Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Editor's Corner


July 2020

"Hot July brings cooling showers,
Apricots and gillyflowers."

--Sara Coleridge, Pretty Lessons in Verse.
One cannot but be amazed at the diversity among people when it comes to abiding by or even listening to the warnings and suggestions for personal and family safety in the face of this virus, which indeed some even deny exists. Please err on the side of carefulness and regard reports carefully for the source of the info they give. One must be aware that there is a great deal of "fake news" being touted and circulated, some by good people who think it is valid; some by pranksters who think it is funny to fool people. The old adage, "Better Safe than Sorry," is bramd new with today's fears.

Getting right to it, columns for this issue are: "Consider This," by LC Van Savage; "Cooking with Rod" by Rod Cohenour; "Introspective" by Thomas F. O'Niell; "View from My Back Steps" by John I. Blair; "Sifoddling Along" by Marilyn Carnell; "Armchair Genealogy" by Melinda Cohenour; "Irish Eyes" by Mattie Lennon; and "On Trek" by Judith Kroll aka Featherwind.

Phillip Hennessy's poem for July is "It's Hard to Love Someone;" John I. Blair's two are: "Cat Behind Glass" and "How Often." Bruce Clifford's two are: "Each Word in a Song" and "Sailboat Lake."

Bud Lemire's five poems are "New Awareness," "Spring into Summer," "The Traveler on a Bike," "A Seagull's Flight," and "Peeking Around Corners."

Here we are, Mike, at the end of June and presenting the July issue despite extreme triple digit weather most of the month. Once again I must declare how grateful I am for your expertise as well as your friendship and support in this endeavor.

See you in August.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
This issue appears in the ezine at and also in the blog with the capability of adding comments at the latter.

Armchair Genealogy


William Henry Joslin,
a Look At His Life and Times

      Growing up, I was regaled with tales of family, tidbits that seemed to enrich my understanding of how important family is to all its members. My mother was raised in a home filled with boys – her brothers, her cousins who had lost their parents and come to live with their Joslin grandparents, her uncle, father, and their friends and neighbors. By contrast, my father was an only child, tossed about in his early years until his maternal grandmother and her husband brought him to their farm and provided nurture, comfort, love, security and his own sense of the value of family. DaddyJack learned to love my mother’s parents deeply and enjoyed the camaraderie the full house provided. He made us smile as he, fondly, recounted his first venture to MomMay’s farm with the intent of courting her. We were watching Hee Haw, a favored comedy show at the time and DaddyJack started laughing. His laugh was a thing of wonder – a deep, rumbling, rich belly laugh that made everyone around him want to join in his glee. He said, “You know, those Joslin boys were all BIG men. Each about 6 foot or more, and none were lacking for girth. They all had a hound dog and everyone of them carried their own long rifle. Can you imagine my quaking knees as I ventured forth, intent upon my goal of a proper courting of a very proper beautiful young lady. As I trod the dirt path to the farm, from every field, every tree, behind every rock, I saw Joslin Boys, eying me warily. Believe me, it was true love that kept me on that path!”
Genealogical Profile:

      William Henry Joslin was born 11 April 1837 in Kane County, Illinois. The Joslin land patents indicate all lived in Burlington. His parents were William Riley Joslin and wife, Eunice Evans. My grandfather, James Arthur Joslin, always recounted his father was “William Henry Joslin, son of William, son of William.” The third, eldest, of that trio is our elusive and charming William “P. R.” Joslyn, whose initials (by which he was frequently called) have evaded decoding. Could it have been Papa Riley since the son was Riley? Perhaps Preacher Riley? Could it indicate another given name? Many parents bequeath their children with multiple given names. Could it be … William Paul Riley Joslyn? WHAT?

      The entry of the Joslyn family to Burlington, Kane County, Illinois, sparked quite a bit of intrigue – so much so it has been recorded in more than one History of Kane County Illinois. First a bit of history:

      According to "History of Kane County (IL) by R. Waite Joslyn & Frank W. Joslyn, 1908", P. R. Joselyn (sp) arrived in 1836, among the first people to occupy what would become the township of Burlington, Kane County, IL. He was followed in the year 1837 by his son Riley. A narrative text of the history of that county contains the following: *1835: Stephen Van Velzer claimed nearly the whole township. Settlers who followed were forced to buy land from him or face controversy.

      “P. R. Joslyn, a kind of migratory character, but a good man withal, settled in the town in the early part of 1836. He was originally from New Jersey, but had lived in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. From the latter state he came to Burlington. He had some difficulty with Van Velzer, in regard to his claim, who attempted to collect a sum of money from him as a bonus for the privilege of settling on it. Upon inquiry, he learned that Van Velzer had no just grounds for such demands, and so he settled upon the claim selected, in open defiance of him. His son, Riley Joslyn, came the next season, and took up a claim in the township.” SOURCE: History of Kane County Illinois: The Past and Present of Kane County, Illinois, 1878.

      The Joslin clan immersed themselves in local politics in each of the areas to which they migrated. They bought goods in auctions which also left a paper trail. There were also some intriguing little mysteries, such as the one your author found years ago regarding the Brick Wall master, P. R. Joslyn. It is known William Henry named his first-born son, Marion Alonzo. In one of my searches I found a listing for “the estate of P R Joslyn”. Immediately, located a genealogical inquiry site for that area and posted the following:
SOURCE: Name: Melinda Carroll (Joslin, maternal side) Cohenour Date:2001-09-09Herk/Mont Surnames Joslyn, Joslin, Clapsaddle Herk/Mont Towns Frankfort Special Topic Interests Genealogical Data Comments:
“My g-g-g-grandfather, P. R. Joslyn had an estate in Frankfort, Herkimer County, NY, that was mentioned in a Directory for that town in 1869 / 1870. In that timeframe, an Alonzo Joslyn was noted as the "farmer and overseer of the late P. R. Joslyn's estate." We have not been able to establish the familial relationship between P. R. and Alonzo.

P. R. Joslyn moved out of Frankfort at a date unknown and arrived in Kane County, Illinois in 1836, as noted in the "History of Kane County" published in 1908 by R. Waite Joslyn & Frank W. Joslyn. He was one of the early settlers in Kane County, Illinois, and one of the first of those settlers to die, in 1846 or '47 after occupying his homestead for a decade. He was followed to Kane County, IL, in 1837 by his son, Riley (James Riley Joslin). No record of Riley being in Frankfort, however, has been uncovered.
Our research into Alonzo Joslyn's family indicates a Gertrude Clapsaddle (Cattrout Klepsattle) married Andrew Joselyn in 1815. This Gertrude M. is shown to be in the household of Alonzo Joslin at a later date. We believe her to have been Alonzo's mother, Andrew Joselyn, his father. A record of this marriage made by the Reformed Church, Herkimer, 1815 - 1816, shows Andrew to be a son of Silvester (of German Flats) and Gertrude to be a daughter of Andreas Clepsattle. This record also lists Wilvester (sic) Joslin and Bolly Shoemaker, as witnesses. In the record for this church made in 1819-1820, Sylvester Joslin (son of the late Sylvester of German Flats) is shown to have married Elisabeth Steel, daughter of Nicholas. This marriage was witnessed by Rudolph J. Shoemaker and Thomas B. Gillespie. We then have Silvester's son, Hiram, marrying Elisabeth Helmer, daughter of Henry F. No witnesses are listed. If you have information, please correspond with me.
P. R. 's son, James Riley Joslin who (note the spelling change) married Eunice Evans and fathered William Henry Joslin (married 3 times, last to Malinda Ellen Bullard) and fathered James Arthur Joslin, my mother's father. Family lore indicates this branch was in NJ, NY, IL (Kane County, where PR died in 1846 / 1847), IND, OH, (Shelbyville), PA, and MO.
Any information you may have would be appreciated.”

