A lot can happen in 507 years.

Not normally. Normally, nothing happens. Take, for example, the 507 years from 112,520 to 112,003 BC. Nothing happened. So, too, the 507-year period from 21,958 to 21,451 BC. Or even the 507 years from 611 to 1118 AD. Yes, there was great daily drama and suffering and struggle in those years. But in terms of progress . . . imperceptible steps, at best.

No more. Now every ten-year stretch is a pretty big deal, never mind 507 years.

I’m going to take the day off to contemplate just how North America has changed in the brief time since Chris set sail. And it is a brief time. It’s fewer than ten of the stretches of time I’ve been around; and just about five really long lifetimes, laid end to end. (In Detroit, one of the honorees at the dinner I wrote about Friday was 100 years old. And she danced.)

And the pace of our progress is only accelerating.

There will be no column today.


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