The Great War of 1914

It was our delight as schoolboys to walk through quiet suburban streets running wooden rulers along the iron railings so they trilled and rang alarm bells to disturb the placid residents. But memory is not to be trusted. All the railings had been cut down in the Great War to make guns to fight the Bosch, and our rulers were plastic, flimsy things from Woolworth’s that came in a little kit, with a protractor, triangle, and compasses, so they would only have gone frrrrrrp on those railings, had they been there.

Alastair Johnston is a printer and author living in Berkeley, California. He is trying to realize Oliver Cromwell’s dictum: a man never rises so high as when he doesn’t know where he is going. www.poltroonpress.com