Monday, May 28, 2012

"Mens sana in corpore sano" redux

Fred Harrigan, Editor, The News and Sentinel, 1969
Somewhere in the athletic buildings of so many schools is the phrase "Mens sana in corpore sano".

One is reminded of this when looking at these photos (from our archives) taken in 1969, of a newspaper editor in the small New Hampshire town of Colebrook, located just ten miles south of the Canadian border.

This editor was intensely familiar - an archetypal New Englander.  He was a leader as comfortable with scholarly pursuits as repairing a printing press or tractor.

(And for anyone who assumed that Normal Rockwell "made up" all of his characters and small town living,  these photos may help to put some of those thoughts to rest.)


 
 




 
 




 





 
 
 





 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 


There is a false dichotomy between hands-on (literally) and high-brow (literarily).  Thankfully, the Gen Yers and millennials, especially entrepreneurs eschewing cubicles, have more correctly understood these two sides are both necessary for a life of independence, alignment, and control.

19 comments:

TropicalSunbird said...

Good Morning!

These are wonderful pictures. I noticed the man's blazer and his checked jacket. That blazer looked sharp but warm and comfortable. What really struck me was how neat and well pressed he looked...doing yard work.

The quality of the clothes is what really gets me. I love the ladies raincoats (I think those are Macs...I'm still learning about clothes). Everything these people are wearing seems to have some substance to it (how ever simple it is.) (I don't know if what I wrote makes sense.)But the clothes seem timeless (I would wear almost any of the outfits...except the cops...I don't have the guts.) ; )

Greenfield said...

A dear friend, of similar mien to the man in these pictures, once said to me, "Any day that does not include several hours of reading is a day wasted." Any time I'm not busy outdoors, a book is open!

Old Oak Farm said...

Muffy, This post is exactly why I follow this blog. This contrast between the two sides of life is missing from most of society in the world.And,no one seems to notice it! In your owm way you are very very insightful.

Paul Connors said...

Without a knowledge of the period's history, from these rather placid photos, one would never know that the United States was then embroiled in its longest (to date) and most divisive war.

Now that Afghanistan has gone on longer, but with an end date in sight, let us hope that government and businesses can work together to put more Americans back to work and in the process help heal what has most definitely become a polarized nation.

These photos, which evoke a Rockwellian timelessness elicit memories of simpler times, but ones that when viewed from a larger world remind us, that very little is actually as peaceful as these images.

Bitsy said...

What a marvelous series of photographs. They capture the balance we should all have in our lives. I love that the animals are included in the pictures.

I had the same thoughts as TropicalSunbird -- the clothes are lovely and I, too, would wear any but the cop's uniform!

Anonymous said...

He looks like Bill Nye, the science guy. :)

Anonymous said...

Muffy, I'm in Illinois, and the editor reminds me a bit of a young Paul Simon, the bowtie and the glasses. When I was in college, I spent my summers doing journalism in a small farm town. We were advanced beyond the linotype (I got a kick out of seeing one of those again, in your photo), but the press was similar. I got a chance to ramble all over the county, doing news and features, police beat, photography, composition, etc.

Very nice photo essay! Send it to your state newspaper association.

Bethany Hissong said...

I second what Old Oak Farm said and I love your last line about independence, alignment and control. It seems to me to be a virtuous life without time for frivolity. I love the photos too-- so telling of so much more than just the topic in them.

Anonymous said...

Muffy - I feel like you have brought us deep within New England! Thanks!

Kristen said...

Beautiful photos! I love how your blog captures New England in such a nostalgic way. Enjoyed your Rockwell comment as well - my aunt, uncle and cousins were great friends of his in Stockbridge and were characters in many of his pieces (MetLife ads, First Date, Boy Scouts, etc).

Jennifer said...

I love these photographs and the life that they portray!

Britta said...

I have noticed more small and medium size companies advertising their New England heritage. Because of your blog, I can see what that really means.

Yankee-Whisky-Papa said...

I was harangued with that saying endlessly, both in the Latin and in its translation. When I got to college, I thought that I had finally escaped it, but on a day I remember well, a history professor accused us of spending too much time studying our offense and defense, and not enough time studying our books. Later that same afternoon, the lacrosse coach told us all we were bookworms and needed to study our offense and defense more. To the professors we were dumb jocks and to the coaches we were bookish nerds.

diary of a tomato said...

In many ways, this is how life is still lived here in New England, something I've come to love and respect these past 20+ years that I've been here. I think these less nostalgic but a model for the life-work balance that we all so desperately seek.

Anonymous said...

from ASICS website.....ASICS, an acronym derived from the Latin phrase, Anima Sana In Corpore Sano - a sound mind in a sound body.
~~~~~

of course, Juvenal has the last laugh!

Thanks for the great post!

Bantam in Chicago said...

Muffy, thank you! I love following your and others' thoughts on preppy culture, menswear, etc., but for me "mens sana in corpore sano" is very substantive... something to keep in mind for sure.

WRJ said...

Reading this upon returning from a wedding at a private club in lower Fairfield County, attended primarily by graduates of the most expensive private school in the area and their financier fathers and divorcée mothers. The crowd was noticeably lacking in independence, alignment, and control, and it was in many ways eye-opening. It's all about choices. Their choices are tantalizing, but I am sure a life of balance is more satisfying.

Oxford Cloth Button Down said...

Wonderful pictures and great insight as always.

Anonymous said...

And by "artistic and artistic significance," I mean, of course, "artistic and historic significance"--this is what happens when you post during the cocktail hour.