, a whole page, to attack us in Lowell for creating the Jack Kerouac Commemorative and dedicating a public sculptural monument to the author. It was around that time that President Reagan’s Secretary of the Interior, James Watt, had banned the Beach Boys from playing on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Instead, he approved Wayne Newton for the July 4th entertainment.
Interestingly, whether he knew it or not, James Watt approved federal funding ($100,000) for the Kerouac Commemorative because the Secretary’s approval was needed for the grant for the sculpture awarded to the city by the Lowell Historic Preservation Commission, US Dept. of the Interior. So, thank you Sec. Watt, after all these years. And so it goes.