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Drs Howard and Young are, of course, entirely right about my muddled corn terminology. The error is all the more embarrassing because my roots are in loam: I am a native of Nebraska. Although I did not grow up on a farm, I certainly know the difference between corn husks, ears of corn, and corn cobs. My family's discovery that I was capable of such an elementary goof will only confirm their view that my education was seriously marred by my neglect of Cornhusker football games and other patriotically instructive rituals. Fortunately, my mother has reassured me that I will still be allowed to come home for Christmas.One can't argue with Dr Young's suggestion that the elderly man in the painting could be the little boy's father: this is not a portrait of real individuals, after all. That we who are several generations removed from 19th-century rural
Knoll E. Concreted Cornhusker Sent Back to Loam, Sweet Loam. Aw Shucks!-Reply. JAMA. 1987;258(22):3257. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400220056027
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