by Kirby Congdon…….
A close friend asked me why I don’t provide some remarks for this column on the subject of depression? Where would I begin?
My first contact with it was Rachel, an overseer at a state orphan asylum. Rachel’s mother lived on a bankrupt farm, familiar to most of us. It consisted of about two hundred acres in rural Connecticut with a huge mansion built in the eighteen-hundreds that still had neither water nor electricity nor, in the ongoing mass-production age, an income. This was the tag end of the Great Depression.
In this house the grandmother, originally from Georgia, disparaged Mae West because she was, despite her fame and success, an “n” word and, so, beyond any real recognition. But Rachel said if a black child had nightmares in the middle of the night at the asylum, she would, of course, pick it up and comfort it as she would anyone else’s child.
Grandma would play “Tam O’Shanter” on the piano like a dervish although she was deaf. Her granddaughter and I snickered at such passion on such a derelict instrument. The grandmother stopped and stared at us, demanding what we were laughing at. We lied, saying we were talking together about something else. I never forgot that this social tactfulness we had practiced was still deceit.
The granddaughter and I talked about our dilemma but we learned that serious errors, mistakes, or misjudgments cannot, if serious, be retracted even if it is an error, a mistake or a misjudgment. One matures.