Then & Now
The Astronomer of Nininger: “Subject: My Old Chevy.
“Reminiscing about older cars is something we all do. We think about the ones we had years ago. If we could go back in those cars, we could go back in our lives, relive the good times and be someone else. Memories are a distinct part of those kinds of cars.
“When I was in my last year at the Academy, in 1964, my dad gave me his old Chevy to drive. It was rusty, but it got me back and forth to Chicago to see the future Good Wife on a good number of trips.
“As soon as I graduated and started earning money, I bought a used Oldsmobile convertible. Frugality drove my purchase (the price was right), rather than practicality or style or speed and handling.
“The Good Wife and I had many cars through the years, but when I turned 70, I purchased an old Chevy that makes no sense to own, is just pure fun to drive, and makes some people just wonder why. But the Good Wife and I can still get in and out of it and slam it through its gears. We tell people it is just an old Chevy. Here is a picture of it.”
Or: Life as we know it
Al B of Hartland reports: “I staggered outside to begin my early-morning walk. I was full of wonder and the spirit of adventure.
“I was greeted with the most spectacular view I’d seen since the day before. It was another day.
“It was such a nice day, I wished summer had 1,000 days like it. Each day is fragile and fleeting, but a few more days of its caliber and a fellow could be deluded into believing the world had achieved perfection. Such thinking is an ancient and honorable tradition.
“There was a cherry on top: A sulphur butterfly landed on me. That brought good luck, I hoped.”
BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: It brought good luck to the rest of us, at least.
The Gram With a Thousand Rules: “When my Colorado granddaughter golfs, she carries a camera around her neck, and that is why she was in the right place at the right time to capture this photo of her husband and son doing what they like best.
“A golf course is better than a pot of gold, isn’t it?”
BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: It certainly can be.
Later, also from The Gram With a Thousand Rules: “When our two-and-a-half-year-old great-grandson from Colorado came to visit us this month. it didn’t take long for him to spot the flagstick in our neighbor’s back yard. He trotted up to the fence and climbed up on the bench to investigate. Our golf-loving neighbor recognized the little golfer’s hunger and hoisted him over the fence and handed him a golf club. Without a word to either of the little boys who live there, he golfed.
“He golfed for over an hour until he was handed back over the fence into his father’s arms.”
The Permanent Family Record
The Doryman of Prescott, Wisconsin: “A kiss for luck and we’re on our way . . .
“Forty years ago, The Doryman (then of Prior Lake, Minnesota) was driving south on 35W in Burnsville. His Bride-To-Be was at his side, and his disgruntled 11-year-old Stepson-To-Be was in the back seat complaining about his stupid corsage. We were on our way to a little stone church in Dundas and a new life for all of us.
“In an attempt to lighten the mood, I mentioned as we passed the Super Slide next to Buck Hill that we should try that out sometime soon.
“The reply from Little Ornery Guy was: ‘You could get killed doing that!’
“Not smart enough to leave it at that, I offered what I thought would be an amusing kid-safe rebuttal: ‘Oh no, if it was dangerous, there would be dead bodies scattered all over that hill’
“The rear speaker snuffed me good with: ‘That’s sick, Gary. Just sick!’
“It took a long time for things to get much better, but they really, really did . . . and still are!”
The Permanent Family Record
And: Our times?
Dragonslayer of Oakdale: “Subject: Observations on family reunions.
“Yesterday, was the annual DOPES family reunion picnic. Each year, it gets smaller and smaller — not so much because people are dying off, though that happens, but there are people born to offset this trend. Some of you may ask: Is it because we are DOPES? Not really; DOPES is an acronym, which stands for Descendants of Pearl and Earl Suiter. While the Suiter name is now a minority among the attendees, descendants have chosen not to come to this gala because identity with this family is being lost. It is vexing as to what has happened to cause this social change in my lifetime. There seems to be no one single issue. Speculation lists: too busy; had better things to do; don’t know anyone there; what’s in it for me?;I hate picnics; too hot; too cold; and many, many more excuses.
