136 All-purpose civic sculpture

The uttering of “great” sometimes rivals pure upstate New York maple syrup. Think of a girl in a select set. Her popularity is unchallenged. Her opinions become everyone else’s opinions who envies her, who admires her, who has a crush on her. She can say about a young fellow of her acquaintance, “He’s just . . . so great . . .” and her circle and everyone who wishes to be in it will believe he is, somehow. There needn’t be evidence or explanation. When the popular girl imputes greatness, the mere sound of the base word resonates with validity, like superb maple syrup which pours perfectly. It was how it sounded when Kelly Ripa made mention of baby Drew’s heroics. Even as her girlish glee boomed across the canyons of Ross Valley, there was enough subtlety and variance in the single syllable to make everyone a believer, even if they hadn’t witnessed events at the Plip Plop Coffe Shop. “. . . all the great things you’ve done for San Anselmo . . .” Kelly enthused among her enthusiasms, and Reeg’s judicious seal of approval followed with the same word proferred: “Keep up the great work, little guy.” Granny Guss had followed the booming until she reached the lawn in front of city hall for a full view of her idols. She leaned on the deer statue with relief, because with Regis’s and Kelly’s grand okay, her whole life flashed before her. Baby Drew had made it all worthwhile.

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