Thursday, September 1, 2016

Editor's Corner

September 2016

Many of our readers and our authors have entered this life since World War II, often seen written as WWII or called WW deuce. But that war which symbolically ended September 2, 1945, took a few more years to resolve and dissolve all or even some of the bad feelings nation to nation to nation. However, the article "The First VJ Day" by your editor whose tenth birthday came the day Victory Over Europe (VE Day) occurred, describes her initial news of the now historic Victory Over Japan day.

Your editor couldn't be happier that today sees both Japanese and German people as our friends and allies. Her own family bloodline carries a lot of European ancestors, and her loved inlaws represent several different nations. Peace is where it is at.

Speaking of Peace, we welcome a new columnist Dayvid Bruce Clarkson of Canada. His column "Reflections on the Day" brings you into time and space with his personality as you read it. Many other readers have met him, as did your editor, on Facebook. Remember feedback can be given our authors while reading the blog version of this ezine.

Both Rod Cohenour's "Cooking With Rod," and Melinda Cohenour's "Armchair Genealogy" are back with us. Rod shares his Chicken-Summer Berry Salad and Melinda remembers and honors a dear friend and excellent fellow researcher.

Thomas F. O'Neill, Suzhou, China, whose "Introspective" column gives insight on China viewpoints, tells of their electrical plans. Mattie Lennon in "Irish Eyes" catches us up on a few literary events and releases in Ireland, a commemoration to Sean O'Casey, plus a few suggestions for old movies with a valid source.

Judith Kroll's "On Trek" recalls a precious moment in time with her late father. LC Van Savage's column "Consider This" discusses "TTH" and its application in her life as she looked forward to this month. She also includes a tale for children "The Horse of Many Colors."

The other story is Chapter 17 of The Adventures of Ollie-Dare which concludes this delightful series. However, it is available from the first chapter by clicking the author's name. Rebecca Morris originally wrote these whimsical tales with a gentle moral for her nieces and nephews.

A round dozen of poems this issue includes one by Linnie Jane Joslin Burks, sister of your editor's mother, "Twilight in Kentucky." Phillip Hennessy, our song lyrics poet, sent "There is No End." Bruce Clifford's two poems are "Part of The Plan" and "No Place for Children." Bud Lemire's one poem for September is "At The Top." The poem "Scottie Ann" was written by Noralee Carroll Crowson in memory of her High School classmate who was killed in a car wreck. Noralee was another sister of your editor.

Our most prolific poet John I. Blair is getting back in form. His six poems this month are "Fennel," "Halfmoon Tonight," "Night Breezes," "Some Day," "Watching," and "Wrong."

We like happy and so were thrilled when we received the news from Art Greenhaw, Grammy winner for his music, that his 20 year long dream is coming true. He has authored a new comic book series "God's Silver Soldiers" that is faith-based, inspired by the Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee who he began discussing his project with in the 1990's. The article "New Comic Book Format and Heroes" tells some of the struggles and has links for more info.

Thanks again to Mike Craner for his expertise and patience that allows this little ezine to continue its mission of encouraging writers, experienced and beginners, and to promote reading.

Watch for us in October!

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This issue appears in the ezine at www.pencilstubs.com and also in the blog www.pencilstubs.net with the capability of adding comments at the latter.

Armchair Genealogy

Tribute to Carol Treadway

      I recently received extremely sad news. My grandmother, Carrie Edyth Bullard Joslin, maintained a correspondence with Edith Wessler from a period before my birth in 1946, to the time of Mrs. Wessler's death.

      Edith Wessler was an amazing woman, devoted to the research of the Joslin, Joslyn, Josselyn, Jocelyn, Josseline family (in all its spelling variations and across all continents.) Her research was undertaken in an age far removed from computerized databases, Internet access to census records, family histories, scanned photocopies of Bible records and all the wonders of access and organization afforded us today.

      She developed her own specialized method of organizing the extensive volumes of information derived from her network of Joslin family historians, researchers, and those who responded to her requests for knowledge. She maintained separate three-ring notebooks, cross-referencing family connections with her own complex system.

      After these grand ladies took their separate paths beyond the veil, I had the great fortune of becoming acquainted with Edith Wessler's daughter, Anne Carolyn Wessler Treadway, known affectionately as Carol. Carol was a wife, mother, grandmother, educator, with an avid interest in hand quilting. She was not a genealogist, in fact, described herself as a "reluctant researcher." Yet, being the inheritor of her mother's vast collection of background materials, all the three-ring notebooks, the inquiries and corrections forwarded to her by later day family researchers, Carol undertook the seemingly impossible task of updating her mother's life's work.

      Many years before Carol decided to take on this task, she and I started corresponding. Initially, my inquiries about Joslin research were the seed for our connection. But, soon, we were exchanging emails with little to do with the research and much more to do with resuming the friendship her mother and my grandmother had enjoyed for all those decades. She told me about her latest quilting project and I shared my exasperation or joy over the progress of my latest knitting project. We chatted a bit about birds we'd been blessed by seeing, weather, kids and grandkids, exchanged Christmas greetings and updates. We became friends.

      When she finally committed to providing an update to her mother's work, Carol was adamant in staying true to her mom's commitment to truth and accuracy. After almost a decade, many failed attempts at transforming the data in all those notebooks and all the later correspondence into a computerized database, she finally resorted to accepting the assistance of another Joslin researcher. Her final contribution to our store of knowledge was a two volume set of updated material. Subsequently, she provided me (as I am certain she did others) with newly discovered errors or corrections or additions to those volumes.

      My last correspondence with Carol was just after Christmas 2015, and was typical of the charming, considerate, humorous woman I had come to know and love. She exhorted me to correct an oversight in one branch of my Joslin line, spoke of the weather, mentioned her woe at never having enough time to devote to all her interests, and then, amusingly, mentioned her well anticipated solution: Quilt!