      Could this be a relative, as yet unidentified, and the person for whom Marion Alonzo was named? Further research, obviously, is needed.

      The Joslin clan remained in Kane County, Illinois until the year following William P. R.’s death when a general group migration brought them into Missouri. We know of the year of P R’s death again by virtue of the excellent historical records maintained by R. Waite and Frank W. Joslyn:

       “THE FIRST DEATH: Each moment in dying bears with it a dead human being, flowers perish and spring again, suns set at eave and rise again in the East, but the dead render not up their dead to mortal eyes. Death, the grand leveller of human greatness and human ambition, entered the infant settlement at an early period of its existence. Van Velzer's wife was the first victim of the grim tyrant. She died in 1837 and was buried amid the wildflowers of her prairie home. A native of the sunny South, her tender frame was unable to withstand the fierce winds of a colder clime. Others of the early settlers in time followed her to the better land. Joslyn, perhaps, was one of the first, and died about 1846-7. Stephen Godfrey died on his original claim in 1857, and Holden in 1875. VanVelzer sold out and moved into DeKalb County, where he died about the year 1867.”

       We can place the approximate year of their move to Missouri by the Census records which indicate year and PLACE of birth for household members. William Henry’s sister, Sarah A. was born in Illinois in 1844. His brother, Harvey E. was born in 1847 in Missouri. This agrees with the family choosing to make their move following the death of their father in the timeframe 1846-1847.

      The US Federal Census enumerated 7 Nov 1850 for District 64, Nodaway, Missouri, lists the following household: Riley Joslin 55, Eunice Joslin 45, Johnathan C Joslin 15, William H Joslin 13, Leonard M Joslin 9, Sarah A Joslin 5, and Harvey E Joslin 3. Our William Henry is a strapping young man of 13. Shortly before this Census, we learn of a momentous event in his life. (NOTE: the handwritten note below indicates his age to have been 18 when this trip was made; however, records show the trip had to have been undertaken in early 1850 for the death information in May of 1850 for Rhoda Orvis Joslin research discovered to validate the tale.)

      When William Henry was eighteen years old and living in North Missouri, he started to California in the Gold Rush with his uncle and family. They all got sick out on the Plains with cholera and turned back to Missouri. The entire family died, except for William Henry and a small girl, Mary, four years old. Later, she became Mary Schooley. He returned the four-year-old girl to another uncle in Nodaway County, Josiah Joslin, who took her and cared for her. She lived with another uncle (Josiah Joslin) until she was older. Grandpa wouldn't talk about this very much. SOURCE: Family History Notebook maintained by Carrie Bullard Joslin; this entry dated 1946.

      Research into this event may lead to an understanding of the apparent (not proven nor spoken of) alienation of the family of Josiah Joslin, uncle to William Henry and a brother to Riley Joslin. No records of letters, family get-togethers, or other events show Riley and Josiah to have been close. They lived not that distant albeit travel was not undertaken lightly in those days. It has been suggested they were half-brothers, Riley and Josiah, born to two different wives of P. R. and young Jonathan (the ill-fated uncle to William Henry whose wife, and other family members contracted cholera on that trip to find their fortunes) was a full brother to Josiah. (This has not been confirmed.) Taken from more of my notes and compiled research is the following:

       Jonathan Joslin was born circa 1818 in OH and died 1851 in Andrew Co., MO. Jonathan married Rhoda Orvis July 3, 1845 Kane Co., IL. Rhoda died in May of 1850 Andrew Co., MO. [One of the more tragic tales in our lines' history. Jonathan, his young wife Rhoda, her younger brother, our great-grandfather, William Henry, and others joined a wagon train headed to California during the Gold Rush. The wagon train chanced upon tainted water, it is believed, for most contracted cholera on the Plains. Whatever the disease, Rhoda succumbed early, and Jonathan died after a lingering illness. Their little daughter, Mary Elvira Rhody Eliza (think I have the order of the names correct) Joslin -- later known as Mary Schooley, and our great-grandfather, William Henry, are believed to have been the only ones who survived. Family history notes that William Henry brought the little girl to his Uncle Josiah who, with his wife, Peggy Carnahan Joslin, raised the child as their own. Rhoda Orvis Joslin's death is listed in the Mortality Schedules for that county in 1850. Jonathan died in 1851, I believe.]

      From Wikipedia, we find the following: During the California Gold Rush, cholera was transmitted along the California, Mormon and Oregon Trails as 6,000 to 12,000 are believed to have died on their way to Utah and Oregon in the cholera years of 1849–1855. SOURCE: Rosenberg, Charles E. (1987). The Cholera Years: The United States in 1832, 1849, and 1866. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-72677-9.

      At any rate, this works to provide us with an intimate look at the life our ancestors led. The hopes and dreams and the heartbreaks they suffered along the way.

      Before his marriage, William Henry chose to enlist in the Union army. He served a full three years with the 33rd Regiment of Missouri Infantry. Again, we have both notes from our grandmother, Carrie, the early family historian as well as confirming public records to confirm his service. (Please see below for the separate documentation for his Regiment’s participation in the War.)

      William Henry joined the Northern Army in the Civil War from Nodaway County, Missouri, and served the entire four years under General A. J. Smith. When the War closed, he returned to North Missouri for a short time and then came to Jasper County, Missouri, where he met and married Sarah Jane Godwin in Carthage in 1866. They lived in Jasper and Lawrence Counties for about eight years and then moved to McDonald County. They both lived near Pineville until their death. [These notes were taken from the family notebook of Carrie Joslin in 1946.]

      Any time we discuss family historians, we cannot ignore the tremendous contribution to our knowledge furnished by Aunt Linnie Jane Joslin Burks. Here is one of her notes: When the Civil War came, William H. enlisted and fought four years in the Union Army. Some of his friends were from Joplin area, so he came back to South Missouri to find work. One of his friends was from Louisiana. He played a flute during the war. When they parted, he gave his flute to his friend, William H. Joslin. I still have the flute and have heard this story many times.

      This flute, along with all of Aunt Linnie Jane’s records, were to be handed down to your author. However, sadly, Uncle Edgar became unable to continue to live separately and it is believed my cousin, Alice Anne decided to donate the boxed materials to the library. At any rate, none of the treasures ended up in my possession. Alice Anne had devoted her life to library service, becoming the head of the Regional Library in Jefferson City.

      Additionally, among some documents handed down by Carrie Bullard Joslin, was a handwritten note appended to an enlistment form, together photocopied to become one document, that showed William Henry actually enlisted TWICE, records confirming that are shown below:

       Handwritten note indicates "William H. Joslin, son of James Riley Joslin, Enlisted Twice". A second form copied onto the same sheet reads as follows:] "William H. Joslin, aged 24, Rank Private, Company F, Captain Carr. Enlisted August 12, 1862, St. Joseph, Missouri. Mustered in, September 3, 1862, at B. Brks., Mo. Mustered out: August 10, 1865 at Benton Barracks, Mo."

