St. Paul:

I've returned from St. Paul, which was a very different city that I would have expected. I was very impressed with St. Paul's cathedral, for example, one of the finest of its type that I've ever seen. It was an architectural masterpiece, inside and out. It steals all the glory from the nearby State Capitol, which is also a grand dome but in the Federal style rather than in the traditional Gothic. The Gothic style has all the advantages, as I suppose is appropriate. The temples built to faith ought to be finer and more glorious than the ones built to government, even government by the People.

Besides the Glory of God, the cathedral contained monuments -- in the tradition of Catholicism -- to important saints and religious men. There was a stained glass window containing the heraldic arms of St. Pius X, which I was pleased to be able to recognize. In addition, there was a statue to the archbishop who'd constructed the place. He was from, and named, Ireland; and if I understood his biography correctly, he was a child during the great potato famine, then a military chaplain throughout the War Between the States, and then a churchman for the rest of his life. He began construction of the place in 1907, when he was already an old man, but lived long enough to see completion of it and give the first sermon there. Sounds like a fairly heroic life to me, one worthy of the honors bestowed upon it.

In addition to the cathedral, St. Paul proved to have a particularly excellent pub called Cork's, which was a reference to the county Cork in Ireland. The bar was quiet, the beer was excellent, the pool table was fast and the televisions were muted and tuned to the University of Tennessee football game, and the Professional Bull Riders' rodeo. Outstanding.

I'm afraid that's more or less all I had time to see, because the business that took me there occupied the rest of the weekend. Congratulations are in order to my new brother in law. They played "Georgia on My Mind" at the reception, so that my father could have appropriate music for a last dance with his daughter. I have only rarely seen the man so moved, or happy.

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