* * * * *

      An example of the correspondence we shared through the years...
-------- Original message --------
From: Carol Treadway
Date: 2/24/16 3:45 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: Melinda Cohenour
Subject: Joslins

Thank you so much for all the time and energy you required for writing the three full pages in answer to my inquiries.
You have so much more information than my correspondent plans to put in his Society newsletter. I am sure he is not privy to all of it And I am not sure whether he would want to use it. BUT it is your information, and not mine to pass along. I have read your most interesting and informative contribution to ancestry.com on Abraham, and added it to my own site, and I think that you may want to be the acknowledged contributor of any info on Ethel Agnes Joslin Vernon. I meant to check your sister's web site to see if you had already done so, but forgot. I will after writing this, and if I find that you have a story about her online, should I refer him to it?
Your research is meticulous, and I'm grateful for your willingness to share with me. It is too bad that all your work has not unearthed the identity of P.R. Joslin. I will tell Vernon Lane about that, and can leave it up in the air as he has written that I am uncertain which William he may be.
About Isaac being youngest son of William of Deerfield -- in my mother's notes she disagreed with the lady who wrote "The Isaac Joslin Family of Downe Township," and listed him as son of William's son, Thomas. As such, I did so in my book as "probable son" of Thomas. When working with her records and notes, I did make corrections if I had proof that she was wrong, but she was emphatic in her denial that Isaac would have been William's son. I have no idea why. I never found any record to back it up or vice versa. As I've said many times, I am not a researcher. There was too much information about too many thousands of people for me to dig deeply. When I was uncertain, I used "probable" or "possible" as my effort to indicate some uncertainty -- which usually happened when I had conflicting information or lack thereof.
Since publication of the book, Roland Joslin of Grandview TX has continued to probe all things Joslin found online, and he has had a ball with the 1940 census. My computer has benefited from his findings, and he has recently sent me another record -- this time on a thumb drive. I don't know how to use the thumb drive and have been dragging my feet and haven't sought assistance from the Geek Squad. I really must do that and get back to my genealogy. Been making quilts again.
I especially appreciate your response to my e-mail because you are so busy arranging for the lodging of your nephew. I know he must be very grateful. This new arrangement will not be easy, and I won't trouble you further. Family is important and you will be blessed greatly for your love and care.
God bless
Carol

* * * * *

         It was June 4th of this year, I received notice from Carol Grauh, another Joslin researcher, via Ancestry. She had been referring to some piece of information I'd added to my tree and noticed the apparent close friendship I shared with Carol. She then said she felt I should know that Carol Treadway had passed away and told me how I could find her obituary.

Anne C. "Carol" Treadway

Obituary
Treadway, Anne Carol C. (nee Wessler), it was time to go, Friday, April 22, 2016 at the age of 87. Loving wife of the late Howard J. Treadway Jr; mother of Stanley Paul Treadway, Jane Leslie Young and Edward Ted Joslin (Theresa Ann) Treadway; grandmother of John Richard (Maria Conception) Young, Savannah Jane (Patrick Zane) Kier and Jocelyn Michelle Treadway; sister of the late William and Leroy Wessler; aunt, great aunt and friend to many. Carol loved her family, genealogy, quilting and her beautiful flower gardens. She was very involved in the Beaumont High School Reunion Committee, Classes of 1946. One of Carol's many roles was church secretary at Salem in Ballwin United Methodist Church under the tenure of three ministers. She will be forever in all of our hearts. Services: Funeral service at the SCHRADER Funeral Home and Crematory, 14960 Manchester Road at Holloway, Ballwin, Monday, April 25, 2016, 2:30 p.m. Interment Salem United Methodist Cemetery in Ballwin. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to: The Memorial Fund at Mercy Hospice on behalf of Anne C. Treadway. Visitation Monday 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Friends may sign the family's on-line guestbook at Schrader.com.
Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Apr. 24, 2016

* * * * *

      I just finished reviewing the brief paragraph dedicated to the memory of Anne C. Wessler Treadway. An accompanying photograph depicts the lovely, smiling visage of the grand lady I have been blessed to know. There are never sufficient words to describe the life of any person. I wanted to share my knowledge of the wonderful soul who departed this life April 22nd of this year.

      Rest in peace, sweet Carol. I assure you, your passing has not gone unnoticed. You shall be dearly missed.

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See pic of Anne Carol (Wessler) Treadway below.

 

Cooking with Rod

It's still Summer out there and the weather is still warm if not downright HOT! 

Nothing satisfies both hunger and the need for refreshment more than a delicious tossed or arranged salad with berries and cheese and some meat strips, especially a really good peppered roast turkey or other wonderful poultry. 

In an effort to integrate more health conscious meals into our lives, we have found some really versatile and tasty solutions. This is one that Melinda and I really enjoy. 

Bon AppƩtit!

Rod's Chicken-Summer Berry Salad

    * 2 cups salad mix (any mix of your choice: romaine blend, iceberg lettuce with purple cabbage and shredded carrots, Spring greens)
    * 10 raspberries
    * 10 large strawberries
    * 10 large blackberries
    * 20 blueberries
    * 10 red or green seedless grapes
    * 3-4 oz. (In most deli meats, 1 slice weighs 1 oz.) roast turkey or chicken or canned white chicken breast (drain and rinse thoroughly to remove salt if unable to find unsalted chicken. Best choice: 1 grilled chicken breast prepared without added salt, sliced thin
    * 1-2 oz. cheese (feta cheese crumbles OR sliced cheese such as cheddar, pepperjack, swiss, Monterey Jack, or grated cheese will do)
    * light, no sugar, no fat dressing (we prefer light Raspberry Vinaigrette like that produced by Best Choice)
Directions:
Using a nice plate with a deeper edge, spread salad greens evenly over the entire plate.
Remember, when cutting calories or carbs or both, presentation is especially important. Feed the eye! (See pic of one of my arranged servings below.)
Now spread the roasted, grilled, deli or canned poultry over the top of the greens. Nice, bite-sized bits.
Using the cheese of your choice, arrange crumbles, or tear slices into small pieces, or sprinkle grated cheese evenly over meat and greens.
Now, get really creative! Dress the top of your salad with the summer berries that you have rinsed and checked carefully for the biggest, prettiest, ripe pieces of fruit available. Beautiful, red rioe strawberries, luscious blackberries, plump raspberries, frosty looking blueberries, lovely large seedless grapes of green or red.
Serve this delightful salad with about 2 tablespoons of the light dressing of your choice.
Prepare to receive accolades!