      Unknown book, page 458 of Civil War data shows: "William H. Joslin, Company C. Cranor's 6th Regiment, Six Months’ MSM, Company F, 33rd Infantry Volunteer. Cranor 6th, Six Months Militia Mounted Volunteers, Private Rank, Company C, Captain Henry A. Fox, Enlisted and was mustered in St. Joseph, Missouri, on September 19, 1861. Mustered out February 13, 1862."
"William H. Joslin, Private, of Captain Edgar L. Allen's Company F, 33rd Regiment of Missouri Infantry volunteered. Enrolled 12 August 1862 to serve three years or duration of War, is discharged 10 August 1865, at Benton Barracks, Missouri, Andrew County. William H. Joslin, born in Rains County, Illinois, is twenty-four years of age, 5 foot 11 and one-half inches." [Army discharge record of W.H. Joslin.]

      This dedication to the preservation of the union of the United States leads into one of our family’s favorite stories. My mother’s paternal grandfather was William Henry Joslin. Her maternal grandfather was William Henry Bullard. (Her favorite uncle, “Uncle Doctor”, was William Henry Horton – but that is another story.) William Henry Bullard served in the Confederate Army. The two would later settle in McDonald County, Missouri, meet and marry their spouses – only to have their children meet and decide to marry! It has oft been said, family reunions at the Joslin-Bullard farm were like reliving the War. Bullard, auburn haired, blue eyed, Baptist, Democrat, Confederate. Joslin, black haired, blue eyed, Methodist, Republican, Union. Oh, my, my, my. To have been a fly on the wall.

      Great-grandfather William Henry continued to be involved in the betterment of his community. He was called Squire Joslin, was a Justice of the Peace (in 1909, at the age of 72, he resigned this position), held a number of elected positions on various boards and committees, he was elected President of the local school board, President of the Soldiers of the Olive and Grey, and was extremely active in every pursuit. From one of local newspaper entries, we find a typical story:

      PINEVILLE HERALD, Pineville Mo., October 13, 1905: The first annual reunion of the Soldiers of the Olive and Grey held at this place occurred last Saturday. While the attendance was not great, it was fair considering the short notices given. Several short and appropriate speeches were made, and all present seemed to enjoy the occasion. Officers elected for the next year for the organization of a reunion of the Olive and Grey are W. H. Joslin, President; J. N. Taylor, Vice President; Judge J. P. Caldwell, Secretary; and George W. Coombes, Treasurer.

      From about 1905 until his death in 1921, news stories relate several incidents where Squire Joslin had another bout with illness. Even so, he lived to experience the early deaths of more of his children. Both sons, Marion and Ora predeceased him. Ora passed away in 1914, Marion Alonzo in 1915. Those were hard blows.

      At the end, lobar pneumonia was the great leveler, coming on the heels of his being bedridden with inflammation of his gall bladder. The obituary posted for Great-Grandfather William Henry Joslin:

      PINEVILLE HERALD, Pineville Mo., April 1, 1921: Death of William Henry Joslin. William Henry Joslin, almost 84 years of age, passed away at his home in Pineville, at 3:30 o'clock Tuesday morning, March 29, 1921. His death was due to inflammation of gall bladder, he being confined to his bed less than three days. Mr. Joslin was born in Cane [Kane] County, Illinois, April 11, 1837. At the outlet of the Civil War, he aligned with the Union Army and served with it until the war's close. He later came to Jasper County, Mo. where he was married in 1866 to Miss Sarah J. Godwin. They moved to McDonald County in July 1872, and located 2 miles west of Pineville about 8 years ago. To this union were born seven children, Marion A., Ora F., James A., Edgar L., Belle, Pearl, and Ira L. one of whom survive, James A. Mr. Joslin has been a member of the Baptist Church since 1881. He enjoyed the confidence and esteem of all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance. A wife, one son, 19 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren remain to mourn his death. The funeral was held at the home Wednesday afternoon, conducted by Rev. M.G. Elliff. Burial was in the Pineville Cemetery.


Gravestone-William Henry Joslin 1837-1921

      Thankfully, a photograph was taken of “Papa” with his beloved granddaughter, Lena May Joslin. She was born in 1918, and it appears she was about two or, maybe, even three when the picture was taken. It is the only known photograph we have of William Henry Joslin.

Papa-William Henry Joslin-and Lenamay 17 Jun 1920

Additional Info

Joslin, William H:
Side: Union
Location: Missouri
Battle Unit: 33rd Regiment, Missouri Infantry
Function: Infantry
33rd Regiment, Missouri Infantry
Organized at Benton Barracks, Mo., August 29-September 5, 1862. Attached to District of St. Louis, Mo., Dept. of Missouri, to December, 1862. 1st Brigade, 13th Division, 13th Army Corps, Dept. of the Tennessee, to February, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 13th Division, 13th Army Corps, to July, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 13th Division, 16th Army Corps, to August, 1863. Garrison, Helena, Ark., Army of Arkansas, to January, 1864. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, 16th Army Corps, Army of the Tennessee, January, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 16th Army Corps, to March, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 16th Army Corps, Dept. of the Gulf, to June, 1864, and Dept. of the Tennessee, to December, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division (Detachment), Army Tennessee, Dept. of the Cumberland, to February, 1865. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 16th Army Corps (New), Military Division West Mississippi, to August, 1865.
Ordered to the field in Missouri September 22, 1862, and operations in Phelps, Dent, Texas and Wright Counties till December 19. Moved to St. Louis, thence to Columbus, Ky., December 19-25, thence to Helena, Ark., January 5, 1863. Expedition to Duvall's Bluff, Ark., January 16-20. Expedition to Yazoo Pass, and operations against Fort Pemberton and Greenwood February 24-April 8. Garrison duty at Helena, Ark., till January 28, 1864. Repulse of Holmes' attack on Helena July 4, 1863. Ordered to Vicksburg, Miss., January 28, 1864. Meridian Campaign February 3-March 2. Red River Campaign March 10-May 22. Fort DeRussy March 14. Occupation of Alexandria March 16. Henderson's Hill March 21. Battle of Pleasant Hill April 9. About Cloutiersville and Cane River Crossing April 22-24. At Alexandria, La., April 30-May 13. Bayou La Mouri May 7. Retreat to Morganza May 13-20. Mansura May 16. Yellow Bayou May 18. Moved to Vicksburg, Miss., thence to Memphis, Tenn., May 22-June 10. Old River Lake June 6. Smith's Expedition to Tupelo, Miss., July 5-21. Near Camargo's Cross Roads, Harrisburg, July 13. Tupelo July 14-15. Old Town Creek July 15. Smith's Expedition to Oxford August 1-30. Tallahatchie River August 7-9. Moved to Duvall's Bluff, Ark., September 3, thence to Brownsville, Ark. March in pursuit of Price through Arkansas and Missouri to Cape Girardeau, Mo., September 17-October 9. Garrison at Tipton and California, Mo., October 19-November 17. Moved to St. Louis, Mo., thence to Nashville, Tenn., November 24-December 1. Battle of Nashville, Tenn., December 15-16. Pursuit of Hood to the Tennessee River December 17-28. At Clifton, Tenn., and Eastport, Miss., till February, 1865. Moved to New Orleans, La., February 6-19. Campaign against Mobile, Ala., and its defences March 17-April 12. Siege of Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely March 26-April 8. Assault and capture of Fort Blakely April 9. Occupation of Mobile April 12. March to Montgomery April 13-25, thence to Selma May 1, and duty there till July 20. Moved to St. Louis July 20-August 3. Mustered out August 10, 1865.
Regiment lost during service 4 Officers and 52 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Officers and 229 Enlisted men by disease. Total 287.
SOURCE: National Park Service website, re Civil War: Joslin, William H.

