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When I was fifteen or so, I built a fort out of scrap lumber on top of a big, old stump in the Tall Grass of my backyard. I spent nearly all summer on it. The sound of the hammer pounding nails echoed all around the valley.

The fort did not look particularly elegant. But I was proud of it. I showed it to my friend.

She looked it over warily. “Will it hold?” she asked.

I was surprised at the question. “Of course.”

I looked at the fort once more—I had never doubted it would hold together.

Five years later, it still does.

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