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Reflections on the Day


      A wonderful day today. I took a client to Port Alberni for dialysis and as one of our drivers was on vacation I was responsible for getting him back home after dialysis. This is a five-hour wait. It doesn’t make much sense to drive all the way back to Nanaimo and then back to Port Alberni.

      In days past I would have seen this as a major inconvenience. Today I chose to find the positive and so set out paying attention.

      After dropping my client off I headed for the Alberni Quay. It is a beautiful waterfront area with all kinds of shops and eateries.

      I ran into an old college friend that I hadn’t seen for ages and we shared the most incredible fish and chips for lunch. They also have a community piano at the Quay and there were three or four folks taking turns. This turned out to be an impromptu two-hour performance by some very talented artists.

      The day was perfect, the weather was great with a cool sea breeze, and I finished it off with a big-ass black cherry waffle cone. This was a memorable day.

      I picked up my client and drove him home through Cathedral Grove and along Cameron Lake. With a shift in perception, I gathered another treasure to add to my collection.

      Dayvid


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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On Trek

Dad and the ear of corn!!


      When dad was in hospice, he was so alert and still full of life. He said he wanted to experience the whole experience.

      He wasn't in any pain, so he could focus on everything. He had asked what I had eaten at one point, and I said, I was in heaven having had some genuine NYState corn on the cob. Such a treat.

      He commented he would love an ear of corn.

      So, we got some corn and they cooked it for him, and buttered it the way he liked, and he sat there and took a couple bites out of the middle of the cob. He chewed so carefully, and enjoyed every bite. I mean he ENJOYED every bite. So grateful for that beautiful corn on the cob. He thanked all of us for that special treat. He only had the few bites, as he wasn't eating much, but every now and then something just needed to be tasted one more time. My heart swelled to watch him love that corn.

      When I got home that evening, to his house, there was a picture of him standing someplace, somewhere, in his life, and he was eating, and enjoying an ear of corn. I still have that picture with me today. I felt it was a gift, so I took it home.

      He will have been "gone" for a year, the 22nd of this month, August.

      What lesson did I learn from this? We should all embrace life like it was going to be our last day on earth. Ever so grateful for all . Experience the NOW..the present..and grasp the full meaning of life!! Daddy did always.

      ©8/5/16 Judith Kroll

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Introspective


      People who come to visit China can’t help but notice the smog filled skies in the country’s bustling cities. That is one of the reasons why China has been pushing for affordable electric cars it would be a way to cut back on China’s air pollution.

      The country has set a goal of having 3 million new electric driven cars on China’s freeways by 2025.

      One major hurdle for China’s electric car industry is that many companies in China lack the sufficient know-how to produce quality auto-mobiles. China is plagued by too many companies lacking that technical expertise to make electric or hybrid cars that measure up to those from Tesla Motors Inc. or General Motors Co.

      It has been announced by the Chinese media that Billionaires in China like Jack Ma, Terry Gou, Li Ka-shing and Jia Yueting are among investors who’ve poured at least $2 billion into building alternative-energy vehicles as China tries to combat the smog choking its cities.

      China’s car-makers are now seeing pressure on their profit margins with the spread of cheap models, while stringent fuel-economy and emissions targets are being set to raise costs.

      China surpassed the U.S. last year, according to various Chinese media outlets, to become the world’s biggest market for new-energy vehicles -- comprising electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell cars. Domestic automakers sold 331,092 units in 2015, according to the China daily news.

      The Chinese government is now offering to subsidize electric automakers in order to make the cars more affordable. The government is offering subsidies that can total 60 percent of an electric-car’s sticker price. Currently there are about 4,000 new-energy vehicle, or NEV, models in development.

      The government, however, is placing more mandates on the Chinese automakers, as the government introduces stricter quality-control measures. In the past China has ignored the universal safety standards when it came to producing cheap affordable cars.

      The new safety standards include - a control system that determines the performance and stability of the New Electric Vehicle, an information system that tracks the sources and conditions of key parts, and a process for recycling or reusing batteries.

      The Hyundai Motor Co. and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz is in the process of building a factory in the capital city of Beijing that’s capable of making 70,000 EVs a year. It will be subsidized by the Chinese government in order to reduce the cost of producing and selling the vehicles to the consumer.

      Karma Automotive LLC, announced they will be producing a hybrid vehicle that will use solar power. The cost of producing such a vehicle will be more than $115,000. They are planning to build their $375 million factory in Hangzhou. 

      The Chinese firm LeEco will invest 6 billion yuan in an electric car factory with an initial capacity for 200,000 cars a year. Many critics argue that producing the cars is one thing but reducing the cost of the vehicles for the average consumer will be quite a challenge. The average consumer in China spends approximately $13, 000 for a new vehicle with a five year bank loan. Most of the electric cars in China, if not all, will be far from the average Chinese person's price range.

      There is a huge potential for the Electric Car industry not just in China but globally. The problem in China, however, is the rush to produce the vehicles without the adequate consumer market.

      China has announced that its government will stop subsidizing the auto-makers by 2020. That announcement comes after billions in investments have been poured into producing the electric vehicles. Many investors are now worried that they may be contributing to an investment bubble that’s ready to burst due in part from not adequately finding the buyer market for their electric product.

      The electric auto industry has been around for many years, however, the average consumer has not reaped the benefit of owning such a product due mostly to the price range.

      China’s electric car industry could very well be a huge bubble ready to burst. But, in China, unlike America when the bubble bursts there will not be a government bailout in the horizon.
    Always with love from Suzhou, China
    Thomas F O’Neill
    WeChat - Thomas_F_ONeill
    U.S. voice mail: (800) 272-6464
    China Cell: 011-86-15114565945
    Skype: thomas_f_oneill
    Email: introspective7@hotmail.com
    Other articles, short stories, and commentaries by Thomas F. O'Neill can be found on his award winning blog, Link:
    http://thomasfoneill.blogspot.com
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Irish Eyes


      What was I doing since I saw you last. Where will I begin?

