Friday, June 14, 2013

Love Isn’t a Destination But a Path

Vin Scully, the long-time (64 years!) play-by-play broadcaster for the Los Angeles Dodgers, has a hallmark.  When the action reaches a point of high drama, when crowd noise and the joy on the field tell a better story than words might, he stops talking.  He lets the picture and the noise complete the narrative.

It’s an effective style.  Others may copy it, but Scully was the originator and still does it best.  (If memory serves, he first became famous for his silence when he let the roar of the crowd wash over the radio listeners at the end of Sandy Koufax’s 1965 perfect game.  I remember listening to the end of that broadcast in bed, with parental permission.  I didn’t always have parental permission for the games to which I listened in bed, but that night I did.)

I mention this because other bloggers sometimes write pieces which are so profound and well-written that I’m moved to emulate Scully and to yield the stage.  Today is an example.

David Edmondson, founder and editor of Vibrant Bay Area, on which I co-publish many of my posts, wrote earlier this week about how to love a community and simultaneously to wish for it to better embrace urbanism.   I think he nailed the topic.  And I’m thrilled that he used G.K. Chesterton to help make his point.

It’s a subject about which I wish I’d written.  But Edmondson did a better job than I would have.

So rather than going on too long today, I’ll stop short and suggest that you read Edmondson’s post.  But before letting go, I’ll add one more thought.  The question of loving a community while simultaneously working for its betterment reminds me of “America: Love it or leave it”, the late 1960s response by the establishment to protests against the Vietnam War.

Although I was too young to be on either side of the barricades at the time, “America: Love it or leave it” struck me as an absurdity even then.  It seems absolutely possible to love one’s country, while also thinking it had made a wrong turn.

And I find it delightful that the protestors at whom the slogan was directed in 1968 are now the generation moving downtown in their senior years.  In 1968, they were anti-war.  Forty-five years later, they’re voting for urbanism with their feet and their packing boxes.  What perfect symmetry.

Without further ado, here is Dave Edmondson on how to love a community while also arguing for its improvement.

As always, your questions or comments will be appreciated.  Please comment below or email me.  And thanks for reading. - Dave Alden (

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