If you can remember George Gobel, George Jessel, and Don Ho, we might have some bad news for you!

Older Than Dirt

Poet X of PDX: “You are clearly Older Than Dirt when . . .


‘. . . you can identify the guest stars on ‘Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-in.’”


Our theater of seasons
Quatrain Division

Zoo Lou of St. Paul: “A short poem came to me on a gloomy, brisk Thursday eve:

“A blade of grass,

“kneeling in a cathedral of ice,

“prays silently

“for spring’s warm breath.”

The highfalutin pleasures

The Gram With a Thousand Rules: “Want to smile?


“This photo of the Colorado great-grandson arrived in my inbox this St. Patrick’s Day morning.”

Life as we know it
Pull of a Place Division

Kathy S. of St Paul: “Subject: Pull of the (home) place.

“In 2001, I was a substitute librarian in public libraries, and was lucky enough to meet and form impressions of Muslim immigrants before 9/11. They remind me of my Irish immigrant ancestors, who arrived poor, hungry, and often illiterate. Most folks don’t know that businesses used to post signs for job seekers which said ‘NINA’ — ‘No Irish Need Apply.’ But my grandparents did.

“My family’s immigrant generation generally lived near other Irish immigrants, and their kids often married kids of nearby Irish immigrants — though the next generation married further afield. The Irish-born generation often didn’t register the births of their children with the authorities, so I try to find baptismal records to verify birth dates. I figure they had bad memories of life under British rule, and didn’t want to give the government any more information about themselves than they had to.

“One day I told some young Muslim women how their immigration patterns reminded of my relatives who flooded out of Ireland. They were interested when I said that my immigrants’ children married neighboring immigrants’ children. The best I could come up with was that they probably attended the same parties. But, thinking about the pull of place and the ecological collapse that forced them to leave Ireland, I figure it helped them keep just a little more of their home places.

“Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home…”

Kathy S. sent us some pictures of the home country, taken in October of 1995:

“This house/cottage was in Tynagh, Count. Galway. It was the home of a man who patrolled the village and knew where everyone was. A very useful citizen, unless you value privacy.


“Araglen, County Cork


“County Clare.


“Overlooking Feakle, County Clare (and yes, the pronunciation brought a wince to Mom’s face).”



Double Bogey Mike wanted all of us to see this, from a previous St. Patrick’s Day, in commemoration of this year’s:


The Retired Pedagogue of Arden Hills: “Subject: ‘I’ before ‘e.

“The kiosk on the main floor at Rosedale was advertising protective covers for cellular phones. Six of the spellings were fine, but the seventh read:



Vanity, thy name is . . .

Red’s Offspring, north of St. Paul: “I didn’t spot this Chrysler plate at a baseball field or in the rough at a golf course, but at Rosedale: ‘DIAMNDS.'”

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: What would you be doing in the rough . . .  at this time of the year?

Not exactly what he had in mind

Email from Donald: “Subject: A cranial contusion?

“From ‘THEY SAID IT’ in the most recent Sports Illustrated:

‘”I’m planning on playing, whether I have to limp around or not.” Charl Schwartzel, PGA Tour golfer who was hit by a shot during the Wednesday pro-am at the Valspar Open — on the wrist.’”

Our birds, our squirrels, ourselves

Al B of Hartland: “There was a brown thrasher in the egress window of our house. It was perched on a stick that had fallen into that space. It was a cold and windy December morning. The bird should have moved southward.

“A brown thrasher loves peanuts. I placed peanuts here and there in areas where I thought the bird would find them.

“I retreated to my office and stared out the window. It wasn’t long before the thrasher was eating peanuts. I was pleased.

“Blue jays, also lovers of peanuts, flew in. No worries. There were enough goobers for everyone.

“Then a fox squirrel came upon the scene and began eating the peanuts at an incredible rate. It bullied the thrasher away.

“I like squirrels. I feed squirrels. I did a goofy thing. I opened a window and barked like a dog. It worked. The squirrel bounded away. I’m not proud of myself, but I figure there has to be at least one other person who would have done the same thing.

“I expect I’ll soon be rolling down the car window and mooing when driving past a herd of cows.”

Band Name of the Day: The Goobers

Websites of the Day, in a Friday email from Cousin Gregg: “No better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than with a flyover of some fine Irish courses.




“Old Head:


“P.S. Another appealing Irish invention. Bushmills for Breakfast!”




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