Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Yelling “May Day” is not an international signal of distress and other information you may wish to tuck away for future reference

[Editor’s note. From the archives, here is my post of May 1, 2009. --RWP]

Everything you ever wanted to know about May Day but were afraid to ask

Here is a photo taken in 1907 of May Day festivities in Maryland.

More information about May Day than you ever thought possible can be found in this article from Wikipedia, including May Day’s relationship to Walpurgis Night and Morris dancing and the May Queen and the Maypole (not to be confused with the Walpole) and even International Workers’ Day.

For example, what happens in Finland? “In Finland, Walpurgis Night is, along with New Year’s Eve and Midsommar, the biggest carnival-style festivity, taking place in the streets of Finland’s towns and cities. The celebration is typically centered on plentiful use of sparkling wine and other alcoholic beverages ... From the end of the 19th century, this traditional upper class feast has been co-opted by students attending university, already having received their student cap. In the capital Helsinki and its surrounding region, [activities] include the capping (on April 30 at 6 pm) of the Havis Amanda, a nude female statue in Helsinki, and the biannually alternating publications of ribald matter called Äpy and Julkku by students of the University of Technology. Both are sophomoric...”

One can only assume the article means both publications of ribald matter, not both students of Finland’s University of Technology.

In Scotland, at St. Andrews, some of the students gather on the beach late on April 30 and run into the North Sea at sunrise on May Day, occasionally naked. This is accompanied by torchlit processions and much elated celebration.

In Hawaii, May Day is also known as Lei Day.

If you read too far in that Wikipedia artile, you will learn of many lewd and lascivious connotations surrounding the celebrations of May Day as well, but I’m not going to help you find them. You’ll have to ferret them out for yourself. Instead, I leave you with this example of Morris dancing.

It must have been really difficult to find six men named Morris.

Note. It is also noteworthy to note that yelling “May Day” is not an international signal of distress. Yelling “m’aidez” (“help me” in French) is an international signal of distress.

(end of original post)

P.S. -- The Wikipedia article on May Day has changed somewhat in the four years since this post was originally published. For example, just today I found this fascinating new paragraph:

“In Oxford, it is traditional for May Morning revellers to gather below the Great Tower of Magdalen College at 6:00 am to listen to the college choir sing traditional madrigals as a conclusion to the previous night’s celebrations. It is then thought to be traditional for some people to jump off Magdalen Bridge into the River Cherwell. However this has actually only been fashionable since the 1970s, possibly due to the presence of TV cameras. In recent years, the bridge has been closed on May 1 to prevent people from jumping, as the water under the bridge is only 2 feet (61 cm) deep and jumping from the bridge has resulted in serious injury in the past. There are still people who insist on climbing the barriers and leaping into the water, causing themselves injury.”

...which only goes to prove, kiddies, that you can lead the rear end of a horse to water, but you can’t make him sink.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Speaking of quirky...

...which we weren’t, but I decided to change subjects...

One of my pleasures back during the 1990s was watching the series Northern Exposure on the telly.

Call me crazy, but I really liked it.

It was low-key.

It was funny.

It was a dramedy (a portmanteau word meaning “drama and comedy”) but it had no laugh track (I hate laugh tracks).

Best of all, it was quirky.

Here, in two parts, is the pilot episode that launched the series:

Northern Exposure Pilot - Part 1 (18:01)

Northern Exposure Pilot = Part 2 (22:46)

Did I mention it was quirky?

Perhaps Northern Exposure is not your cup of tea. So sue me.

I like things that are offbeat, not run-of-the-mill. Movies such as Big Fish and The Purple Rose of Cairo and Raising Arizona and Harold and Maude and television series such as My So-Called Life and Thirtysomething and Twin Peaks and one whose name I can’t remember about a family that owned a funeral parlor (British, parlour)*, that’s what I like.

It’s the same thing when it comes to music.

