Saturday, January 9, 2010

Mr. Tapscott

Back in the days of old, when I was thirteen, all of the children in Jr. High School had to pass what was known as the Constitution Test. I don't know about the other states, but in California, you did NOT pass on to high school until you had successfully completed this exam. We all feared this exam as we couldn't imagine not going to High School and the subject was difficult enough to make that a distinct possibility. One part, in fact it was Part One, was the memorization of the Preamble. (Yes, I had passed. But barely…I don't do 'memorization'.) That all said, you would think that fifty plus years later I would still have some memory of that traumatic event in my life. But no, I had forgotten all about the Preamble, which really is the backbone, the foundation for all that follows. Without the Preamble, the rest of the words are just words.

Then I read the editorial in our local alternative press. It was good. Very good. And all of the Preamble memories came back to me – minus the sweating of course. In this editorial he uses the great essay of a Mr. Bangs Tapscott for the foundation of his writing. Of course I wanted to know more about Mr. Tapscott and so I did a Google search, hoping that he might have time for blogging in his retirement. No luck, but I did find a letter that I think he wrote back in 2003. Even if it wasn't the same Tapscott, it's a great letter and applicable today, seven years later.


Here's the links…


  1. A teacher at my high school made his students memorize the Declaration of Independence ("the wonderful DOI"). He could even sing it. I scoffed at the time, but now I wonder whether his students didn't take more out of that class than other history students did.

  2. What a great open letter to the serviceman. I wish I could have read some comments on this. Good blog on the Constitution test. If only the conservatives would go back and review the constitution, they would see how mixed up they got on the subject of Patriotism.

  3. i remember how nervous I was to recite the preamble at Pier Ave. Jr. High. 1959

  4. ey, thanks for the link!

    I can tell you with 100% certainty it's the same Bangs Tapscott. Once I saw the part about bluegrass, there was no question. I met Bangs through a bluegrass list-serv we both used to belong to.

    Ol' Bangs(he knows everything) is on facebook. look him up, drop him a line.