The Movie: The Last of the Mohicans, 1992 (Michael Mann and Christopher Crowe, screenwriters, from the novel by James Fenimore Cooper; Michael Mann, dir.)
Who says it: Daniel Day-Lewis as Hawkeye, the deerslayer
The context: Hawkeye and the woman he loves, Cora Munro (Madeleine Stowe), are separated as British settlers come under attack during the French and Indian War.
How to use it: Actually, it could come in handy if you’re shopping with a friend at the Augusta Wal-Mart.
This movie popped into my head last week, when I stopped at the James Fenimore Cooper rest area on the New Jersey Turnpike. Christopher Buckley once compared Tom Clancy to James Fenimore Cooper, calling both the worst best-selling authors of their day. The short biography at the rest stop makes Cooper sound like an insufferable prig. That puzzled me, because you'd think they'd show him in a better light if they went to the trouble of naming a service plaza after him.
I'd never read Last of the Mohicans until a couple of years ago, when my friend Sue Lin read it and passed her copy along to me. The movie is better, and not just because Daniel Day-Lewis is shirtless for a good deal of it.
We built a bonfire in the Bragdons' fire pit last night, down by the edge of the lake. It rained most of the day Saturday, into yesterday morning, but the wood still burned pretty well, and the sparks rose high into the pine branches above. Dizzy had never seen an open fire before, and didn't know quite what to make of it. I gave him a big bone -- in honor of Halloween, and to help him get in touch with the dominant primordial beast within -- and he took it well away from us, and ate the entire thing.
Today I get the keys to my new place, and the long process of settling in begins.