[Editor's note. While happening to re-read this post at random on September 3, 2017, it suddenly occurred to me that the one whose name I couldn't remember was Six Feet Under. The human brain is a marvelous thing. --RWP]

I don’t want to hear Doris Day sing “Que Sera Sera” (2:26), I want to hear Pink Martini sing “Que Sera Sera” (3:55).

Sometimes I want to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” (6:03), and sometimes I want to hear Michael W. Smith sing “Breathe” (6:32).

Sometimes I want to hear “Revelation Song” (4:58) more than anything else in the world.

Yes, I do.

But I never, ever, want to hear anything by the Rolling Stones or Lionel Richie or Meat Loaf or Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga or....

The list goes on and on.

Quirky, huh?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

There is too a there there and I can prove it

When people of a certain age who grew up during a certain time think of Oakland, California, they probably think of the Black Panther Party and Bobby Seale and Huey Newton and Eldridge Cleaver. We can’t help it. It’s who we are.

There are also people for whom sports is their life, their raison d’être, who might think only of the Oakland Raiders football team or the Oakland Athletics baseball team.

But mention Oakland, California, to someone of a literary bent (like, well, moi, for instance) and the writer Gertrude Stein comes to mind, and especially her famous statement about Oakland that “there is no there there.”

Ms. Stein said other odd things too, like “Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose” (not “A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose” as some people think) and “Pigeons on the grass alas.” I recall that the American television series Northern Exposure once had an episode entitled “Cicely” (Episode 38, Season 3) in which someone parodied Gertrude Stein by saying, “A squirrel on a log, agog,” but I digress.

Here is that pigeon poem:

From Four Saints in Three Acts

Pigeons on the grass alas.
Pigeons on the grass alas.
Short longer grass short longer longer shorter yellow grass. Pigeons
large pigeons on the shorter longer yellow grass alas pigeons on the
If they were not pigeons what were they.
If they were not pigeons on the grass alas what were they. He had
heard of a third and he asked about if it was a magpie in the sky.
If a magpie in the sky on the sky can not cry if the pigeon on the
grass alas can alas and to pass the pigeon on the grass alas and the
magpie in the sky on the sky and to try and to try alas on the
grass alas the pigeon on the grass the pigeon on the grass and alas.
They might be very well they might be very well very well they might
Let Lucy Lily Lily Lucy Lucy let Lucy Lucy Lily Lily Lily Lily
Lily let Lily Lucy Lucy let Lily. Let Lucy Lily.

--Gertrude Stein

What I want to say about Gertrude Stein is that I don’t understand her poetry at all. It doesn’t make me think. It doesn’t fill me with awe and wonder. It doesn’t make me laugh or want to sing. It just makes me scratch my head and say, “Huh?”

In some quarters, that will make me forever persona non grata.

Be that as it may, a writer named Matt Werner recently wrote an online article entitled Gertrude Stein puts the “there” back in Oakland for Google Books. You really should read it if only to see some vintage photographs of Oakland and to find out exactly why Ms. Stein made that famous statement. Also, Mr. Werner proves that there really is a “there” there in Oakland, California, by including the following photograph in his article:

(photo by Joe Sciarrello)

See? I told you so.

So there.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Today’s post is a glimpse into another time, another place.

Here is a picture of Mrs. RWP and me from around 1980 or 1981 that I don’t think I have shown to you before. And, in a sense, I’m not going to show it to you now either. Unfortunately the hand-held-cellphone photo of the old snapshot that I made before I got my smartphone is so out of focus that it is, dare I say it, less than perfect.

In a way, though, that sort of view -- out of focus, less than perfect -- is a pretty accurate representation of the way we often remember events from our past. We remember the big picture, of course, but the details are not quite so clear. We see them through a glass, fuzzily.

I was about 40 when this photo was taken. Mrs. RWP still had dark hair then.

I thought I cut quite the dapper figure, but the day I came home with the Afro perm my wife just laughed and laughed and laughed.

Some people who were probably high on speed told me I looked like Engelbert Humperdinck. Here he is singing “Please Release Me” (3:27).

Some people who were probably high on Jack Daniels or Jim Beam told me I looked like Harold Reid, the bass singer in the Statler Brothers quartet. I won't subject you to their singing but here they are accepting an award as Vocal Group of the Year in 1982 (2:17).

