Culture & Literature
The Saturday Evening Post

The Saturday Evening Post September/October 2018

The Saturday Evening Post, America’s oldest magazine, is a bimonthly publication dedicated to celebrating America – past, present and future. The Post delivers an historic perspective on the news that only a publication with its deep roots can provide.

United States
The Saturday Evening Post Society
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6 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

It’s a nightmare almost impossible to imagine, especially given today’s advanced science: Just 100 years ago, a deadly flu swept the world, killing 50 to 100 million people in only about a year — up to 5 percent of everyone on Earth. Gone, just like that! To put those numbers in perspective, World War I killed about 18 million people, and World War II about 60 million, notes Laura Spinney in her article about the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic (page 34). This was before we had vaccines or even really understood what caused diseases and how they were transmitted. Many people believed that if you got sick, you kinda deserved it: “It was common for privileged elites to look down on workers and the poor as inferior categories of human being, whose…

1 min.

Lynn Freehill-Maye “While living in Buffalo, a Rust Belt city where many old buildings were abandoned but never torn down, I became fascinated by the unusual tactics of a younger generation to save these historic structures,” says Freehill-Maye. She explores this phenomenon in “The Young Preservationists” (page 46). “The big question — whether they’re effective — will have implications for historic preservation all over the country.” Jennifer Allford In “Hello, Beautiful!” (page 40) Allford travels to Churchill, Manitoba, to witness the annual migration of the majestic and increasingly vulnerable polar bears. “Visiting the bears on their turf, the muddy shores of Hudson Bay, I understood immediately where we fit on the food chain,” says the Canada-based writer. “But I didn’t feel fear — I felt overwhelming respect and wonder for the bears and…

5 min.
second chances

Jobs Not Jails I am highly impressed with the article by Serena Renner “Second Chances” (July/Aug). This is a shining example of a program for former felons that offers both human and financial success. I retired after 33 years of teaching criminology at San Diego State University and volunteering with numerous ex-offender and volunteer groups. I have watched the criminal justice system “reform” itself — from the 1960s to our current Attorney General Jeff Sessions. We can only hope that he reads this article before turning the clock backward. Tom Gitchoff, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, San Diego State University, San Diego, California Plea for Peace The letter “If I Am Killed,” written during the Civil War by Lt. Col. Stone to his wife and children (“I Marched through Georgia,” July/Aug), is one of the most…

9 min.
killing ourselves to live longer

The pressure most of us feel to remain fit, slim, and in control of one’s body does not end with old age — in fact, it only grows more insistent. Friends, family members, and doctors start nagging the aging person to join a gym, “eat healthy,” or, at the very least, go for daily walks. You may have imagined a reclining chair or a hammock awaiting you after decades of stress and, in the case of manual laborers, physical exertion. But no, your future more likely holds a treadmill and a lat pull, at least if you can afford to access these devices. One of the bossier self-help books for seniors commands: Exercise six days a week for the rest of your life. Sorry, but that’s it. No negotiations. No give.…

3 min.
fill ’er up?

I once loved the distinctive fragrance of gas stations. These days, regrettably, it is but a faint memory. In its place, at thousands of sleek stations across America, you’re likely to inhale an incongruous noseful of car-wash detergent, hot ham hoagies, and beer. Blech! I favor the intoxicating aroma of grease and engine lubricants. So, you conclude, my wee brain was rotted by excessive exposure to petrol vapors? Possibly. But the fact of the matter is that the modern station — so clean and anodyne and barely about gasoline at all — is a soulless thing. Most newer ones are little more than appendages to convenience stores and are illuminated, you might be tempted to guess, by the same folks who light sports stadiums. They are focused on fueling drivers; the pumps…

3 min.
a rake’s progress

I live in the same small Indiana town where I was raised, and much about it has changed, except its fragrance, especially in the autumn, when the scent of burning leaves rises up from smoky piles in the alleyways, even though the town sends everyone a letter asking people to rake their leaves to the curb so they can be picked up by the street department. It is a fragrance with which I am well acquainted, since I funded many youthful adventures by raking and burning the leaves of the elderly and infirm. Walking through my town in the fall is akin to thumbing through a picture album. The scents conjure up one memory after another, the decades fall away, and I am 12 years old again, rake in hand,…