Calvin Trillin on First Lieutenant Brian Slavenas
Please either check out or go out and buy the March 14th issue of The New Yorker
*. Starting on page 64 is a beautiful, sad, sad, tender essay by Calvin Trillin, documenting his search for the story of one dead American soldier, the announcement of whose death on the radio inexplicably drove Trillin to tears one afternoon. The soldier was Brian Slavenas, a lieutanant in the Illinois National Guard. His father is a veteran in support of the war, and his mother is a peace activist opposed to it. Trillin quotes a teacher, Lance Gackowski, on Slavenas' constant aiming for the excellence in a split family:
"Some kids in that siuation just shut down,"Gackowski told me. "He tried to fulfill both of their visions of what a noble man should be."What a noble man should be
. Not a phrase you hear too often. Go read the article.
* (cover is a woman with green hair and a duck sitting on her head.)