I hope you watched both videos. Then you will know more fully what I meant at the top of the post about a glimpse into another time, another place.

For those of you who never click on links to videos, here is a photograph of the Statler Brothers (I presume you do not need a photo of Engelbert Humperdinck):

(photo from gettyimages.com)

What were we talking about?

Oh, yes. My Afro.

Some people were very kind and didn’t say anything at all.

Eventually Afros went out of style and I let my hair return to its normal, straight self. Today, what is left of my hair continues to fall out at a rapid pace.

Today, alas, where once there were waves, all that remains is beach.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Part Three of the Texas Triumvirate of Very Important Days has arrived

April 21st.

First of all, let me say “Happy Birthday!” to Jerry Ragsdale, a guy I used to work with at AT&T who hails from Conyers, Georgia, and whom I haven’t seen or talked to in about 15 years but whose birthday it indeed is today.

The Texas Triumvirate of Very Important Days (patent pending) is how I refer to March 2nd, March 6th, and April 21st.

March 2nd is Texas Independence Day. If you have to ask “Independence from what?” you are pathetic indeed and obviously weren’t paying any attention in History class. Independence from what? Why, Mexico, of course! Mexico! I say it a third time: Mexico!

March 6th is Alamo Day. Every living, breathing American in my day (perhaps it is no longer so) had at least heard of Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie.

And finally we come to April 21st. The Battle of San Jacinto. Revenge for March 6th, big-time. Dear to every Texan’s heart.

I posted about it in 2009 with a post entitled “Rules to live by: (1) Always post a sentry during the afternoon siesta; (2) Choose your underwear very carefully." and if you want all the gory magnificent details, just read it again.

Here are two more things that are dear to every Texan’s heart:

(Field of Texas bluebonnets; photo by bombay2austin on Flickr. Noncommercial use permitted with attribution)

That’s right. The Lone Star flag and a field of bluebonnets.

And you thought I was going to say George W. Bush and Willie Nelson.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Before April disappears for another year

...I want to present you with a treasure from the past, a “golden oldie.” It’s Al Jolson singing “April Showers” (3:06).

I hear some of you asking, “Al who?” and I hand you now a virtual towel because you are obviously still wet behind the ears.

Jolson -- J as in junta, U as in ubiquitous, N as in numismatic, T as in tetracycline, A as in aphrodisiac.

Wait. That spells junta, not Jolson. I lost my head there for a minute. A thousand pardons.

What I meant to say was Jolson -- J as in jarring, O as in onomatopoeia, L as in lugubriously, S as in surreptitious, O as in obsequious, N as in Nefertiti.

J, O, L, S, O, N. Jolson.

Let’s say it together, class:


If you have a little time to spare, you might also want to read every word of this Wikipedia article about Al Jolson.

Then listen to him sing that song again.

Here’s another “golden oldie,” a true one, even older than Al Jolson:

(Photograph by Philippe Pikart, 2009, of the bust of Nefertiti from the Ägyptisches Museum Berlin collection, currently in the Neues Museum.)

You can read about her here.

Then there will be nothing left to do but sit back and hum Al’s song and wait for the flowers that bloom in May.

If only life were that simple.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tree’s a crowd

Last week I participated in a microfiction meme over at Grandma’s Goulash. If you don’t remember my entry, it had to do with donkeys at the bottom of a canyon.

Well, it’s another week now and another microfiction meme has reared its ugly head. This could become habit-forming. Here’s this week’s picture, followed by my contribution, which is limited by the rules to 140 characters:

When Nigel turned to Pamela at the dinner party and whispered, “Let’s make like a tree and leave” she hadn’t realized he meant it literally. (140)

Here’s the link to Grandma’s Goulash if you would like to have a try at it yourself.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sometimes diversionary tactics are necessary

To take your minds off tragedies at home and abroad and all enemies foreign and domestic, see how well you do on the following test. There are ten questions. You need only four correct answers to pass:

1. How long did the Hundred Years’ War last?

2. Which country makes Panama hats?

3. From which animal do we get cat gut?

4. In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?

5. What is a camel’s hair brush made of?

6. The Canary Islands are named after what animal?

7. What was King George VI’s first name?

8. What color is a purple finch?

9. Where are Chinese gooseberries from?

10. What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane?

And now, here are the answers.