      There was the Sean McCarthy Memorial in Finuge, Co. Kerry. In the words of Committee Chairman, Jimmy Deenihan, “A core objective of the festival is to keep the memory of Sean McCarthy alive and to celebrate his contribution to ballad writing & singing in Ireland and beyond.”

      Space doesn’t permit me to list all the music sessions, art and rambling house activities that took place during the festival. There were a record number of entries for the song writing competition.

      The winner was John Kinsella. The prize was sponsored by Mike and Sue Nilsson. Mike and Sue are no strangers to Kerry, however, living half the year in Ballyheigue and half the year in LA. A native of Chicago, Mike is the grandson of a former creamery manager of Ballyheigue. His grandmother, meanwhile, hailed from Ballinorig, Causeway.

      The prizes for the Storytelling competition were sponsored by Sean McCarthy’s nephew, Lionel. The winners: Shared: First Prize Tom Moore Moyvane €500.00 & Francis Kennedy €500.00 Listowel. Joint second; Daisy Kearney, Glin & Paddy Regan, Cork €250.00 each.

       With the culture of Kerry still going round in my head I returned home and read an autobiography of a famous man who had a Kerry grandfather. An Poc ar Buile (The Life and Times of Sean O’ Se), published by The Collins Press, is the story of Sean’s life from his birth in 1936 to the present day.

       “A nickname is the heaviest stone that the devil can throw at a man.” So said William Hazlitt. A nickname can be a blessing or a curse. Sometimes a bit of both. It can also be a bit of craic, especially if it has rhyming potential. Because “An Poc ar Buile”, which he recorded in 1962, was the song that launched Sean to world fame he was, in parts of Cork, known as “The Pucker.” In 1986 he was singing, in Salzburg, with the choir of the Salzburg Cathedral. One day during rehearsals a Cork couple went into the church. When the singing stopped the female of the pair went up to Sean and in her strong Cork accent said, “Seano boy when I came into the church and I heard the voice I said to me husband, ‘It sounds like the Pucker, and when I came up the church sez I, ‘It looks like the Pucker’, and then when I seen you up close I sez to him, ‘ Jesus that is the pucker’, I’ll go away now and light a candle that you’ll sing good tonight ”.

       The only words that the venerable Austrian conductor could decipher were, “Pucker,” Pucker”, “Pucker”, which he confused with a term much favoured as a crutch-word of the crippled conversationalist in Ireland. He said to Sean, “She does not like your music, yes?”

       Be he describing his father’s death, teaching in Baltinglass or one of the many characters around west Cork or any one of his many trips abroad Sean the wordsmith is evident. He describes St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, “ . . .with its many domes shaped as the flames of a bonfire rising high into the sky.”

      Nowhere in the 196 pages is there a bad word written about any person, place or thing. (Although he was slightly underwhelmed when he discovered that Macroom oatmeal wasn’t on the menu in Las Vegas.) And with my nit-picking hat on I couldn’t find one typo.

      Sean is a wonderful storyteller who can hold his own with any living seanachai in Ireland yet he doesn’t mention it in the book. Of course I couldn’t let that go. I contacted him and asked him about the omission. He told me that when he started singing the main event was the Variety Concert usually featuring a well-known artist at the top of the bill. There would be a number of supporting performers and at the time Sean would feature as the tenor.

      “The concert would last for about two hours with an interval halfway though. The likes of me would sing two songs in each half and that was the nights work. Then the scene switched to the lounge bars and one would be expected to perform for up to an hour nonstop. I introduced storytelling to give the audience variety and to make life easier for myself. Also it was not something I planned, it just happened. I do not consider myself a seanachaĆ­ or even a storyteller. I just tell long slow burner stories, the kind of jokes I heard growing up in West Cork.”

      A modest answer indeed from a man who can enable the listener to not just listen to his tales but, in the words of that great storyteller, Kelly Swanson," . . .Step into his stories ."

      My home place of Lacken has been truly put on the map by the KnockanStockan Festival . It is an Irish independent music festival now in its tenth year. Each year the festival takes place overlooking the Blessington lakes in Lacken. In 2008, KnockanStockan won "Best Small Festival" at the Irish Festival Awards.

       The community of Lacken, Kylebeg and Ballinastockan have become an integral part of the festival since it began in 2007. The support and co-operation of the residents has been and still is vital to the continual growth and success of the festival. KnockanStockan believe that giving back to the community is top priority. To date they have helped to raise thousands for numerous community and youth initiatives within the area, that includes a new school, and contributions to the Lacken Community Development Association. The association is doing sterling work to get the community centre up and running but would still welcome from the Lacken diaspora. They can be contacted atlackencomdev@gmail.com

      Since 2010 KnockanStockan produced a series of compilation CDs. The first in the series featured music from Enemies, The Hot Sprockets and Spook of the thirteenth lock. The CD was on sale for €9.99 from the online 'knockanshop' along with various other merchandise and memorabilia.

       Long may KnockanStockan live.

       Dublin playwright ,Eddie Naughton, has written a dramatic fascinating two-act monologue play “Inishfallen Fare Thee Well,” which captures Sean O’Casey’s early life in poverty driven Dublin where he survived near blindness, deprivation and the political turmoil. The play opened on 08th August in the New Theatre, in Dublin. O'Casey is played to perfection by Ronan Wilmot. He mightn’t be impressed with my saying that he makes the perfect 78 year-old O'Casey, but he does. Ronan has played parts in many O'Casey plays at home and abroad. In 1980, with the Royal Shakespeare Company he was in Juno and the Paycock and Judy Dench was playing the principal role. Before curtain up in the New Theatre he got a message from Dame Dench which read, “ . . . If I was not just about to start filming, I would come over to see you. I know you will be wonderful, as always.” Inishfallen Fare Thee Well” is ninety minutes of, faultless, theatre magic and is available to tour in Ireland and abroad. Ronan Wilmot may be contacted at: ronanwilmot@gmail.com; Ph: 00 353 1 6794336; Cell phone: 00 353 86 8671405.

