I ran up to Ann Arbor to spend a few hours with a friend. Good talk, good food. Enjoyed it very much; maybe I should have let her talk more. Oh well, I have my vices. Anyway, the thing that occured to me even on this brief trip (about three hours each way) is the same thing I thought about when I rode my bike through Pennsylvania (until I got to DC), and I guess its always the same idea: What an absolutely remarkable country. It is full of interesting people, all working and moving about, doing things. Then when you sit a spell with them, as I did in a diner over coffee, they tell you the truest things, with optimistic abandon. Almost none of such folk is goofy--you really have to approach a college suburb to find one--and they are always a very inventive, even in their speech. And the older they are the more the natural music of the language comes through, since most young people havent heard the language enough to allow their mouth to imitate the rhythm. Anyway, you Americans are a nice bunch. In Europe I always pay attention to the buildings, here only to the people and their work. There is cause here, of course. I have always liked this from Mark Twain: "We are called the nation of inventors. And we are. We could still claim that title and wear its loftiest honors if we had stopped with the first thing we ever invented, which was human liberty."