Thursday, June 28, 2012


The Old Man is buying an historic building in Downtown Ottawa, Kansas.

The two story purple, yellow, and orange building was built in 1887. The colors are atrocious, a poor attempt to recreate Van Gogh's painting, Cafe Terrace at Night. but with too much purple and the wrong shades of yellow and salmon. The undersized green awning has no function or purpose.

The Old Man asked for a lot of advice before jumping into this one - the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker. Everyone told him not to do it, most assuredly family members who were happy with the status quo. The Old Man stuck it out and negotiated a big, big, big reduction in the price. Even then, the Old Man knows that it all comes down to income and expenses. And still, everyone said that the Old Man is a fool to buy the building.

The Old Man's decision, right or wrong, reminds him of the phrase, "Fools rush in where angles fear to tread." 'Fools rush in...' has a precise derivation - it is a quotation from English poet Alexander Pope's An essay on criticism, 1709. Pope was discussing the annoying habit of critics to criticize:

... All Books he reads, and all he reads assails,
From Dryden's Fables down to Durfey's Tales.
With him, most Authors steal their Works, or buy;
Garth did not write his own Dispensary.
Name a new Play, and he's the Poet's Friend,
Nay show'd his Faults - but when wou'd Poets mend?
No Place so Sacred from such Fops is barr'd,
Nor is Paul's Church more safe than Paul's Church-yard:
Nay, fly to Altars; there they'll talk you dead;
For Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread.
The phrase has been picked up over the years by authors and artists, its meaning a metaphor for "the rash or inexperienced will attempt things that wiser people are more cautious of."

The Old Man is not rash nor inexperienced, and hopes that the wisdom of the decision becomes clear.

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