1. 116 years; 2. Ecuador; 3. Sheep and horses; 4. November;
5. Squirrel fur; 6. Dogs; 7. Albert; 8. Crimson; 9. New Zealand; 10. Orange.

What do you mean, you failed?

Me, too. I got exactly one answer right. I knew King George VI’s first name, and that was it.

My thanks go out to Linda H., my sister-in-law in Texas, for sending me this test.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Every day above ground is a good day

Tax Day falls on Tax Day again this year.

On some years it does not. More on this below.

When I was very young, the deadline each year for paying one’s individual income taxes to the federal government in the United States was March 15th. In 1955, for reasons unknown to me, the date was changed to April 15th, where it has remained ever since. An exception is made for tax filers who live outside the United States: they are granted an automatic two-month extension and do not have to file until June 15th.

Last year, however, the tax deadline was moved to Tuesday, April 17th, because April 15th fell on a Sunday and all of Washington, D.C., observed a holiday known as Emancipation Day on Monday, April 16th. I knew from my treasure-trove of trivial information that President Lincoln signed the famous Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, and I wondered why Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C., is April 16th. So I looked it up.

On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act for the release of certain persons held to service or labor in the District of Columbia. The Act freed about 3,100 enslaved persons in the District of Columbia nine months before President Lincoln issued his famous Emancipation Proclamation.

So now you know.

As Pat (an Arkansas stamper) might say, tomorrow is also a day.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Look, ma, no hands! I mean, well, er, um, just see for yourself.

He may float through the air with the greatest of ease...

...but he’s not the daring young man on the flying trapeze!

Here it is, your daily dose of “If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it!” (3:03)

My thanks go out to Goopers in Roswell, Georgia, for sending me today’s clip.

We now return you to your drab, uninteresting existence.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Man’s best friend

Our little dog, Jethro, is having some health issues.

Dr. Karl says he has an enlarged heart that is pressing on his lungs and his esophagus. The little guy (Jethro, not Dr. Karl) weighs only 17 pounds, but he is a barrel-chested fellow whose bark sounds like a dog four times his size. He will be nine in June.

Dr. Karl put him on Vetmedin, which he takes twice a day and likes because it tastes like bacon, and it seems to be helping. Still, there are times when he gasps and struggles to breathe. He does not seem to be in pain, but those episodes are very scary for us, and probably for him as well.

When they are over, he is always exhausted and subdued. Until he isn’t.

Dr Karl showed us how to monitor his breathing rate. It is much higher than it ought to be and his breathing is often shallow. Mrs. RWP has noticed that Jethro’s tongue and gums and even his tummy are not as pink these days as they used to be, but have a bluish tinge. She thinks he is probably not getting enough oxygen.

We are pampering him to no end. He used to sleep on the foot of our bed, and now he sleeps on our pillows. Yes, you read that right. On our pillows.

Here he is in better times:

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

On April 10, 1910...

...this lovely lady was born in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania:

(click on the photo to enlarge)

She was Ruth Elizabeth Silberman Brague, my mother.

The photo is around 80 years old now. It was taken in the 1930s when my mother was in her twenties, before she met my father.

If she were still alive, she would turn 103 today.

Unfortunately, she died on October 4, 1957, in Fort Worth, Texas, at the age of 47.

Happy birthday, Mama.

(click on the photo to enlarge)

Monday, April 8, 2013

I blame it on Twitter

...where messages cannot exceed 140 characters.

My friend Jinksy over in England sometimes participates in memes that involve composing captions that don’t exceed 140 characters (including spaces) for photographs provided by someone else. This week it was a site called Grandma’s Goulash.

