Of mice and men and Jim Graham

Today, city honchos opened the newly renovated Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Library — more on that later — and among the speakers at the ribbon-cutting was D.C.Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 3 Ward 1). In his remarks, Graham noted his pride as a native Scotsman to be present at the renewal of a grand old library originally funded by the philanthropy of Scottish steel baron Andrew Carnegie.

That got me thinking what Graham might sound like had he kept a Scots brogue. He told me he lost his within three weeks of starting middle school in America as a wee lad. One thing led to another, and I asked Graham if he knew any poems by Scotland’s most famous poet, Robert Burns. Indeed he did, and WAMU-FM’s Patrick Madden caught it on camera:

That, of course, is — more or less — the first stanza of Burns’s “To a Mouse,” one line of which John Steinbeck appropriated for the title of his most famous novel. In any case, it’s a fine enough literary moment to inaugurate a lovely new library.

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.

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