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Sign Language Studies

American Annals of the Deaf

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Blind Rage: Letters to Helen Keller

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     Since I found no trace of Phantom there at Ivy Green, I bought souvenirs instead. It surprised me they donít sell bottled water drawn from the famous pump. ďHelen Kellerís Miraculous Well Spring Wa-wa,Ē they could call it. Think of the claims they could make: ďPut those pesky communication problems behind you. Foster docility and good grooming, cheerfulness and pep. Turn your little hellion into a poster child for special education.Ē

     I buy a coffee mug with a picture of Ivy Green on it. I also buy a replica of the pump. Itís made of cast iron and stands about five inches high. I have it on my desk now as what? A source of inspiration? A reminder to love the language more? I havenít decided yet. I pick it up and make a fist around it. The waterspout protrudes between my two middle fingers. Itís a weighty item. It would make a good weapon. I think I should get the flat, circular base inscribed with something, a word or sign of some kind, perhaps my initials, and use it to seal my letters. My letters to you, Helen.

     Because I guess the point is that I feel a need to write to you about these things. Now that Iíve scanned your writing, visited your childhood home, and more importantly released some of my hostility toward you, I begin to sense that thereís more to your story than the official version. So if you donít mind, Iíd like to ponder one or two incidents from your life and find out where it takes me.

Until then,


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