America wants its respect.
— Tupac Shakur

Welcome to The Attic

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The Attic features true stories about America, stories that offer hope for a kinder, cooler America.  The Attic is avoids politics (except to promote democracy with a small d). The Attic aims to soothe rage, and fight resentment.  Its focus, updated weekly, is on Americans of all stripes -- American originals, geniuses, funny folks, folks you would have a beer with and folks you'd just gawk at.  Reading The Attic, you'll meet bluesman Blind Willie Johnson one week, remember the movie "Network" the next.  You will fall in love with America's names and meet the woman who ran for president -- in 1872.  You will look at America through unique lenses.  And like Walt Whitman, you will hear America singing.  But you will also hear America thinking, planning, dreaming...

Time was when magazines I wrote for, Smithsonian and American Heritage, explored this space.  But screens have silenced many American voices.  The result is a nation of sniping and bickering, of opinions hardening in isolation and resentment.  If you are tired of this, join me in The Attic.  Here you will see where we've been, chart the rambling paths we've taken, and explore how we, the people, formed this imperfect union. 

The Attic does not suggest where America should be headed;  it only captures the human interest of being American.  The question is as old as the nation.  In 1782, Letters from an American Farmer asked, "What then is this new thing, this American?"   Answers from The Attic will surprise you.