First lets deal with the boring part - me. I am the one with the hat. The more charming character in the picture is my family, Charlie. I adopted Charlie at a rescue centre over a year ago. He is now nearly four. You don't need to know how old I am.
I lived in what my friends call 'War Zone West'. You know it as Los
Angeles. Hence I find Broadway rather dull. Since I arrived there
have been no drive-by shootings, no gang fights, and nobody has tried
to burn down the village. Don't ask me what the English do for entertainment.
Broadway has been here for a very long time, at least a thousand years. My house is one of the newer ones in the village, being only 400 years old. If you like olde worlde, then you would be much more interested in Priors Manse which dates back to the twelfth century and is in the Doomsday Book.
The Book is a product of the French who wanted to know exactly how much they had stolen after their invasion of 1066. In other words, it is a census, the first ever for the British.
The English are not simply Americans with a funny accent. They are different. They eat salad with their fingers, drive on the proper side of the road, and have a wonderful sense of community. This sense of community may partially explain their socialism. [The current government, Labour, is socialist.] This is not all bad, even for an American. If you fall down in England, or at least in Broadway, somebody will pick you up. If you are injured, you will fall into the care of the National Health Service which is free to all. It is superb.
They are also tough. Read a book on Europe 1940. At that time everyone with more than two brain cells to rub together, including Joseph Kennedy, United States Ambassador to the Court of St. James, knew these people were licked. Only the English were dumb enough to think otherwise.
This attribute of courage and stubbornness was beautifully expressed by Sir Winston Churchill who gave the finest, as well as the shortest, commencement address in the history of Oxford University. I shall quote it in full: 'Never give up. Never, ever, give up.'
In principle I am against socialism, much preferring the American system of rough and tumble capitalism. The difference in economic systems likely explains much of the history of the twentieth century. When I was born the English owned the greatest empire the world had ever seen. [Caesar would have been green with envy.] Today it is an important nation, ranking fourth economically, but it is the United States that is the richest and most powerful country in history.
Returning to Broadway, which doesn't even have an army (California has an army.), we find a place as green, serene, and friendly as you are likely to visit in any of your travels. This is especially true on rainy days or after 5pm when the tourists have gone home or returned to their London hotels. In later articles, should the column survive that long, I shall include some pictures. For now I'll say good-by. Charlie wants to go for a walk.