Regimental History
Thirty-third Infantry

Thirty-third Infantry.

-- Cols., Clinton B. Fisk, William A. Pyle William H. Heath; Lieut.-Cols., W. A. Pyle, W. H. Heath, W. J. McKee, Majs., W. H. Heath, George W. Van Beck, W. J. McKee, A. J. Campbell.
This regiment was recruited under the patronage of the Union Merchants' Exchange of St. Louis, and was known as the "Merchants' regiment." It was the first regiment mustered in under the call of 1862, and started for the front on Sept. 22.
During the remainder of that year it was on duty at various places within the state, but on Jan. 5, 1863, it reported at Helena, Ark., and took part in Gen. Gorman's White River expedition. In February it formed part of Gen. Ross' expedition against Fort Pemberton, Miss., where it was for the first time under fire.
On April 8 it returned to Helena, where on May 5 it was placed in charge of the works. It remained at Helena until Jan. 28, 1864, when it was ordered to report to Gen. Sherman for the Meridian expedition. Here it was assigned to Veatch's division and remained in Mississippi until March 10, when Gen. Mower assumed command of the division, which was then ordered to join Gen. Banks in the Red River campaign.
In this campaign it was in the engagements at Fort De Russy, Henderson's Hill, Pleasant Hill, Marksville, Bayou de Glaize, and a number of minor skirmishes. On May 24 the 16th corps returned to Vicksburg, and in June the regiment formed part of an expedition against Lee and Forrest in Mississippi, having previously been in the fight with Marmaduke at Old River Lake, Ark.
Subsequently it was in the battles at Tupelo, after which it was ordered to Memphis and then to St. Louis. On Nov. 24, it left St. Louis by water for Nashville, Tenn., where it arrived in time to assist in the decisive defeat and the subsequent pursuit of the Confederate forces under Gen. Hood.
It then was moved to Mobile, Ala, where it played an important part in the reduction of Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely, after which it was on provost guard duty at Selma, Ala., until July 20, 1865, when it was ordered to St. Louis for muster out, and was discharged from the service on Aug. 10, 1865.
Source: The Union Army, vol. 4, p. 267
Battles Fought
Fought on 4 Jul 1863 at Helena, AR.
Fought on 9 Apr 1864 at Pleasant Hill, LA.
Fought on 18 May 1864.
Fought on 6 Jun 1864.
Fought on 14 Jul 1864.
Fought on 15 Nov 1864.
Fought on 15 Dec 1864 at Nashville, TN.
Fought on 16 Dec 1864 at Nashville, TN.
Fought on 22 Dec 1864.
Fought on 30 Mar 1865.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Irish Eyes


CDs and Blasts from the Past

      On his CD, The Old Dromulton Road, Kerry singer Tony O’ Brien gives a unique treatment to thirteen Irish ballads including the title track; a song which he got from the writer. But it cost him! Tony told me, “I bought the right to use the title song, The Old Dromulton Road from the composer for a pint of stout in The Village Inn in Currans as long ago as 1987.

      “It was mine, free of charge as long as I would record it someday. However, I didn’t want it this way so the price was fixed at one pint of Guinness,”

       “The song was composed by a Michael O’Donoghue whose parents were school teachers in the Currow area years ago.

      “In 1993 I heard he had died sometime earlier and so I recorded his song. My mother came from Carrigaholt, Co. Clare and wanted me to record My Lovely Rose of Clare and the rest of the songs on the CD are personal choices.”
Special Dedication

      Tony’s mother never heard the recording as she and his wife Kaye both passed away within a month of each other in January and February 2016.

      “I’m dedicating the collection of songs on this CD to their memory,” said Tony.
 The Old Dromulton Road.wav

* * * * *

      There was no Listowel writers’ week 2020 due to circumstances beyond everybody’s control. However thanks to Billy Keane and film-maker Michael Pixi O’ Gorman I’m able to give you a link to highlights from “Healing Sessions” of other years.
John B's Healing Waters

* * * * *

By Mattie Lennon

      For decades, in Irish music circles, Delia Murphy was known as “The mammy of them all.” She was born in Ardroe, Roundfort, County Mayo, to a well-off family. Her father, John Murphy, from Hollymount, made his fortune in the Klondike Gold Rush. He met and married Ann Fanning from Roscrea, County Tipperary and they came back to Ireland in 1901 and purchased the large Mount Jennings Estate in Hollymount. The Georgian house at which he had stared, in wonderment as a child when it had a chandelier inside and an orchard outside.

      John allowed Irish travellers to camp on the estate and according to Delia she learned her first ballads at their campfires.

      JShe was educated at Presentation Convent, Tuam, Dominican College, Dublin; and University College Galway (UCG), where she graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. It was there she met Thomas J. Kiernan, a tax inspector, whom she married on 17th February 1924, when she was 22. (It was rumoured each family thought their child was marrying beneath them.)

      Kiernan then joined the Irish diplomatic service, where his first posting was to London. While there his talented wife sang at many venues including many gatherings of Irish emigrants and became quite famous. In 1939 she recorded The Blackbird, The Spinning Wheel and Three Lovely Lassies for HMV.

      In 1941 her husband was appointed Irish Minister Plenipotentiary to the Holy See in Rome. Delia Murphy helped Father Hugh O'Flaherty (the "Vatican pimpernel") to hide Jews and escaped allied soldiers from the Nazis. In 1946 she was awarded to Dame Commander of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre.

      Thomas Kiernan later served as Irish High Commissioner and later first Ambassador in Australia, and later to West Germany, Canada, and the United States. Delia recorded "The Queen of Connemara" In 1961, while she was living in Ottawa, Thomas Kiernan died in December 1967

      Some years ago Aidan O'Hara, who met Delia a few times in the late 1960s when she was living in Canada and he was a teacher there, published her biography entitled If Live Till I Die. He had already collected a lot of material on the singer he described as “Ireland's first pop star.” He added "When she died, no one did anything about it and I thought that a little odd, so I made a radio programme about her and then a television one. "She'd made a great impression on people and she had the whole country singing but of course that area of music ballads and come all ye's was not thought to be very respectable. Anyway, I wrote the book because I felt someone should."

      To ensure that “ The Mammy of Them All” will not be forgotten her grandson Ronan Browne has compiled a CD ( If I Were a Blackbird.”) The 21 songs on the album span the years 1938 to 1941.

      Ronan told me, My maternal grandmother, the singer and entertainer Delia Murphy, is widely remembered with great affection today 40 years after her death; not only did she write, record and perform what have become some of Ireland’s best loved songs, but she travelled and sang all over the world. Delia’s love of music began early with a childhood awakening of interest in the living culture and folklore of the farm workers, local artisans and visitors to her family farm.

