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A hope note

Two stories, one fiction and one true, buttress my belief that there may be hope for us all.
In ‘The Music Man,’ Robert Preston plays Professor Harold Hill, a con artist. He moves from one little town to another selling band instruments and uniforms. Harold can’t himself play a note. As soon as he collects the parents’ money, he skips town.
In one little town in Iowa, he meets his match. Marian the librarian discovers soon after Hill arrives that he is a fraud. But as he brings hope to Marian’s little brother ‘ finding gifts in a shy little boy with a lisp ‘ Marian sees something redeemable in the music man.
While the rest of the town is getting wise to him and preparing to tar and feather him, Marian jumps to his defense. Fully expecting him to skip town, Marian can’t help falling in love with him. She values his gift for bringing out the best in others. She eventually convinces him of his own goodness. Her tender heart eventually turns his life around, and hers as well.
Then there’s H.L. Menchen. Menchen was one of America’s most influential social critics early last century.
A confirmed bachelor, his writings ridiculed the whole idea of love. ‘Marriage is a wonderful institution,’ he wrote, ‘but who wants to live in an institution.’
When Menchen was in his 50s, he fell in love and married a 24-year-old college instructor. Newspaper headlines read: ‘Mighty Menchen Falls’ and ‘Menchen, Arch Cynic, Capitulates to Cupid.’
His popularity with the public plummeted.
Menchen gave this explanation to his earlier admirers: ‘I formerly was not as wise as I am now.’
Each of us is a work in progress. Until we breathe our last, we’re all unfinished symphonies.

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