      If you are of a certain age you will have a yearning for old films, to try and re-capture your youth. You may have difficulty finding them on DVD. The following is a short list of some of them available from Christopher Smedley at Vicpine: www.vicpine.co.uk
  • The Plough and the Stars (1936)
  • Shake Hands With The Devil (1959)
  • The Search for Bridey Murphy (1956)
  • The Railway Station Man (1992)
  • The Country Girls (1984)

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Consider This

TTH


       “The Thundering Herd,” was a phrase started by author Zane Grey (or Gray, no one seems to know for sure) as one of his book’s titles referring to buffalo herd noise, and also used as a football phrase back in the day. In my life however, it applies to our children and grandchildren. When they’re in our home. And they are. A lot. OMG.

      Be honest here folks. The Gloriosky Maine Summer is getting a little old, am I right? I mean in terms of the visiting jackals. We all love summer, yearn for it, relish and wallow in it, dream about it, make paintings of it, play in it, and yet as September slides way too slowly toward us, we’re not awfully overwhelmed with sadness that summer is ending, am I right? School will soon be starting and we really all should bow down secretly in worship to the person who invented it. Don’t deny it. Let’s all offer up thanks to the one who proclaimed that summer should end and school should start around Labor Day. Enough already.

      In our family, someone sneaked growing pills into the diets of all the pregnant ladies. Our three sons are all over 6 ft. tall but they somehow have managed to create giants. One young grandson is 6’ 6” and his sister is going to be close to six feet. Two nieces are 6’ tall and their brother is 6’5”. Another teen-aged grandson is 6’ 6” and his sister is 6’ at 14. Another boy at 14 has job security as a pro wrestler if he decides to go that route. This kid is a house! The earth moves when he strolls. Another girl at 16 is 5’10” and growing, and is working toward being an actress. Another is well on her way to “eating soup off our heads,” as the French say.

       I have no idea which or what genes went awry in all this procreation stuff. Our sons were a healthy 9 lbs. at birth, Mongo is 6’ 3”, well he was when we met in 1957, I used to be 5’5” and am a study in stubbiness--- too short arms, legs, neck, ditto my parents, so where did all these multiple inched offspring come from? But my point is that schools will soon be in session and while I love having The Thundering Herd (of giants) in our home, (henceforth to be called TTH) eating like starving wolves, stripping our cupboards bare, increasing our water bill by 100%, borrowing the car and always saying, “ooops, I forgot to put gas in it, sorry---“ when they return the keys which they don’t, stomping about like two legged tsunamis, leaving their size 18 shoes in every pathway in our home, always needing money, staring constantly at their electronic gadgets even when I have made it a strict rule they park them at the door, (they don’t,) constantly starting every bellow with “Hey Gramma, do you know where my XXXs are?” (even when I do, I refuse to help), dropping small wads of food as they traverse through the house in case they forget to find their ways back to the kitchen, and the list goes on, hey, I won’t cry when they leave. I shall exhale. I love TTH, truly I do, deeply, dearly and forever, but even though I tell them Hawaii is nice this time of year, so’s Alaska, Paris and Bermuda, they keep coming back to Maine absolutely all the time, all months of the year. We must be doing something right. Or wrong.

       Someday TTH will all go off to college and then I’ll be really sorry. Or maybe not, because I’m pretty sure they’ll all come thundering back over vacations. So folks, I really think we should all bow down and give thanks to the School gods, because TTH will soon go there in the mornings, and we can enjoy the last of summer days in our quiet homes, at least until 3 or 4 PM. What’s your TH doing these days? Hang in there, folks, stay strong. It’s almost September.

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Night Breeze

 
The night breeze across my skin
Tells me through my pores
I am a part of this,

I’m made of star stuff,
Like the stars above my head
Still here after a billion years,

Still here and feeling,
Feeling what it means
To be alive.

©2016 John I. Blair

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Twilight in Kentucky

 
(Glensboro, Kentucky)
 
I've been watching purple twilight,
     Slip across Kentucky hills--
Quietly drop its mantle o'er each golden beam
     Straying from the lazy nodding sun,
Fast sinking in the west, Who, tho' King of day--
     Now only longs for dreams.

As the moments pass, my valley
     Gathers shadows--but their hues
Are so soft and peace invoking, that still
     Their quiet life scene lets us marvel
At their power to sooth all strife,
     For the twilight moves according to God's will.

Choosing colors, blending, flitting,
     Touching here--then on they move.
Even ripples of Salt River murmur low,
     And as the stars in shining, Cast tranquility o'er all,
I feel love sublime within me overflow.

©July 1946 Linnie Jane Joslin Burks

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Halfmoon Tonight

 
Halfmoon tonight,
       Overhead, bright.

If we hadn’t scanned one
       Every fourteen days

Since time began
       And far beyond

We’d be amazed
       At such a sight.

©2016 John I. Blair

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Part of the Plan


Be part of the plan
Take what you can
Leave the rest for us all
Pardon the call

Reach for the sky
Tell me don’t cry
It’s never too late
Testing ones fate

Be a part of the game
Take the lead in the blame
Turn the energy upside down
When holidays roll around

This is the most I can do
Can’t change your point of view
Try the motion and say it loud
We are all just smell specs in the crowd

Be a part of the plan
Take a lady by the hand
Leave the rest for us all
Shake yourself off after you fall

©8/25/16 Bruce Clifford

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Watching

 
My house has thirteen windows:
When I’m home they are my eyes
Onto the world.

Each has a view that is unique,
Some a wide and open vision,
Some always blocked by blinds.

Several show me beauty every day;
With the blinded ones I have to guess
What I am missing.

I ask myself, is this
An image of my life?

