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Excerpt: What VISTA stands for

    "Some youngun name of Tom Kolwiecki has showed up like he dropped out of the sky and calls hisself a VISTA worker.  He told me what that VISTA stands for but I can't keep it in my head, although I can recall anything important.  Nobody could figure out what Tom was here for, so I come right out and asked him.  He said that VISTA is something the government thought up like the Peace Corps, only for this country.  The VISTA is supposed to help end poverty.  I got a hoot out of that.  'No, really,' said Tom, and he started laughing too, like he didn't believe a word of it.  That started me to really wondering about him.
    "Uncle Brigham is offended by the VISTA.  He don't like to think we need help like they do in Africa, and he says, 'Here I am a growed man getting grayheaded and some shirttail youngun is supposed to save me?  And him sent by the government and what if hit's the government I need saved from?'  He asked Tom how come he didn't just stay in New Jersey where he was from, and Tom said the government likes you to go someplace different from where you grew up so you can learn new things.  I reckon that is fine for the VISTAS, but I don't see where it does us much good."

Source: Denise Giardina, The Unquiet Earth (1992).


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