He Heard

He heard the Salem witch trials

mentioned on T.V. and

he thought about the college prod-

uction of The Crucible in which

he portrayed Judge Danforth. At the

time, he had no idea who Arthur

Miller was and how Miller was using

the trials as a vehicle to expose

Joe McCarthy and American fascism.

He didn’t know anything about

those things either. What he knew was

how he hoped the makeup would

make him look a hundred and ten years

old while keeping his hair intact.

And so, ignorantly, he played the role

and the college news editor and

art critic, a fraternity brother, mercifully

omitted any reference to Judge

Danforth in the review, even though Judge

Danforth was a major character in

the play. He was hurt for a time, but in

retrospect, even while he had

been ignobly ignored, he went, mercifully,

unscathed. In old age, he has

learned to give thanks for small favors.


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