©2016 John I. Blair

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Scottie Ann


Scottie, you were so happy,
     So laughing and so gay;
As you danced through this earthly life,
     Each year, each week, each day

No one was a better friend,
     None more loyal than you;
You deserve the golden home above
     Where no one is ever blue.

Your soul has left with ringing steps
     And started up the shining stair
To join with the others gone before
     To take your place in your special chair.

Cradled in your Father's arms
     You'll not remember cold or fear;
Clasped in the circled warmth
     You'll never drop another tear.

So, laugh and rejoice
     As Scottie would have done
She has the greatest dream of joy
     And sorrow she has none.

©Mid 50's Noralee Carroll Crowson

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Fennel

 
Fennel is the finest herb
To plant I think.

Its leaves feed caterpillars
That grow to gorgeous butterflies.

Its flowers exude sweet nectar
For hummingbirds and bees.

And when the flowers wilt
Chickadees gulp the ripe seeds.

With all that going on
The fact it’s also beautiful
Seems almost redundant.

©2016 John I. Blair

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There is No End


I'm crying, Tears of Happiness
I'm trying, to Be my Best
the Best of Me, is yet, to Be
the Rest of Me, can wait, and see

Tho, Who will See,
when I am gone ?
and all that's left
is this old Song

All you can Hear,
and All you hold Dear
is passing you by,
when you say Goodbye

It's never Goodbye,
it's Always Hello
Are ya Goin..?..
Hell, No

Everything changes,
What's Less, is More
Forever a Challenge,
it's never a Chore.

the prophets of Doom,
will Kill you,
though you won't Know
till you Face Them

yes Them,
there's more than One of them
we're not One, we're Many,
Pick, or Choose, take Any

One you Like,
and some, you Hate
and all you Know,
is learned too Late

Or, is it all,
in Preparation
for someone's call,
or Incarnation

You won't know what Help is,
till you really Need it,
and there's None, to Give
and No-one left, to Receive it

They are all dead,
and gone away
all in your Head
and out of your Way

There is no End,
just new beginnings,
don't go with the Trend
just keep singing

For, it's not for You, to learn the Words,
it's for You, to write your Own
You'll learn Nothing,
from a Book,
and whole Lifetime,
from one single Look
a single glance, will tell you
all there is to Know

we sing of Romance,
though it's sadness, we Dance,
when our Heart's on show
and when the show is over,
the dancing, is all done..

You're the Last one standing
everyone's gone Home
That's where their Heart is,
it isn't Here,
Home is where your Heart bleeds to be,
Home, is where your Need will Be.

©2016 Phillip Hennessy

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At The Top

 
I use to think if I tried hard enough, I'd make it to the top
I went as far as I could, but then I had to stop
It wasn't important that I get there, just important that I try
Nobody had to know the reasons, or even wonder why
 
Even though I never reached the top, it just couldn't be
I knew I was already at the top, just by being me
Some people think it's best to be at the top
While others are below, doing the bunny hop

I flow with my thoughts, and where I need to be
Guiding spirits opening my eyes to what I need to see
They guide me, on what it is I should do
These are the thoughts, that speak to your heart true

Listen to them, they'll never guide you wrong
Touching you, like a well performed song
Many times, the timing is the key
It's the “when,” on where you need to be

At the top, wasn't mean't for me
Other places, are where I needed to be
So on the level, in the areas of the heart
I am at the very top, when I am doing my part
©July 29, 2016 Bud Lemire
                        Author Note:
Just because I didn't make it to the top, doesn't
mean I didn't try. I gave it my best, and in the
end, I realized, being at the top didn't matter at
all. Because, I was already there, because with
everything I do, I always give it my best.

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Some Day

Some day
All that I’ll have left to say
Is babblings of a broken mind.

When that hour comes, I swear,
I will still speak with all the power
My broken mind can find.

©2016 John I. Blair

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Wrong

 
How many skirmishes
Can we win while still the war
Is lost in every generation
Before we realize we’re wrong?

Not wrong in what we hold dear
If that is charity, peace, love;
But what we value in the moment –
“Honor”, “victory,” “valor”, “pride”.

©2016 John I. Blair

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No Place For Children

 
What kind of view of the world are we leaving behind
This is not the right place or the right time

How could this be a world where the children could never run free
Look at what’s going on, they can see it all on TV
I don’t see an escape or any place to hide away
It’s not a game

What are we doing this for if everyone can see
We’re not gaining ground if everyone believes in the fights that ensue
The war of words and the walls between me and you
Without a clue

How can they appreciate this when only crumbs are left
It’s a conduct of indifference shrouded in between regrets
Freezing out this vacant space between the falsehoods of each side
Run and hide

©8/8/16 Bruce Clifford

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New Comic Book Format and Heroes


      Art Greenhaw, well known for his long time association and participation with the Light Crust Doughboys*, the longest continuous performing country music band, has authored a new comic book "God's Silver Soldiers." Above pic, courtesy of Art Greenhaw, shows him presenting Governor Abbott an art panel from the book showing the character Art says was inspired by the Governor's wife, Cecilia. He explained, "She's the first Mexican-American First Lady since the Republic days of Texas and is very active in the pro-life movement."

*The Light Crust Doughboys
will be appearing during the final eight days
at the State Fair of Texas!
You can find them on Nimitz Drive
beside the Creative Arts building
at the Dr Pepper Stage.

      Art and his long time friend Stan Lee, the Marvel Comics legend, have tossed around the idea of a faith-based comic book since the 1990's. After taking the leap this year to begin the dream, Art was able to show the concept to Lee when he was in the Dallas area for the recent 2016 Dallas Fan Expo. Greenhaw credits Lee with inspiring him to create "God's Silver Soldiers."

      The oversize format is Greenhaw's innovation to offer readers with eyesight issues the ability to read the words. This should help many to enjoy the new series, including the elderly.

Others who Greenhaw says have made this possible are Forney-based comic book illustrator Ben Dunn and his wife, Rebecca, daughter of an evangelical Methodist minister from whom Greenhaw grew up learning. The full size comic book like an art book is produced by Comic-Con International and scheduled to debut in August at the big San Diego event. Dunn, who illustrated the “God’s Silver Soldiers” original issue, will be there to sign and sell the books.