I have never participated in one of these before, but this week -- call it spring fever -- I threw caution to the winds and decided to give it a try.

Here’s the photograph and my caption:

Really, Maude, you should know the way out of this canyon without needing a map. Just follow Hortense. You’ve done it thousands of times. (138)

I have entitled this combination -- brilliantly, I thought -- "An Asinine Quandary"....

If you think you can do better, or just would like to give it a try yourself, here’s the link to Grandma’s Goulash.

In my humble opinion

...two of the funniest people on the planet for the past sixty years have been Mike Nichols and Elaine May. Here are some of their classic improvisational skits from more than fifty years ago:

$65 Funeral (6:13)

At the hospital (7:41)

Teenagers sitting in a car (10:39)

Mother and Son (6:29)

...and here is Elaine still doing her thing as only she can when the American Film Institute honored Mike in 2010 with its Lifetime Achievement Award:

Elaine May Salutes Albert Einstein’s Cousin, Mike Nichols (4:04)

This has been another side-splitting start to what otherwise would undoubtedly have been another bland and humdrum week from your old friend rhymeswithplague.

You’re most welcome.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Ministry of Truth is alive and well

...just in case you were wondering.

Orwell was just a few years early with the title of his famous novel, that’s all. (But you can’t really blame him. After all, 1984 was published way back in 1949.)

Things are getting more and more double-plus-ungood all the time.

Here’s proof.

I’m finally beginning to listen to the news the way people in the Soviet Union used to do. Whatever the official line is, the very opposite is probably what is happening.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

More about Easter, Easter eggs, and the Easter bunny than you could ever possibly want to know.

I’m not even kidding.

But if you have ever wondered what this:

...or this:

...or even this:

...has to do with this:

The short answer is: Very little.

If you want to learn more about Easter than you thought humanly possible, including where the word Easter comes from (you might be surprised) and why some people won’t observe Easter this year until May 5th, I refer you to the following articles in Wikipedia (even though Wikipedia itself is not considered authoritative by anyone in the academic community because Wikipedia is subject to corruption and error by virtue of the fact that it can be modified by its readers):

1. Easter;

2. Easter bunny;

3. Easter eggs;

4. Ēostre;

Happy reading!

If, however, you have never had the slightest inclination to wonder about any of these things and wouldn’t click on a link to Wikipedia if your life depended on it, I do thank you for your patronage and welcome you back on a future occasion.

As a very wise man once said, you can’t win ’em all.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Louisville 85, Duke 63

The March Madness continues.

(click to enlarge)

I’m pulling your leg (an Americanism meaning I’m just kidding). The people in the photo are not at a basketball game, although they could be, and some of them might rather be.

Let me identify as many of them as I can for you.

First row (left to right):
Nancy Reagan (widow of President Ronald Reagan), Rosalynn Carter, President Jimmy Carter, Laura Bush (wife of President George W. Bush), President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton.

Second row (left to right):
Unidentified person, Edwin Schlossberg, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg (daughter of President John F. Kennedy), Barbara Bush (wife of President George Herbert Walker Bush), Susan Ford Bales (daughter of President Gerald R. Ford), Unidentified person.

Third row (left to right):
Headless wonder, Semi-headless wonder, Hemidemisemi-headless wonder, Maria Shriver Schwartzenegger (niece of President John F. Kennedy), Tricia Nixon Cox (daughter of President Richard M. Nixon), Edward Cox.

Without performing additional research, can you identify the occasion for which this auspicious group had gathered?

Here’s a clue:

(click to enlarge)

For non-U.S. readers, the term March Madness refers to the single-elimination Division I college basketball tournaments performed each spring in the United States. Sixty-eight teams are slowly whittled down to thirty-two, then to a round called the Sweet Sixteen, a round called the Elite Eight, and a round called the Final Four. This year the Final Four round will be played in Atlanta this weekend.

The two winners of the Final Four round (the national semi-finals) will then play each other for bragging rights all year long until March Madness rolls around again. An indication that Madness is the correct term is that the last two rounds are played in April.

