When Robert Koch died, so died the beginning concept behind the postings in this journal. For anyone interested, here is the original concept. What remains is Nelson Head’s alter ego, Ansel Head, and the story of his education.
The Given Truth
Everybody loves barbeque. Society accepts and embraces barbecue. The same cannot be said of liverwurst.
The Question Before Us
Why is one person who grew up steeped in barbeque culture welcomed into any society while an equally interesting person from a liverwurst background is shunned?
The Case Studies
At 62, Ansel Larry (AKA Bob Koch), who is of German descent from Wisconsin, quit his paying job and moved permanently into his fine new house near the small town of Lexington, NC about 60 miles north of Charlotte. Despite his most ardent efforts, he remains an outsider in his adopted community and snubbed by Southern society. He has taken to referring to himself as “that loon at the lake”, a label that demonstrates both his wit and his predicament .
On the other hand, his good friend of 20 years Ansel Head (AKA Nelson Head), whose Alabama lineage dates to the 1700’s and England before that, has never had any trouble moving into and out of any society he has encountered whether it be Southern, Northern, Western, legal, military, financial, foreign, artistic, upper crust, or working class. Ansel Head’s 90 year old mother, who still assures her children that their blood line is pure (whatever that means), would say the reasons are to do with breeding, that the charms of Dixie are bred into one’s bones.
Both Ansels, being products of the modern era, reject this hereditary answer and firmly believe in the blank slate theory: That people are what their environment has created. Thus acceptance into society must be the product of their background , that Ansel Head’s experiences infused something into his Dixie bones that makes him readily accepted, and that Ansel Larry’s experiences in Wisconsin and points East have tainted his bones and preclude his joining into Dixie’s society.
The Education of the Ansels
This chronicle is about the education of Ansel Head, Ansel Larry, and any others who might join – education not in the sense of where one went to school but in the broader meaning of those experiences and events which framed one’s learning and made us who we are.
In posts that follow, Ansel Head, Ansel Larry and perhaps others will described their experiences, no doubt in random order and with little eloquence, in the hope that through such ramblings a clear picture of how different educations made one person accepted into society and another rejected. Writers will endeavor to keep their opinions on this question to themselves and try to be impartial recorders of experiences and events. It is up to the readers, if there are ever any, to draw their own conclusions about how one’s education and background helps or hinders one’s ability to enter society, especially Ansel Head’s beloved Southern society.
The Ansels’ Noms-de-Plume
Readers might rightfully ask where these silly names originated. One day Head arrived at his friend’s house with a new Nikon D-90 Digital SLR camera, a Nikor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF_ED lens, and an SB-900 AF Speedlight with filters and diffusers all safely nestled in a form fitting Pelican 1400 waterproof, shock proof case. Head’s friend had observed Head reading how-to photography books over the previous year and simply dismissed it as a Head quirk. But by arriving with a semi-professional camera with so many buttons, dials, and settings that it took several minutes just to turn on the device, Head had stepped over that anal line and his friend promptly dubbed him Ansel Head after the famous landscape photographer. Since his friend knew that his participation in any photographic undertaking would be secondary, he named himself Ansel Larry (pronounced an.cil.la’.ry or if you are from a different part of the country, an.cil’.la.ry) Thus was born their noms-de-plume.