      Greenhaw notified Pencil Stubs Online that fans can order the comic book from the new website www.godssilversoldiers.com which is up and running.

      Greenhaw, a Grammy winner for his music, has also produced an album to go along with the comic book. Though there is currently a limited supply, he is taking orders by email.

      Area media has been very supportive carrying interviews with Greenhaw and pictures to herald the new publication. Here are some links for more information:

      Superheroes in Mesquite News

      Mesquite Grammy Winner turns Comic Book Author
   
      Texas newspaper group article, GOD'S SILVER SOLDIERS

      Eedition: Page A02 Starlocalmedia.com
 
      Credits for info and quotes:
starlocalmedia.com
624 Krona Drive
Plano, TX 75074
Phone: 972-398-4200
Email: editorial@starlocalmedia.com
Edited and compiled by Mary E. Adair

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The First VJ Day

(Originally published in Hobbie$, Etc., September 1995)

      This is a mild September day in 1945, but sirens are screaming. Mother stands bent over with one ear near the cloth-covered speaker in the base of the more-pretty-than-useful radio. She frantically spins the dial, searching through the static for a legible announcement, or warning, or explanation -- to tell us if we are to do anything.

      I listen, terrified while exciting pictures of newsreels of blockbuster bombs falling from planes flash through my mind. Are we being bombed? Maybe the target is the nearby airfield -- maybe my school! I love my school, my friends, my teacher . . . Heaven forbid that it should be my school about to explode into dust and rubble!

       Suddenly, Mama stands upright, then bracing her hand on the curved and polished wood of the waist-high console, she beams, "Oh! Thank God, Girls, thank God! What we've all been longing for has happened -- the War is over! Oh! Thank God! I wonder if your Daddy has heard yet. I must call Mother. Now your Uncle Jackie can come home!"

      "Is the War really, really-truly over, Mama? Can we tell Billy?"

      "Tell the world, Girls, tell the world!" Mother heads for the phone planning to get her call in before all the lines are jammed, and declares aloud that she hopes she gets a good operator she likes so they can discuss this wondrous news while waiting for the call to grandmother to reach all the way to Missouri.

      Gleefully, we girls, my two sisters and I, run out to the green, grassy, front yard. Here comes Billy, shouting our news -- he always knows everything first! I grab his hand, and we join hands with my sisters, the four of us skipping in a circle in the bright sunshine, chanting, "The War is over! The War is over, and tomorrow we get our bicycles!"

      We had saved our allowances, for the most part, fed by the promise that when the war was over we should have our money all ready for the dreamed- about-bicycles. I knew what my bike would be -- a powder blue girl's Schwinn!

      I had already named this dream. I, who had outgrown dolls and naming them, had a tom-boy's idea of what this bike would mean in my life. The "Blue Devil" was going to be mine because God (who my mother was still thanking, her voice flowing through the open window) had seen fit to end the War!

      The guys, Billy and the others, all came to play in our yard -- where Daddy Jack had built pipe-iron swing sets with trampolines and trapeze bars and strong swings with chain supports right next to the ten foot square sandpile furnished with sand from the dunes east of town. These boys would have to let me now. Yes, the guys would have to let me join their gang once I had my own bike.

      (Editor's note: They didn't.)

      I blush now to remember that V-J Day, the second of September, 1945, and the selfishness of childhood desires.

      I can still feel the heart-in-the-throat emotion evoked partially by relief that we were not being bombed, but mainly by the misunderstanding that factories could immediately produce and deliver our long anticipated bikes.

      But by the time the plants re-tooled from the manufacture of war supplies and were once more building and selling bicycles, I had shed my tomboy stage, and looked on boys from a far different perspective. I still cherished my powder blue Schwinn, but used it to ride to a girl chum's house to discuss serious subjects like when would we be allowed to start dating, or shaving our legs, etc. ©September 19, 1995 Mary E. Adair

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The Horse of Many Colors


      Once upon a time long ago there lived a little horse. He wasn’t very large, but he was spirited and shiny, all black and beautiful.

      He had been born in a big meadow in the spring six years before and he was happy with his mother as they played and gamboled in the lush grass. In the winters the farmer who owned them put them into a big roomy stall with lots of hay and water and he sometimes took them outside in the snow to give them exercise.

      When the little horse got older he noticed his mother seemed to become wary of him and so did the farmer and they began to back away as he approached them. He didn’t know what was wrong but when he went to the big pond in the meadow to get a drink he noticed his reflection was odd; he didn’t seem to be black and shiny anymore. On that sunny day the horse looking back at him from the pond’s reflection was golden with a creamy white mane and tail. It’s not that he didn’t like what he saw; he just couldn’t understand it. But he tossed his mane, snorted and galloped away toward his mother who surprisingly wheeled away from him. He was sad about that but ate a lot of that good grass and felt better. He heard the farmer leaning on the fence say, “Palomino?” in a questioning way as he stared at the little horse.

      The next day he went to the pond again to drink and this time a pure snow-white horse looked back at him. He jumped away and again ran toward his mother who shied away from him.

      Each day the little horse went to the pond, more and more afraid of what he might see in his reflection. One day he was chestnut brown with white legs and a white stripe from his ears to his nose but he didn’t jerk up and run this time. He stared down at the chestnut colored horse staring back, shook his head, whickered and trotted off.

      The next week he looked into the glimmering pond water and saw a dappled grey horse looking back with a black mane and tail. He tossed his head up, looked across the field at his mother and snorted when she ran off.

      The little horse was beginning to stay thirsty rather than see all those horse colors in the pond’s reflection but eventually he had to go for a drink and again, he saw another horse in the reflection, this time, white and covered with grey spots and he heard the farmer, while scratching his head say, “how did that little guy turn into an Appaloosa overnight?” and he stood still in the sunlight, looked way over at his mother who was backing away, and he saw now the other horses in the field were running away from him also.

