A credit to my parents (among many); they turned everything into a “teachable moment”. A new addition to my vocabulary came with a lesson on the root word, and whether it came from Latin, or French or Greek. A new song came with a quick history of Manchester 80′s New Wave, or Delta blues. My allowance was paid after chores and before a lesson on budgeting. A new car magazine had to be read and not just scanned through for pretty pictures.
And so came one of the lessons that ended up changing how I viewed the world. I was in my early teens, and had just discovered Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities, when my father suggested I read Paul Fussell’s Class. “It’s even got some car stuff in there; he talks about how people buy SUVs to look like they’re rich enough to have a country home. Just read it. You’ll like it.”