9 June 1982 |
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times, Thursday, May 27, 1982:
The saga of the "rags-to-riches"
lad Alger formulated, with its
resourcefulness, honesty (and a little good
fortune) has become traditional. His
popularity in the early years of this
century was phenomenal, stressing
morality, rectitude and faith. The
cynical may question the recipe, but
we know houses need a good foundation.
I noted with interest Charles Ruben's letter (May 27). which expressed admiration for Horatio Alger, the subject of a recent commemorative stamp.
I wonder if Ruben would still admire this famous author as much if he knew that in 1866 Alger admitted to being "imprudent" after being accused of improprieties of a homosexual nature, resulting in the loss of his pulpit in the First Unitarian Parish at Brewster, Mass.
Alger was not, to say the least, a standard. heterosexual member of the community of his day; nonetheless, I like to think of him as an example of a man of non-traditional orientation who found a way to channel his energies and attractions into helping constructively the young men of his time, and their sons and grandsons, in spite of his status as a single person in a less-than-understanding family-oriented society. I, too, admire Horatio Alger.
There are many like him today who also are engaged in the sometimes lonely, yet hopefully rewarding, search for our way of making a helpful contribution to the society we all share.