      The summer days passed and the little horse became mustard colored with a shiny black name and tail, and then one day he had big brown and white spots and he heard the farmer say the word “Pinto.” What was happening? Why was it happening? He heard the farmer use new words every day as he cantered past; red and silver, roan, paint, dun and blue, and the farmer sounded more and more confused. He also heard the man say words like, “TV” and “movies,” and “the news” and “make a fortune” but he did not know anything about all that.

      The little horse realized he could not please the farmer or even his own mother because he just could not keep his color the way they wanted it or even the way he wanted it so he decided to just forget about the problem and to gallop around the pasture happily and eat a lot of that good thick grass and if people and other horses did not like his looks, it would no longer matter to him. He could only be a little horse. It’s what he was best at. So when he drank every day at the pond he closed his eyes until one day weeks later he did look and he was shiny black again and he stayed that way for the rest of his life, because black, just like all the other colors, is beautiful.

©2016 LC Van Savage

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The Adventures of Ollie-Dare Chp 17

Ollie-Dare Has A Wedding

      The leaves had just begun to turn colors and the Great Forest was alive with nature's Fall beauty. As far as the eye could see were colors of orange, green, yellow, and red frosting the trees. The forest dwellers were busy preparing for a long winter. Nibbles the squirrel could be seen gathering and preparing nuts and berries from the forest. Blossom the Possum could be heard singing as she prepared her dried vegetables and fruits.

      The Fall was a busy and exciting time of year for the forest, with preparing for winter and celebrations. For the Fall was not as much of the ending of Summer but the beginning of new days for the forest. For after winter came Spring and fresh newness, then Summer with all its splendor. But this year there was more activity because Beaver Joes' son was getting married, and all the forest was in a buzz for the upcoming ceremony.

      The Great Lodge had been decorated by Penny the Robin, and Henny the Wren with ribbons and bows. Nibbles had prepared huge trays of berries and nuts. Blossom had large tubs of soups and breads.....from her gardens were flowers dried in the summer sun that were arranged above the doorways and on the tables. Ollie-Dare had just finished looking over the Great lodge, and was so delighted with what he saw. He had prepared his first Wedding speech, and was anxiously waiting his parents and one of the Elders to arrive before the ceremony.

      Just this morning, Jimmy the Rabbit had delivered a new robe, from the Elders, which Ollie-Dare would wear for his first ceremony, and along with it a note of arrival for the three. He had prepared fresh Honey cakes, and tea so that they could have a long lunch and talk. That evening all the forest would gather for a dinner at the Great lodge and the next morning the ceremony would be held just as the sun would rise, then there would be a day of celebration and music within the Forest.

      Ollie-Dare could hear voices as he walked toward his cave, and a smile came upon his face. For there sitting on his porch were his parents and the Eldest Elder. Jimmy was talking fast as ever, and Ace the Coon and Banjo the Fox were serving his visitors with his fresh honey cakes and tea. As he came into sight, Miria could be seen rising with her arms out to greet her son, as Randi watched with a smile.

      Soon everyone went to the Great lodge for the evening meal, that all the creatures had prepared. Tables loaded with soups and dried fruit filled the great Lodge, while in the background, music was softly played by Beaver Joe and his sons. Gifts wrapped with bright ribbons lined one area of the tables, and baskets of food were displayed for the new couple. Ollie-Dares' parents and the Elder were very pleased with the Great Lodge, and the Great Forest.

      Before long it was time for everyone to retire, for the morning was to be a busy one. One by one the forest animals left to prepare for the big Day. Ollie-Dare and his guests walked slowly back to his cave, talking of things from the past and those of the future.

      Ollie-Dare awoke with a start when his mother called from the other room, and he smiled as once again childhood memories of his mother's voice filled his thoughts. Ollie-Dare arose and joined his parents and the Elder for fresh tea and muffins, and spoke of the upcoming wedding, and his first ceremony.

      Ollie-Dare was dressed in the robe that had been sent, and on his head he wore a golden cap that his parents had given him. His robe was brown and went to just above his ankles, lined with gold felt, and embroidered with golden thread, he looked very regal. Miria was so moved that tears began to form until Ollie-Dare jokingly asked her if she was getting a cold. They prepared for the walk to the Great lodge, but before going, all gathered in a moment of prayer that this day would be as it should be.

      As they made their way to the lodge, they met many of the creatures of the forest all clothed in their finest. Nibbles had on her very best dress that Blossom had made for her from Max's gifts. Blossom herself had a new dress and a very large hat, decorated with flowers. She carried a large basket of flowers that she gave out as she walked along for those that needed one to pin on their lapel, or in their hair.

      Penny and Henny had stationed themselves at the top of the main doorway with flower petals that were to be dropped as the couple arrived. Wood Chuck, and Shantey the Groundhog were stationed at the door to seat each guest, and Jimmy the Rabbit, as best man, stood in front waiting. Ace and Banjo were busy making sure the refreshment tables were in order and ready. All was well and as Ollie-Dare took his place at the front, all gave thanks for such a wonderful day. The music began as Billy the groom entered and took his place, and then watched as his bride dressed in white satin and pearls walked forward. Trailing behind her, the families entered.

      Ollie-Dare began the ceremony as Billy and Anna joined hands. As Ollie-Dare pronounced them husband and wife, cheers went up and the quiet left the Great lodge. Music began playing and, as everyone lined the walls to watch, the happy couple danced the first dance of marriage.

      On into the day dancing and laughter could be heard within the forest walls, and as the sun set the couple left to begin life in their new home. All the forest creatures carrying gifts and baskets of the food, walked behind the couple as they prepared for a new life. Ollie-Dare walked and thought of this grand day, and how blessed he was in his forest. Miria and Randi would leave for home on the morning, and though he would miss his beloved parents, he was happy here in his Great Forest.

      As he said his good-byes the next morning, he was reminded that the things so important in life were never paid for with money, but earned with care and love. They were gathered as fruits of life to be cherished and held close to one's heart.
©2002 Rebecca Morris
This concludes the re-publication of the children's serialized story, "The Adventures of Ollie-Dare"

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