      She said that she spent many hours listening to the tinkers talk and sing songs and this informed much of her later output of both written songs and the re-constructed fragments of songs she had heard in those early days. She continued throughout her life to write new songs and resurrect old ones and never lost an opportunity to share her passion, whether with a single enthusiast or a huge audience. Delia balanced this writing, recording and performing with a hectic life as the wife of one of Ireland’s most celebrated ambassadors; she and her husband were at the forefront of an awakening of cultural pride after the devastating Irish Civil War which followed hundreds of years of English colonisation.

      The folk singer Liam Clancy saw Delia as a pivotal figure in the Irish tradition: ‘She had been a great inspiration,’ said Liam when he finally met her in 1968. ‘We idolised her. I grew up in the height of what could be called the ‘National Inferiority Complex’ in Ireland. Irish people were very sensitive to the pig-in-the-parlour ‘dirty Irish’ image and they even became ashamed of their own music and songs.

      But then along came Delia Murphy and she gave us all a feeling of confidence and a feeling of value, that there was something to our traditions, and that we had no need to be ashamed of it, because she wasn’t. And she became a heroine and the most popular singer in the country’.

      The music historian Reg Hall wrote that she could often be exuberant: “A typical example ofher joining in ‘the crack’ took place in 1951, when a promoter arranged for her to parade through an area of dense Irish settlement from Chalk Farm underground station to the Galway Club in Camden Town, marching arm-in-arm with the Sligo boxer Joe Quigley, behind Tommy Nolan’s Inisfail Pipe Band.”

      Her grandson Ronan says, “Delia was an extrovert, loved by many people; she is claimed by numerous singers as an important musical influence right through to today; she was Ireland’s first female popular singer and it is widely acknowledged that she paved the way for the 1960s folk revival......but to me she was my granny who always had a bag of iced caramels for me whenever we met !”

      If I were a Blackbird is available (Price €15,including P&P, from Ronan Browne, An Spiddeal, Conemara, Co. Galway. Email; or

      Picture; John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum Photo: JFKWHP-1961-02-15-C (Part of the White House Photographs Collection). Presentation of an antique Irish silver christening cup for John F. Kennedy, Jr to President Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy by the Ambassador of Ireland, Thomas J. Kiernan, with wife Delia Murphy and Air Hostess Margaret Teresa Ryan on 15th February 1961.

* * * * *

      After decades of campaigning by the suffragettes, a 1918 Act gave a limited cohort of women the right to vote in parliamentary elections but six years later the poor oul male was suffering discrimination. Just imagine being charged a shilling more than the females for admission to a hall. I just came across an old poster from 96 years ago.

* * * * *

      And still in the dim and distant past, do you remember when lighting a fire in rural Ireland an old newspaper would be used to create the appropriate draught and accelerate combustion? And while you’re at it have a go at the “Older Than Dirt Quiz.”

  See you in August.

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View from My Back Steps


July 2020

By July summer is here full-tilt boogie, with high temperatures already hitting the century mark and plants wilting as I look at them. All of this is normal, as it should be I guess. Happens every year. And every year I am sad about it.

Springtime, now past, was so beautiful, with flowers and singing birds and cool breezes and new life everywhere. Intoxicating and a bit delirious. But summertime is just as normal and just as necessary. This is when many young insects and animals, born in the spring, are maturing.

The huge fennel plants, up to six feet tall when blooming, are (if everything is going well) rapidly being consumed by big and colorful black swallowtail caterpillars. Surprisingly quickly they will turn into foliage-stripped stalks with a scattering of big cocoons dangling down.

The goldenrod is still bolting to incredible heights – up to twelve feet or more. They won’t bloom until autumn (pic shows Fall flowering Goldenrod) and meanwhile make a small forest of green around one side of the patio, festooned by a plethora of wild grapevines. Together the two plants provide a privacy screen toward the east.

The wild carrots that decorated the south side of the patio with white flowers and lacy leaves have turned brown and brittle and covered with tiny “sticktight” seeds that cling strongly to any bit of fabric or even my bare arm if I brush up against them.

Possums and raccoons shuffle across the nighttime cement to the water basins, intent on getting a long drink and taking a splash bath, or at least washing their paws.

Overhead in the daytime a blistering sun blasts down in midday, making the steps too hot to sit on. So I wait for afternoon or early evening to perch there and direct a spray hose on all the potted plants I can reach. Inevitably I miss some and they wilt as if torched. “Planting opportunities” I call these pots; and perhaps in October that’s what they will become – places to insert cool-weather specialties like curly parsley, pinks, snapdragons, violas, sweet alyssum.

Patio Cat and Blackie (my two resident feral cats) stay hidden all day, but are waiting hopefully on the steps at six a.m., expecting me to show up with fresh kibble and fresh water. They’re never disappointed. Later they can retreat to thick shrubbery clumps or to the old insulated doghouse a neighbor lets me use for the purpose.

And at some point during the month my ironweed will bloom its feathery blossoms, attracting yet more butterflies and bees. Photo shows Vermonia-fasciculata, same as Ironweed.

There’s always something if you’re patient.

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Sifoddling Along


The New Normal


With the introduction of COVID 19 into our lives this year, I am thinking of how to cope with all the changes it brings. Staying at home as much as possible is easy for me as I am retired. My family and Amazon deliver anything I need, but I can’t help worrying about the possibility of a complete breakdown of our way of life.

What if the basic services we take for granted, water, sewer and power stops. Do we have the skills to survive? For most, probably not, but I think I am of the last generation that remembers the ways needed to survive in a more basic way.

Following are things I remember about living off the grid:
    First you would need some land like the small piece of property I own on Big Sugar Creek in the Ozark Mountains. It is about 7 acres with a good three acres of rich bottom land for a garden and allowing space for chickens, a cow for milk and butter, a steer and/or some pigs to butcher and preserve. The creek has not been fished much in recent years, so that is another diet option. There is timber for fire wood, fruit and nut trees and good water in the well. An outdoor toilet would have to be constructed far from the creek. Paper was once supplied by the Sears catalog, so a substitute would have to be found.
    Sadly, I am not physically able to farm myself, so I would have to have other family members live with me. I would be the “senior advisor”.
    As I recall when I was young there were three things a young woman needed to know to be a good wife: 1) milk a cow 2) clean a fish and 3) skin a squirrel. Now for my disclaimer. I never was very good at milking, and I never had to clean a fish or skin a squirrel. That said, I have seen these things done and know the necessary steps.
    I have even been to a hog killing and once took a meat cutting class. A few hogs will provide both fresh and cured meat – bacon and hams. Sausage can be canned and lard is key to great piecrusts and frying food. Chickens are essential for eggs and meat.
    I know how to kill and dress a chicken. The freshly killed bird in dipped in boiling water to help remove the feathers and held over a fire to remove the pin feathers. They are smelly and messy tasks but doable. I was never much of a gardener, but my Mom was and I did have to help with planting, weeding and harvest. I even remember what to plant to eat fresh or preserve.
    Vegetables: Spring lettuce, green onions and radishes for that best early salad of wilted lettuce. Potatoes, peas, onions, squash, green beans, tomatoes, okra, corn (sweet and field), cabbage, peppers, pumpkins and asparagus will help provide a balanced diet.
    Fruits: If you are lucky there are trees to provide apples, pears and peaches to dry, can or pickle; you can pick wild grapes for juice and jelly.
    There are many wild plants that are edible – poke salad, lamb’s quarter and other greens, wild garlic and onions. Other delicious items are black walnuts, butter nuts, paw paws and mushrooms. Blackberries, huckleberries and strawberries will provide special treats and if you plant early even melons are possible.

