A 12/7/2016 email from John of Hopkins: “Subject: Date which lives in infamy.
“Seventy-five years ago today, I remember very clearly my father (a veteran of World War I) sitting on the fainting couch in our large dining room and repeating over and over: ‘God damn it! Oh! God damn it!’ after we got the news from Pearl Harbor.
“I did not dare approach him in his agitation. The news meant little to me, and I asked a sister what was wrong. As I recall, she responded: ‘We’re at war again. Leave him alone.’
“At my father’s funeral, a poem he wrote between the wars was read. I don’t remember the whole thing, but I know he started out with lines saying that he had thought of war as a great adventure, but soon found it to be ‘Groans of the dying,’ ‘Flashing knife,’ and ‘Deadly choking gas.’ The last line of that poem was: ‘Still, I’m glad I marched with those who died.’
“When I think of that last line and my dad’s anguished despair, I still weep.”
Now & Then
Willard B. Shapira of Roseville: “It’s just after noon, Wednesday, December 7. I am watching ‘Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo,’ an early WWII film designed to boost the morale of us civilians and the troops. [Bulletin Board says: Actually, no, it wasn’t an early World War II film. It was released in November 1944.] TCM has scheduled such films today.
“Van Johnson leads a squadron of carrier-based B-25s in a surprise raid on Tokyo. I immediately recall my one flight in a B-25, as an Air National Guardsman sometime between 1954 and 1958. We were entitled to take military flights as part of our service. It’s midsummer, very hot, but I must wear my Class-A (full dress tans) summer uniform. I am assigned what once was the tail gunner’s seat. The machine guns have been removed. We are flying from our home base, Holman Field, St. Paul to a base near Philadelphia. The blazing sun is on me the entire trip. I am soaked with sweat but happy for the free flight. I don’t recall if I thought about this film during that flight, but I did today. I think it served its purpose.
“Anyone else ever fly in a B-25? If so, tell us about it. Or other military flights, including missions.”
Our community of strangers — And: You are what you eat (responsorial) — or: Bulletin Board stands corrected
Plus: The eternal questions (Christmas Division) (responsorial) (responsorial) — plus: How far back?
The December 6 Bulletin Board opened with this:
Norton’s mom of Eau Claire, Wisconsin: “I was disappointed when it was announced that Bulletin Board would no longer appear in the weekday paper, but I am now delighted with the lovely photos. Thank you!
“Responsorial to Dolly Dimples, regarding eating lard:
“My grandmothers both spread goose grease on homemade bread, sprinkled the grease with a generous amount of salt and enjoyed it. My paternal grandma was 10 days shy of her 100th birthday when she died, and my maternal grandma was 87 when she died.
“Guess the goose grease didn’t hurt them!”
Which led to this reply, in the December 7th BB: “Norton’s mom of Eau Claire, Wisconsin: ‘Reading BBonward.com this morning (12-6-2016), I was surprised to read this submission attributed to me — as I hadn’t sent anything in, but had thought it: “I was disappointed when it was announced that Bulletin Board would no longer appear in the weekday paper, but I am now delighted with the lovely photos. Thank you!” The internet is powerful! It can suck the thoughts right out of my mind and e-mail them to you. [Bulletin Board says: So whose grandparents ate homemade bread, slathered with goose grease, sprinkled with salt … and then lived to very ripe old ages? Apologies to all!]’ ”
Which led to this reply, from Lola: ” ‘Twas I whose grandmas ate goose grease. [Bulletin Board stands completely corrected, at last!]
“I have another ‘How far back?’ story. It’s not my first memory, but one I won’t ever forget. I was about 4 when I decided that I wanted to milk a cow, so I found a milking stool and a milk pail, sat down next to the cow, touched her … and she kicked me.
“I landed in the gutter and have not tried to milk a cow since.”
‘Tis the season!
The Divine Mum of Crocus Hill: “I sent this to my sister-in-law a few years ago. She just sent it back to me.
“The Christmas Necessities . . . this is really all you need.”
BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: You will also need orange sherbet and orange Jell-O if you intend to make Mandarin Duet — an annual Christmas hit with both the children and the adults of our crowd:
1 6-ounce package orange (or raspberry) Jell-O
2 cups boiling water
1 pint orange (or raspberry) sherbet
1 11- or 15-ounce can Mandarin oranges, drained, or canned raspberries, drained
Dissolve Jell-O in liquid.
Add sherbet in chunks, and stir until melted. Add fruit. Chill in ring or bowl.
There’s nothin’ like a simile!
Red’s Offspring, north of St. Paul: “Jim Souhan’s latest column appeared on the front page of the Sports section in Wednesday’s STrib. The piece focused on Gregg Popovich, coach of the San Antonio Spurs, and opened with this: ‘The first time I encountered Gregg Popovich was in 2000. He came out of the visiting locker room snarling like a dog guarding a steak bone.’ ”
BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: Just like that, or sorta like that?
Either way, woulda been something to hear!
Throw the cow over the fence some hay!
Wayne of St. Paul: “This was published online on the ‘Land of 10’ football website: ‘Like most people in a maternity ward, Ubran [sic] Meyer was waiting anxiously early Sunday afternoon.
” ‘He was there to visit his first grandchild, Troy Dennis, who was born Sunday morning. Meyer, however, didn’t know the fate of his football family until 12:30 p.m.
” ‘Meyer learned Ohio State was officially in the College Football playoff and will face Clemson on Dec. 31 on the fifth floor of Riverside Hospital in Columbus, he told ESPN about an hour after the selection.’
“I wonder if there’ll be enough room in the Riverside Hospital for the fans to watch the game.”
The highfalutin pleasures
Reporting from Hartford, Connecticut, here’s MAR: “Paper was soaked through and through this morning, so I had to convection-bake it.
“A bit singed and crispy, but dry — and readable!”
BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: Talk about your au Courant way to dry a newspaper….
The Department of Pop Omniscience reports: “Subject: Apostrophe redistribution center, holiday division.
“The sign-maker at the Cub grocery store in Stillwater had to write just three words.
“Hope the kid’s enjoy their gift’s.”
Everyone’s a (book) critic!
Including: Fun facts to know and tell
Doctors’ Mom in Mendota Heights: “Several months ago, I attended a lecture by Salman Rushdie. All the attendees received a free copy of his newest book, ‘Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights.’ Based on his lecture, I knew the book was a fantasy which dealt with imaginary characters, time travel and different worlds (an upper and a lower). I assumed it was pure fantasy. Not my cup of tea. I also knew he had written several acclaimed books (none of which I had read), and I had the impression that they were not exactly easy reads. After several months of procrastination, I finally decided to plunge in and give it a try. It turns out that I enjoyed it. His writing is wry and clever, and although I didn’t totally understand the story or its meaning, it was definitely a good read.
“A major theme of the book, as I could discern, was the tension between religion and reason. In the book, the themes were personified by two ancients: Ghazali (religion) and Ibn Rushd (reason). Was I surprised when I read a letter to the editor in this morning’s other paper which talked about early Islam and its uneasy coexistence of these two approaches to life. These approaches were represented by the real humans Ghazali and Ibn Rushd!
“Not a Baader-Meinhof (I read the book a couple of weeks ago) and Joy of Juxtaposition doesn’t seem to be apt. Maybe ‘You Learn Something New Every Day!’ ”
BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: Or maybe, say, “Everyone’s a (book) critic! . . . Including: Fun facts to know and tell.”
Everyone’s a (book) critic! (responsorial)
The Puppysitter: “When I saw the line from Tim Torkildson, asking you if you’d be interested in receiving some short book reviews, my first question (to myself) was:
“Are you asking the book reviews to be short, or are you reviewing short books?”
BULLETIN BOARD TAKES THE QUESTION SERIOUSLY: Had Tim Torkildson wanted to review only short books, or had we wanted to receive reviews of only short books, it would’ve said “short-book reviews.”
Hyphens: Use them when they’re called for (on which occasions, they are called-for hyphens).
Band Name of the Day: Baked Newspapers
Website of the Day: The Last Bomb