I like to visit the past but not live in the past. So, the other day I found a newspaper clipping about my mother from when she won a baking contest. The writer wrote about my family leaving New York City for a new life in an old farmhouse on 14 acres of land. The recipe was for “Sweet Lemon Bread.” I am referenced in the article as being an avid reader and baker with my mother.

The article goes on about my mom’s past working with “Seventeen Magazine” as an accessory editor continuing on to NBC as a stylist and mentions she is a collector of cookbooks. So am I. What I found entertaining was her mention about how we didn’t have a television set until two months ago, because the reception was poor. “And we haven’t seen a thing with the Watergate hearing on all day, “ she said.

It seems ironic that while I am teaching a writing class at the University, one of the stories we discuss is Analyzing the Rhetoric  of Nixon’s “Checkers” Speech. Sometimes you need the past to check out the rhetoric but then you really need to return to the present. Honestly, our problems seem similar.

“Thus, we see how traditional rhetorical strategies can be intuitively mobilized by a skilled politician to downplay his own problems while intensifying doubts about his critics.”

And the beat goes on.