Mitt Romney and his family will march today in the Wolfeboro Fourth of July Parade and possible running mate Sen. Kelly Ayotte and her family are expected to join him along the route.The parade, set to begin at 10 a.m., which will go right through Main Street of the town known as "The Oldest Summer Resort in America." Romney is expected to give brief remarks at the end of the parade route. This is the first public campaign event for Romney since last Thursday when he gave his statement in response to the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare.The parade is the topic of conversation everywhere from the docks to the restaurants to the long line for the famous Bailey's Bubbles ice cream stand. On Main Street Tuesday, residents were bragging to one another about their place in the parade, making sure everyone knew they'd be marching in the same parade as Mitt Romney. Hotel receptionists greeting newcomers with the anxious question: "Are you here for the Romneys?"
The Inalienable Right to Dignity (Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D., 7/04/11, Catholic Exchange)
Fireworks. Baseball games. Picnics. This is what the Fourth of July means to most Americans today. But July 4, 1776, was a very solemn day for the 55 men who affixed their signatures to the Declaration of Independence. For in so doing, they were risking their lives and fortunes to defend the proposition that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Liberty was a corollary of human dignity, and to safeguard human dignity was the reason for their war of independence.
So what does the Fourth of July have to do with the teaching of the Catholic Church? [...]
The Second Vatican Council does nothing but draw out the implications of this biblical witness.
It bases the right to freedom of religion on human dignity. It teaches that morality can never just be imposed from without, as so many rules and regulations, but must be internalized in a sanctuary called conscience. It teaches that not just a select few, but all, are called to the heights of holiness, regardless of their state in life or occupation. It teaches that if all are created in God's image and likeness, then all are equal in dignity, whether man or woman, adult or child, born, or unborn, cleric or lay. It teaches that societies must strive to bring about living conditions that correspond to human dignity.
[originally posted: 7/04/11]
Mr. Griffith was already a star -- on Broadway in "No Time for Sergeants" and in Hollywood in Elia Kazan's film "A Face in the Crowd" -- when "The Andy Griffith Show" made its debut in the fall of 1960. And he delighted a later generation of television viewers in the 1980s and '90s in the title role of the courtroom drama "Matlock."
But his fame was never as great as it was in the 1960s, when he starred for eight years as Andy Taylor, the sagacious sheriff of the make-believe town of Mayberry, N.C. Every week he rode herd on a collection of eccentrics, among them his high-strung deputy, Barney Fife, and the simple-minded gas station attendant Gomer Pyle. Meanwhile, as a widower, Andy raised a young son, Opie, and often went fishing with him. "The Andy Griffith Show," seen Monday nights on CBS, was No. 4 in the Nielsen ratings its first year and never fell below the Top 10. It was No. 1 in 1968, its last season. After the run ended with Episode No. 249, the show lived on in spinoff series, endless reruns and even Sunday school classes organized around its rustic moral lessons.
The show imagined a reassuring world of fishin' holes, ice cream socials and rock-hard family values during a decade that grew progressively tumultuous. Its vision of rural simplicity (captured in its memorable theme song, whistled over the opening credits) was part of a TV trend that began with "The Real McCoys" on ABC in 1957 and later included "The Beverly Hillbillies," "Petticoat Junction," "Green Acres" and "Hee Haw."
But by the late 1960s, the younger viewers networks prized were spurning corn pone, and Mr. Griffith had decided to leave after the 1966-67 season to make movies. CBS made a lucrative offer for him to do one more season, and "The Andy Griffith Show" became the No. 1 series in the 1967-68 season. [...]
[T]he show's 35 million viewers would have been reassured to learn that even at the peak of his popularity, Mr. Griffith drove a Ford station wagon and bought his suits off the rack. He said his favorite honor was having a stretch of a North Carolina highway named after him in 2002. (That was before President George W. Bush presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.)
The Romneys aren't the only interesting thing about Wolfeboro, N.H. or Lake Winnipesaukee, however. There's plenty to know about this quiet little lakefront town:"Winnipesaukee," a Native American word, means "smile of the great spirit" or "beautiful water in a high place," both of which seem fitting names for this idyllic town.The population of Wolfeboro is a mere 6,296, and the town's largest single employer is the local school district.Dr. Leo Marvin's ruined family vacation in "What About Bob" is set in Lake Winnipesaukee, but those portions of the film were actually shot in Virginia, not New Hampshire.Lake Winnipesaukee is also referenced in the beginning of Thornton Wilder's play, "Our Town." -- While not set there, some scenes from "On the Golden Pond" were shot on Lake Winnipesaukee. Ernest Thompson, the author of the play that inspired the movie, now lives there.Jimmy Fallon has mentioned on his show, "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," that he has vacationed in the area.