This morning, I took the time to read the Constitution again. I think it is good practice to read it, every now and then.
It is quite a document. I am thinking of it, mostly, because on today’s date, this June 21, in the year 1788, the US Constitution was put into effect. That is when New Hampshire became the 9th state to ratify it. We. Those People.
When the thing was written, there was sort of a big party where the “Founding Fathers” all got together. They probably stayed at the Holiday Inn Express, there in Philadelphia, PA. Seventy guys were invited, but only 55 showed. Charles Pickney, from South Carolina, looked great in a Speedo that year. He won the bathing suit competition, and John Blair from Virginia came in at a close second.
Mostly, everyone loved the Philly Cheese Steaks that were catered in from Nick’s Deli World, on the corner of Chestnut and 6th, right there near Independence Hall. Anyway.
George Washington presided over the whole deal. They gave him a little memorabilia gavel, with a little copper handle, that he could take home with him at the end. He gave it to Martha, and she used it to tenderize meat. But it seems that I have digressed, again.
I was talking about reading the document. Truthfully, it is a bit of a dry read. But it sure does pack a punch. We can all thank James Madison for that. He was also present at the Convention. Rm. 143 at the Express. He went through towels like a madman. Anyway, he was the guy who wrote the document that formed the model for the Constitution. Good old Jimmy Madison from Virginia. By the way, he was really pulling for his pal John Blair in the swimsuit competition on Tuesday night. Tough loss. And, since we are talking about James, he married a woman named Dolly a few years later. She would go on to start up this great little bakery that made a treat called Raspberry Zingers. Ooooo la la, they were good.
But the convention. That was their main focus, of course. Those 55 guys got together and hammered out the foundations for our great, great nation. Article I, Legislative. Article II, Executive. Article III, Judicial. And on. Right down to Article VII, Ratification. Yes. An amazing and wonderful piece of work. The words on paper which have provided and established America’s national government and our fundamental laws. This piece of paper has guaranteed certain basic rights for its citizens. The We. The People.
So yes, it has been more than 200 years since the Constitution was created. That was a long time ago. And after it was laid down, our America has stretched across a big bunch of land. Our country has grown into many things that could not have been imagined in the last of the 18th century. BUT you know, through all the changes we’ve gone through, that Constitution of ours, sure has endured and adapted. Amendments, and such.
But here is the deal. Those early party boys, those 55 framers, knew it wasn’t a perfect document.
One of those guys was Ben Franklin. He was third to last in the swimsuit thing, but he ate more Philly Cheese Steaks than all the guys from Connecticut. But Mr. Franklin was way up there in the Smarts Department. And here is what he said, on the closing day of the convention in 1787: “I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such, because I think a central government is necessary for us… I doubt too, whether any other Convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better Constitution.”
A Constitution, for all. For the We. For the People.
(If you want to go see this greatness, the original Constitution is on display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. )
“How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!”
― Thomas Jefferson
“The Constitution may have been written with a feather; it should not be taken lightly…”
― Nanette L. Avery
“A concept is a brick. It can be used to build a courthouse of reason. Or it can be thrown through the window.”
― Gilles Deleuze