“I think that the social glue that ties us together is no longer able or in the habit of performing these tasks. A great value for young people is being lost. My granddaughter recently said she did not know who her dad’s brothers and sisters are. It is not often recognized how important knowing who you are is, and where you come from, and how successful your relatives are in navigating this world’s slings and arrows. Adopted children, to a person, wish to know who they are and spend many years trying to find out. Family is a great source of unconditional love, something we all need — yup, even me. How can we bring families back together again? I have often said women are the social glue that holds the world together. We must recognize and value their skills in this matter; they must have time to perform their talent. We need to evaluate whether we have become too individualistic, too untrusting, too fearful and, yes, disdaining of others? Remember that families are our source of identity and love. Friends are only a temporary source of this need. We need to stop and rest with our loved ones.”
Everyone’s a (movie) critic!
Kathy S. of St. Paul: “For those who need a break from recent politics, I recommend the 1947 movie ‘The Farmer’s Daughter’ — supposedly set in Minnesota.
“Loretta Young plays a good Swedish farm daughter who heads to the Big City to learn to be a nurse, and is swindled on the way. She ends up becoming a maid in the mansion of a second-generation Minnesota Congressman (Joseph Cotten), his savvy mother (Ethel Barrymore) and quirky family retainer (Charles Bickford). She deftly handles them all, and stumbles into running for Congress herself.
“If for no other reason, it is worth watching this movie to hear her list every task she can perform on a farm (including making glogg at Christmas). And seeing her perform a Swedish massage on Joseph Cotten — who is already smitten with her.
“It has stirring ideals and (of course) a happy ending. And, for fans of Westerns, James Arness played one of her brothers.”
What’s in a name?
Deuce of Eagan writes: “Most of you, I’m sure, recall the adventures of Leonard Slye and his trusty steed Golden Cloud. For years, they could be viewed on black-and-white TV every Saturday morning, chasing down stagecoach robbers, cattle rustlers and the like. There was merchandise galore featuring their likeness. Len often had a song to sing in his 100-plus films. America loved this duo. I bet you can picture them now!
“No? I will furnish you a hint: Dale Evans.
“Hollywood changed their names to Roy Rogers and Trigger.
“This is common practice in Hollywood, but why? Some changes seem obvious; others, not so much. A good example of the obvious is actor Cary Grant. He was named at birth Archibald Alexander Leach. Just think of the movie ‘Touch of Mink,’ starring Doris Day and Archie Leach. The name does not fit the actor at all.
“Judy Garland originally was Frances Gumm. Kirk Douglas was Issur Danielovitch Demsky. In current times, Issur Demsky might have worked just great.
“Happy trails to you.”
Everyone’s a copy editor
Red’s Offspring, north of St. Paul: “Subject: He won’t have access to one, happy or otherwise.
“A headline in the ‘College football’ portion of the ‘Sports briefing’ section on Page 4B of the Sports section in Thursday’s Pioneer Press reads: ‘Court denies new trail for Sandusky.’
“Opening paragraph: ‘Jerry Sandusky won’t get a fresh chance to argue in state court he should get a new trial . . . .”
Donald: “Subject: Most likely to be broadcast on SYFY.
“This headline on Page 6B of ’Sports briefing’ in the Sports section of Tuesday’s Pioneer Press caught my eye: ‘Wisconsin, Alabama set 2004-05 football series.’
“I’m looking forward to seeing both games . . . again.”
Leading to: Muse, amuse
KH of White Bear Lake: “When I approached this intersection, the following bubble conversation occurred to me:
“What the supervisor said (early on a Monday morning): ‘A posted stop sign has eight sides.’
“What the young trainee half-heard (while daydreaming about last night’s amazing date): ‘Go post eight stop signs at this site.'”
Mounds View Swede writes again: “Subject: Mountain Meadow Blossoms.
“While visiting friends who live up in the mountains in Estes Park, Colorado, I took a walk through the meadow in their back yard to see what was growing there and came across a variety of wildflowers in bloom that I had not seen before.
“This first photo shows the setting I was walking through.
