I received a letter from a reader, with the heading “Thought of you today, for all the wrong reasons.” He writes,
I took my three sons (as in the TV show) to the county rec center for some racquetball, after which the two older boys went to the weight room while I shot hoops with my youngest. One of the other shooters on the court had a T-shirt that caught my attention: Ho Chi Minh with a Communist flag.
The guy looked to be college-aged, and, with his clean-cut appearance, I wouldn’t have guessed he was the Communist-dictator-loving type (especially here in suburban Nashville!).
All I could think about was a friend of mine who fought in Vietnam and who has asked that we never ask him about what happened over there, the memories being too painful. He lives in the same town as I do, and where the rec center is located. He is a salty-tongued Philadelphia native whose accent has not dissipated one iota from having lived in Tennessee for three decades. I think he would have had a few choice words for this ingénue, or decked him.
What would you advise me to have done?
Honestly, I think I would have done the same as our reader: stewed, burned, and then written about it. Others might be better at more direct routes.
P.S. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Miami congresswoman (and Cuban-born), will stop people wearing Che Guevara T-shirts and ask, “Do you know who that is and what he did?” Ily is glorious.