Let us hope we don’t have to face returning to these basics but many older people will know how to survive these trying times.

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Cooking With Rod


Barbecue Beef Tips by M

Melinda Cohenour – 2004
      Well, folks, here we are again – approaching another Fourth of July! To say that we’re in crazy times is an understatement. But one thing remains consistent – we all have to eat and we all love good food. This recipe is one that I can guarantee will delight your palate and help you celebrate consistency of food as it relates to our personal well-being. Enjoy this and the Fourth of July. God bless each and every one of you. Stay safe. Stay happy. Stay fulfilled. We will get through this together.

      Bon appetit~!

5 lbs lean stew meat, cubed, of course.
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
Pepper to taste
Garlic powder
1 tsp. Chili Powder

1/3-1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup water
2 Tbsp Honey mustard

1 lg. green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/3 yellow and/or red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 med. Bermuda onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, de-string, slice lengthwise for about
1/4 inch strips, then dice strips
1-2 cups barbecue sauce

Toss meat cubes, Worcestershire sauce and spices together until meat is evenly coated.

Heat electric skillet to 300 degrees, adding 1/3 to 1/2 cup butter or margarine. When hot, add meat. Drizzle with honey mustard and part of the barbecue sauce. Add water. Cover and allow to simmer for about 45 minutes, checking periodically to ensure there is plenty of moisture and meat is not sticking to pan. Stir as necessary. When meat has reduced to about half its original bulk in pan (pan juices should just cover, if not add water and barbecue sauce to cover), add chopped vegetables. Cover and simmer about 30 more minutes.

Delicious served over rice, with a crisp salad, fruit salad and hot bread.

Heat 4 cups water to boiling. Add 2 cups rice, 2 Tbsp butter, 1 Tbsp chopped parsley and a dash of pepper. Reduce heat, cover and permit to cook for 20 minutes without stirring. If you suspect rice is beginning to stick, turn off burner and permit to steam without added heat. DO NOT remove cover until 20 minutes has expired.

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Every semester I conduct a class on ‘Crime and Punishment’ that outlines the U.S. Criminal Justice System. I let my students know that in the 1990s, I worked as the Senior Agent for Maryland’s Division of Parole and Probation; I was assigned to the Glen Burnie field office. I draw heavily on those experiences when teaching this topic. I also like to remind my students here in China that the United States has approximately 5 percent of the world’s population, and 25% of the world’s prisoners.

I like to point out too that Americans can get prison sentences for such crimes as writing bad checks or using drugs. In most industrialized nations offenses such as these warrant stiff fines and community work assignments. In China, convicted offenders pay restitution to the victims through work assignments that are assigned to them through the courts.

In the U.S. prisoners are sentenced to much longer prison terms than in most other countries. There are 2.3 million people behind bars in America. The highest percentage of inmates than in any other industrialized nation.

China with four times the number of people than the U.S. has approximately 1.6 million in its penal system. Statistics show that for every 100,000 people in America 751 of them are incarcerated. One out of every hundred adults is currently serving time in prison in our country. The only other major industrialized nation that even comes close is Russia, with 627 prisoners for every 100,000 people. The others have much lower rates. England's rate is 151; Germany's is 88, and Japan's is 63.

Criminologists and legal experts here in China and the U.S. point to a tangle of factors to explain America's extraordinary incarceration rate. Major factors would be higher levels of violent crime in our country and harsher sentencing laws.

Our history of racial turmoil and racial injustice that is not found in most industrialized nations is just one of the contributing factors to the high inmate population in our country.

Most politicians in the U.S. have a special fervor in combating illegal drugs which also leads to longer sentences. Many in the U.S. also lack employment skills and social safety nets which can lead them to commit crimes out of desperation.

American democracy is certainly a major factor in the high crime rate in the U.S. The availability of guns in our country is leading to more violent crimes as well. There are more guns in America than people and our modern era of gun possession has become an anomaly. The nations where gun possession is illegal like here in China have much lower rates of violent crimes.

Politicians and Judges in the U.S. also run on ‘Get tough on Crime’ platforms and many of them are elected on populist demands for tough justice. The gap between American justice and that of the rest of the world is however enormous and growing.

From 1925 to 1975, the rate of incarceration in the U.S. remained stable, with around 110 people in prison per 100,000 people. It shot up with the movement to get tough on crime in the late 1970s. The availability of guns is causally related to the fact that America has four times the murder rate than all the western European nations combined.

Those who commit nonviolent crimes in the rest of the world are less likely to receive prison time and certainly less likely to receive long sentences. The United States is, for instance, the only advanced country that incarcerates people for minor property crimes.

Our Nation’s war on drugs seems to be a losing battle as well. I say this because, in 1980, there were about 40,000 people in American jails and prisons for drug crimes. These days, there are almost 500,000 with long incarceration stays and most crimes in the U.S. are drug-related. Many criminologists and sociologists believe it is time to reexamine our war strategy on illegal drugs.

Many American prosecutors, though, say that locking up people involved in the drug trade is imperative, as it helps thwart the demand for illegal drugs and drives down other kinds of crime.

For instance, many prosecutors have fought hard to prevent the early release of people in prison on crack cocaine offenses.

Many of those addicts are among the most serious and violent offenders due to the staunch realities of addiction. It is the length of sentences that truly distinguishes America from the other industrialized nations. The number of sentences imposed would not place the United States at the top of the incarceration lists. If lists were compiled based on annual admissions to prison per capita, several European countries would outpace the United States. But American prison stays are much longer, so the total incarceration rate is higher. Burglars in the United States serve an average of 16 months in prison compared with 5 months in Canada and 7 months in England.

Blacks are also much more likely to be imprisoned than other groups in the United States. Minorities in Canada, Britain, and Australia are also disproportionately represented in those nation's prisons, and the ratios are similar or larger than those in the United States.

The American character — self-reliant, independent, judgmental — also plays a role in our high prison population. American’s are known for being ruggedly individualistic that characteristic of our Americana has not only shown up in popular literature and films but in our criminal justice system as well.

Several criminologists here in China and the U.S. pointed to a surprising explanation for the high incarceration rate in the United States: Democracy.

Most state court judges and prosecutors in the U.S. are elected and are therefore sensitive to a public that is, according to opinion polls, generally in favor of tough crime policies. In the rest of the world, though, criminal justice professionals tend to be civil servants who are insulated from popular demands for tough sentencing.

Democracy is interwoven into our political structure and we are a politicized nation. Political opinion whether it is sound or hyped does influence our Judges, prosecutors, and politicians. They pander to the political demand for harsher sentences for criminals. This however is resulting in prison overcrowding and a higher recidivism rate among inmates. Most eventually do get released back into society lacking the proper skills to become productive citizens.

My student's interest in American politics and our criminal justice system generates lively discussions in my classes. One of my students who is heading off to America next semester (if she can acquire a student visa) that may not be possible in the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus outbreak. Her dream is to gain a degree in International Affairs - she told her class that she is concerned about her safety when she arrives in the U.S.