“This was the first blossom I encountered. The color caught my eye and made me take a look.
“These are very small yellow blossoms making up this cluster.
“And this tall cluster of purple blooms was interesting. I didn’t think to try to zero in on just one blossom to see in greater detail, and now I wish I had.
“These are very small yellow blossoms, and getting a closeup of just one would have been very difficult to keep in focus.
“These were also very small, so I settled on this group of three rather than try to get just one cluster.
Soon: “Subject: 7 more mountain meadow blossoms.
“This single white blossom was small, and the stamen seemed heavily covered with pollen.
“This reminded me of the rudbeckia I have growing at home. though the petals are more numerous, smaller, and a different shape.
“This spiky blossom was at the base of what we called a ‘sticker bush’ as kids. And the blossom looks pretty formidable. I did not try touching it, but enjoyed the color very much. It was so different from what I had seen before.
“More sticker bush plants.
“A whole column of blooms and one of the few yellow blossoms there.
“These are very tiny white blossoms. They work well in a cluster and were too small to photography individually.
“This was a familiar sight: a perfect ‘puff ball’ just waiting for a breeze.
“We had a hard rain and hail later in the afternoon that pretty much took care of this.”
Still later: “Subject: 8 back home photos.
“”When we got home from Colorado, I surveyed what was happening with flowers in my own yard.
“A lot of the purple-flowered hostas were blooming.
“And the purple coneflowers were all a-bloom, with butterflies visiting them. This first butterfly is called Atlantis Fritillary.
“This second one is called Painted Lady. This butterfly lives two to four weeks, and it takes several generations to fly from Mexico to Canada.
“I finally saw a bee visiting one of my blossoms. They have been very rare this year, and that worries me. [Bulletin Board notes: We have been seeing extraordinary numbers of bees visiting, among other plants, our bee balm.]
“The astilbe were blooming nicely.
“As were the rudbeckia.
“I was happy to see a milkweed plant being used for something. The Painted Lady butterfly does something like this to provide protection for its larvae.
“The milkweed blossoms were more prominent than before. I did see a monarch butterfly briefly as it flew out of my yard, but no sign they are doing any egg-laying on my milkweed plants. [Bulletin Board says: They’ve been very actively egg-laying on our milkweed. Matter of fact, we have almost two dozen Monarchs-in-the-making temporarily housed in bins in our living room.]
“I was pleased to see so many of my plants doing just what I hoped they would do. The weather has been about perfect for them so far.”
Could be verse!
Tim Torkildson: “Subject: The mirror.
“mirror mirror on the wall
“looks like I’m about to fall
“right into an open grave —
“wonder if I ought to shave?”
A joke for today
The Retired Pedagogue of Arden Hills: “Subject: Where else?
“From ‘YOU GOTTA LAUGH’ In the AARP magazine:
“‘Q: Where are average products made?
“‘A: At the satisfactory.’
The darnedest things
WARNING! Cute kid story ahead, from Otis from Inver Grove: “This summer, I am driving the big yellow bus bringing kids to summer school. The older kids are usually in the back of the bus with their headphones on. It is not ‘cool’ to sit up front. However, the younger kids really enjoy sitting in the front seats. As we usually run ahead of schedule, I have to park and wait a few minutes. During the break, I enjoy engaging the younger kids up front in conversation. They always enjoy talking. I have learned you never know what they are going to say!
“Today, I asked a cute young lady without any front teeth what she did on her three-day weekend. She excitedly told me it was her 8th birthday and they went to Wisconsin Dells. When I asked what she did in the Dells, she said she went on lots of water slides and had fun at the water parks.
“I asked what her favorite water ride was.
“She thought for a moment and told me about a water slide with rapids.
“I asked if she was scared.
“She said ‘No.’
“I replied: ‘Well, of course you weren’t. You are a big kid now, 8 years old, and nothing scares you anymore.’
“She said: ‘Actually, I was only 7 at that time.’
“It’s true: Kids say the darnedest things!”
Band Name of the Day: The DOPES
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