Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey!
England is not the jewelled isle of Shakespeare's much-quoted message, nor is it the inferno depicted by Dr Goebbels. More than either it resembles a family, a rather stuffy Victorian family, with not many black sheep in it but with all its cupboards bursting with skeletons. It has rich relations who have to be kow-towed to and poor relations who are horribly sat upon, and there is a deep conspiracy of silence about the source of the family income. It is a family in which the young are generally thwarted and most of the power is in the hands of irresponsible uncles and bedridden aunts. Still, it is a family. It has its private language and its common memories, and at the approach of an enemy it closes its ranks. A family with the wrong members in control - that, perhaps is as near as one can come to describing England in a phrase.
One usually dies because one is alone, or because one has got into something over one's head. One often dies because one does not have the right alliances, because one is not given support. In Sicily the Mafia kills the servants of the State that the State has not been able to protect.
Dad was a chemistry professor at Saint Olaf College in Minnesota, then Oxford College in Minnesota, and a very active member of the American Chemical Society education committee, where he sat on the committee with Linus Pauling, who had authored a very phenomenally important textbook of chemistry.