I said to her in class “if you ever get the chance to visit Central Park in New York City and if you decide to sit down on a park bench next to a little old lady. Nine times out of ten that little old lady will not be packing a Magnum 44 pistol in her purse.” I was referencing a story that was amusingly aired on a popular Chinese television program. The show's segment was about gun possession in America. I reassured my students by saying, “America is not as bad as the Chinese media makes it out to be and that is certainly a good thing.”

America’s once positive image seems to be diminishing in the world these days and there is no easy answer in solving the issues plaguing our country. But the number of exchange students entering America from China has increased by 28 percent in 2019. America, after all, will always be the land of opportunity - a nation built on hopes and dreams - for a better life and a better future. America has always been a beacon of light for people of all nations - illuminating our freedom and our democracy - perhaps, that was and is the foundation of our country’s greatness.
    Always with love from Suzhou, China
    Thomas F O’Neill
    WeChat: Thomas_F_ONeill
    U.S. Voice mail: (410) 925-9334
    China Mobile: 011 (86) 13405757231
    Skype: thomas_f_oneill

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Consider This


Charmingalice, Where Are You?


Statues are wondrous things. I just love to stare at them, can’t get enough of them. Imagine, taking a big chunk of something and slamming at it a few million times with a chisel or hammer, chainsaw or whatever, and actually making a thing, a shape, an actual life come out of that mass; a person, an animal, something.

What a gift. I’d really liked to have been a sculptor. I tried it once but found it to be extremely labor intensive and so switched to writing, since hammering at a keyboard with one’s fingers is infinitely less taxing than hammering at a slab of something really hard with something really hard.

My imagination instantly takes over when I’m looking at those (usually) great works of statue art. There are so many around the world, many heroic, brilliant, many ancient, some looking to be almost alive. Sadly, many of the most epic statues have been toppled by some regime or bombed to powder by some stupid war. (There’s another kind?)

I love to gaze into the eyes of statues, and know what? They kind of come to life for me. No, I’m not a woo-woo and I don’t hear statue voices, but I do love to play head games with my, well, head, and it does help pass what might be a boring afternoon.

So, asks my head, what if statues of people, before they became grown-up statues, were once children statues? How about the Statue of Liberty over there in France, before she became the big green giant she is today? Did she laugh and play and dance about in green skirts and a green pointy crown, dreaming about guiding immigrant people into a big harbor in New York when she grew up? Did she consent to spend eternity doing that? Did she ever think her right arm would maybe get tired as she held a huge torch up high forever? Did she even imagine that people would be climbing up inside of her to peer out over New York Harbor and Ellis Island to watch the world go by? Or that a famous poem would be written about her? Did she ever even imagine that she would be one of the most famous statues in history? A symbol of freedom to people so dearly searching for it? I wonder.

And how about the Venus de Milo when she was a kid in Greece? Did she have her arms then? Did she think when she was playing around in the streets of what, Milo?, that one day she might be standing half-starkers in front of millions and millions of people in the Louvre in Paris France, worshipped for her incredible beauty, and wondering where her arms went? Do you think she’s glad she’s become such a symbol of feminine beauty?

And speaking of arms, poor Winged Victory is also missing hers. How was it for her, being a kid with wings on her back? Did the other kid statues make fun of her? At least she had a head when she was a young girl in Samothrace, Greece, where she was born around 190 BC. And were her peers jealous when she grew up to have one of the most powerfully sensual bodies in all femaledom and that she hung about with the likes of Zeus and Athena? Does she chat with Venus when the Louvre closes down at night?

Nike, Goddess of Victory, on a mighty ship’s prow. What did she look like? I imagine her face even in childhood, was strong and beautiful, her thick, wavy hair streaming out behind her. I’ll bet she was a great kid statue.

I knew a kid statue once. Knew her well. Pure white marble, she stood on a cream and brown marble pedestal in the entrance hallway of my grandmother’s old home. She was a chubby, sweet, very young, naked child sitting on a stump, holding a butterfly on her open palm, smiling down at it, and there was a tiny, happy puppy at her feet. The little marble child was showing the butterfly to that joyful puppy. I wish I had that marble statue now and have often thought of trying to find her, but where does one start looking for a long-lost statue not seen by me for perhaps 65 years? Do you know?

Everyone who entered my grandmother’s home tossed their hats on that statue’s curly childish head, but, outraged, I always pulled them off. I loved her and she had not been carved into life to be a hat holder. I named her Charmingalice. I’ve always wondered what kind of grown-up statue she became. Beautiful, I know she’d be beautiful.

Hello Charmingalice, wherever you are. I miss you so much. Someday I’ll find you. I’ve never stopped searching and I’ve never forgotten you.

You can reach LC at Her newest book QUEENIE is on Amazon and in local bookstores, or you may contact her directly. Her website is

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On Trek


Thou Shalt Not Judge

How many times a day do we judge? Ourselves, others,Let’s start with ourselves. Thou shalt not judge, is usually applied to other people. Don’t you think it applies to us as well? If others shalt not judge us, then why should we judge we?

We matter first. If we stop judging ourselves, perhaps, just perhaps, we might stop finding something wrong with others. Finding something right is good. That is a good judging..10 points automatically.

I love how she loves animals is being a judge., but it is admired when we give a compliment like that. Now, how bout self?

I hate when I do that! I am fat! I am clutzy! Etc etc. Or, I wish I was more like so and so. (comparing). Right now the media has us judging people we never personally met! Ready to duel with them etc. Why is that? We have an opinion. If our opinion is right for us…today…And someone has the opposite opinion…today. Who is right? Who is wrong? Today. Tomorrow we all might think differently.

Thou shalt not judge!! We can start with ourselves, and work our way to mankind. Remember, we are all connected, judging others would still be judging ourselves. Judith 5/27/20

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New Awareness

A new awareness, has opened up to us
For some, wearing a mask is a Must
Several won't wear one, that's what they chose
Only the future will answer, where everyone goes

 A worldwide virus, it's caution we need
Someone who understands, must take the lead
Truth is the key, letting everyone know
To deal with this virus, and conquer this foe

Let's not fight each other, or argue on who's right
Let's work together from daylight, until night
Not only our country, but the whole world as one
We're all in this together, until this is all done

As things return to near normal, let's try to be
Cautious, not stupid, for that is the key
Keep a safe distance away, if you don't wear a mask
A matter of life and death, should be your main task

You're protecting yourself, and others as well
Even if you think, you're going through hell
It's not easy, following a new way
Doing the smart thing, makes a better day
©June 5, 2020 Bud Lemire
                      Author Note:
We have people who choose to wear the mask. Those
who choose not to. Those who believe there is a virus.
Those who believe it is just a governmental hoax. Some
who believe we need to strengthen our immune system.
All I know is, around people, especially lots of people,
I will wear a mask. I don't enjoy wearing one. Yet I know
I value my life. Best to be cautious, if you value your life.
As things get closer to normal again, use your judgment
wisely. Your life depends on it.

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How Often

How often
Must I say
I love you
Before the words
Sound real,
Real to both of us?

How often
Must I ask
If you love me
Before you hear me,
Before I hear myself?

Why does love,
Who should be
Greeted every day
As a welcome guest,
So often end up
Stealing in, or
Hauled in by the heels?

