“Without our traditions our lives would be as shaky as a Fiddler on the Roof.” A Meditation on the Loss and Recovery of Tradition. | Archdiocese of Washington

When I was a young man, a teenager really, I did the usual crazy stuff of the early, 70s, long hair, bell bottoms, wide ties, crazy plaids, shirt open at least least three buttons, and of course, rock-n-roll.

But, through it all I had this love for older things. I think it had something to do with my Grandmother, Nana, whom I loved with great affection. Often she lamented the loss of the old things and old ways. She missed the Latin Mass, she missed when manners were better, when people remembered how to dress well, when things were more certain, when, (as Archie and Edith put it, Girls were girls and men were men). She also missed when things were built sturdy and plastic was all but unknown.

Somehow her love for older things, and older ways took hold in me, even as I indulged the silly seventies. My parents’ generation born in the late 20s and 30s, and even more so those born after the War, were something of an iconoclastic generation: “Out with the old, in with the new…New and improved.

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