|Barrier Box (2005) © Mary Snyder Behrens|
Carl Van Doren Three Worlds. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1936, p. 110—
I took him [his grandfather, a farmer from Illinois] to a convocation at the [Columbia] University. Something that President [Nicolas Murrray] Butler said so roused my grandfather that he whispered to me: "I'm going to give them my Indian war whoop"—and he drew in his breath. I knew what his war whoop was. Nobody who had heard it could ever forget it. I do not know quite how I stopped him. If he had been at his best I could not have done it. He would have whooped without warning me, and the steel girders in the roof would have rung, and the caps and gowns would have shuddered, and a stately decorum would have died. At the time I was in terror. Now I am half-sorry he did not have his way without my academic interference. If my grandfather and President Butler had met after the explosion they would have liked each other. And one Columbia convocation would still be remembered.