©2020 John I. Blair, 6/12/2020

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Spring Into Summer

On the grassy field I see many dandelions
Just another presence showing the spring signs
Lilacs on the bushes, what a beautiful smell
Birds singing in the trees, oh I know them well
The bumblebees are buzzing, right around your head
It’s so nice to have my bike out, it’s shiny and red
Down by the Water Plant, I take in the scene
Aronsons Island has turned a beautiful green

Butterflies flutter as they fly about
One of many miracles, Heavenly no doubt
Dragonflies are present, as they fly around
The divine presence, though they don’t make a sound

A short sleeved shirt on a warm sunny day
Beauty found everywhere, as I go on my way
The Sandpoint Lighthouse, so much history there
All around the city, it’s beautiful everywhere

The leaves on the trees, the smell of cut grass
Seeing and smelling it, as I ride my bike pass
People fishing, casting out their line
Capturing this moment, in the Spring Time
©May 19, 2010 Bud Lemire
                        Author Note:
I love it when the day is warm, and you only need your
T-shirt on. When you hear the birds singing to
each other from tree to tree. When the butterflies
and dragonflies and ladybugs are all about
flying around and landing wherever they want.
The smell of Lilacs, one of Mom’s favorites, and mine
as well. Oh how I love this time of year.

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It’s Hard to love Someone

It's Hard to love Someone who won't love their Self
To Watch them do things, you Know won't end well
It's Hard to love Someone who just wants to Die,
So, you Love them to Death, and then wonder Why

Could it be that the Reason was lost on the Way
You're down on your knees and there's not much to say
Don't be Sad it's all over, be Glad that you Shared
Be Happy you Loved, be Happy, you Cared

The Hard becomes Easy, when you Understand
Your Reason for Being, is Out of your hands
Your Purpose, is Love - and that includes You
So Start with your Self, and Then, others, Too!

You're here in your Body, You're here, in your skin
There's no looking Back, and there's no looking In
Whatever your Future, don't Live in your Past
For when it's all Over, your Presence, - will Last.

Don't be Sad it's all over,
Be Glad that you Shared,
Be Happy you Loved,
Be Happy, you Cared.

©June 2020 Phillip Hennessy

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The Traveler on a Bike

He’s a journey man, the traveler on a bike
Pedaling along the sidewalk, doing what he likes
Watching all the squirrels, as they go running by
Gazing at the birds, flying in the sky
He doesn’t ask for much
Finds pleasure in the sun’s touch
Is warmed by his surroundings, and people that he meets
Touches deep within his soul, makes him feel complete

Sees things within, that nobody can see
Feels with his heart and soul, his spirit’s roaming free
He knows the good in people, and he knows the bad
He knows what makes them happy, and what makes them sad

He travels very far, to get to where he’ll be
But it’s an added bonus, to his good quality
Once he is there, he does his very best
It’s the role he’s in, while on his Earthly quest

As his bike keeps rolling, beauty is what he sees
Sunshine on the land, and all the different trees
The flowers, and the green grass upon the ground
He always seems to find good, wherever he is found

As he pedals down the sidewalk, and rides along the street
He waves at all the people, as only he can greet
He’s a journey man, the traveler on a bike
Pedaling along the sidewalk, doing what he likes
©May 18, 2005 Bud Lemire

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Cat Behind Glass

My shaggy cat
On the countertop
Stares out the window
At a squirrel on the sill
Eating sunflower seeds
From the feeder there.

The squirrel’s
Well aware
A cat is sitting
Two feet away
Inside the house
But doesn’t care.

Squirrels in my yard
Know two kinds of cats –
Those who lurk
Behind flower pots
Poised to pounce
And dine on prey
Whenever skill
And luck prevail,

The other kind
Behind glass,
No more to fear
Than is the pale man
With shaggy hair
Behind the glass
Who also sits and stares.

©2020 John I. Blair, 6/27/2020

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A Seagull’s Flight

Gazing out my window in the morning light
I came across a view of a seagull’s flight
He flew in a circle and then up so high
With graceful ease did this gull fly
Oh to have those wings to fly anywhere
With wings so beautiful, taken to air
“It must be great to be a bird”
Is what was said as I overheard

How would we know, never being one
To gaze in wonder, in the morning sun
To see below from a flight so high
They must have good vision in their eye

Then from above so high, they take a dive
To the water and catch a fish that’s still alive
They must see the fish while they are in flight
And quickly they dive to grab a bite

Amazing are the creatures that we live among
We hear their stories in the songs that are sung
The Seagull with those wings to fly anywhere
And my imagination so that I can be there.
©March 27, 2010 Bud Lemire
                           Author Note:
Thank you, God, for the birds and countless other animals, for they are truly wondrous creatures that live among us..

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Sailboat Lake

Near Sailboat Lake in this new world
Cheers from afar and near
Bells chime from the rear of the room

The yard glistens bright colors
Bright sky and a rainy sky
In the mix of time
Sailboat Lake is near
Sailboat Lake and fear

Near Sailboard Lake in this changed world
Sudden changes have always been
There is no new normal
Change is constant
There is no new normal
Sailboat Lake is near
Sailboat Lake is here

The sky reflects the anger in the street
The wind masks the crowds and the heat
Sailboat Lake is near
Sailboat Lake is here
Sailboat Lake and fear
There is no new normal
Change is constant
There is no new normal
Sailboat Lake is near
Sailboat Lake is here

There is no lost an found
It’s time to be;  stay around
Change is constant
It’s always been that way
There is no new normal
Sailboat lake to stay

©6/7/2020 Bruce Clifford

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Peeking Around Corners

You’ll see him peeking around corners, or behind a vending machine
But mostly playing pool or shooting dice, is where he can be seen
He can be very quiet, and hardly make a sound
Or express himself in loudness, wherever he is found
When I first knew him, he seemed very shy
But he’s opened up a lot, as the time passed by
We shared in our love for music, whenever time was there
And exchange cds of the songs, so we could compare

We’d work on jigsaw puzzles, and get many pieces placed together
I found within this young man, a friend that I could treasure
“Oh! Huh?! Oh No! I Don’t Think So!” are words I hear him say
Expressions that he shows in words, nearly every day

Born in Los Angeles, his life’s path took him here
To the Harbor Tower, to meet new friends held dear
An Angel on the airwaves, a good person to know
He carried within him, a very special soul

Deep within him there is a Good hearted man
Who tries his best to do the best he can
If you see this man with a brown “Subway” hoodie
Stop and say hello to him, for he’s a goodie goodie
©May 7, 2010 Bud Lemire
                      Author Note:
This is for my friend who is like a shadow, a clown, and
so much more. Thank you for sharing your uniqueness and
kindness to our lives. May your journey in life bring
you many happy experiences.

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Each Word In A Song

Our world has changed
Nothing’s the same
The right from wrong
Each word in a song

Our place in time
Trying hard to define
The wrong from right
In the line of sight

Reality has settled in a long long time ago
The sign of fear in an empty room is longing to take hold
Reality has come and gone in the distant past
Are we doomed or are we strong enough to make this last

Our world has changed
Each road is strange
The highs and lows
Many sighs and woes

Each moment in time
Some stay in line
The lows and the highs
Many hellos and goodbyes

Reality has settled in a long long time ago
The sign of fear in and empty dream is longing to take hold
Reality has come and gone in the distant past
Are we here to carry on with ways to get there fast

Our world has changed
Nothing’s the same
The right and the wrong
Each word in a song

©6/14/2020 Bruce Clifford

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