This year’s Final Four teams match-ups are the University of Louisville (Kentucky) vs. Wichita State (Kansas), and Syracuse University (New York) vs. the University of Michigan (Michigan).

And for those who are still wondering, the auspicious group in the first photograph were gathered for the funeral of Lady Bird Johnson, widow of President Lyndon Baines Johnson, in July 2007. She was 94 at the time of her death. The photo of her in the field of wildflowers was taken in 1990.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Reason #17,643 Why I Am The Way I Am

[Editor’s note. As long as I’m poking around in the archives, here’s another post of mine from April 2009. --RWP]

I am looking at a picture of myself at age 15, sitting in front of an upright piano. The year, if you must know, is 1956. I am wearing a light gray suit, a white shirt, and a snazzy bow tie. My hair, helped along by a liberal dab of Brylcreem, is neatly combed into its usual pompadour. My hands seem to be caressing the keys. A thinner, younger version of myself looks at the camera. I am smiling.

I am not at one of Mrs. Alyne Eagan’s annual spring recitals. Those were always held at the First Baptist Church so her students could play on the big, shiny, black grand piano. No, I am somewhere else.

Jumping forward to the present, I am hopelessly out of date, techologically speaking. I own a television set, but it is not one of those new flat, high-def ones. My version of Old Man River just sits there in its corner but it still keeps rolling along. I do own a VCR (I can hear you laughing) and a CD player and even a DVD player, but I do not own a DVR or a TIVO or a Kindle or whatever is the latest thing on the market. I do not own a Camcorder or a digital camera, an iPod or an iPhone, nor do I own a special drive or device that uploads instant photos into my computer instantly. Therefore, I cannot show you the picture.

I know. It’s pathetic.

Yesterday I rummaged through a cardboard box in a corner of the spare bedroom and found a fifty-year-old scrapbook. My mother put together three scrapbooks when I was young to record my every move, it seems, for posterity. The two earliest scrapbooks have disappeared, but I still have the one covering my high school years. I hadn’t looked at it in a very long time until yesterday, when I found it while rummaging through that cardboard box in a corner of the aforementioned spare bedroom.

Today, therefore, I could tell you, if I wished, about my Junior prom or my Senior play or the time the Future Teachers of America Club went to the District V Convention of the Future Teachers of America at North Texas State College in Denton. But instead I am going to tell you about Municipal Building Dedication Day in our small Texas town on September 15, 1956. That’s where the photo of me was taken. It appeared a few days later in the center of a half-page collage of eleven photographs in our town’s weekly newspaper. Our town had never had a Municipal Building (or, as it turns out, a police car) before, so it was a really big deal.

I wish I had a handy-dandy digital camera so I could take a digital picture of the yellowed newspaper page, and I wish I had one of those fancy-schmancy uploading devices so I could upload to my computer the digital picture taken with the handy-dandy digital camera so you could see it. But, alas, I do not have a handy-dandy or fancy-schmancy anything. Well, actually, I do, but this is a G-rated blog.

Bartleby.com lists five proverbs that start with the word if :

1. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
2. If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, then Muhammad will go to the mountain.
3. If the shoe fits, wear it.
4. If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.
5. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Can you guess which one of those proverbs applies to my situation? It’s the fourth one, of course. Just because you guessed correctly, don’t think you’re going to get any sort of prize from me. I am not that ranch woman in Oklahoma who holds contests that hundreds of commenters enter hoping to win one of her prizes.

So anyway, lacking the handy-dandy digital camera and the fancy-schmancy uploading device, I am forced to do my best imitation of Estelle Getty as Sophia Petrillo on The Golden Girls (“Picture it, Sicily, 1922”) and describe the collage on the yellowed newspaper page using words alone. What a concept! Here goes:

Picture it, [small Texas town], Municipal Building Dedication Day, 1956....

I just can’t do it justice. Instead, I will reproduce the captions under the collage, highlighting Reason #17,643 why I am the way I am.

“DEDICATION DAY IN PICTURES. (1) Serving as program chairman for the Council Women was Mrs. E. C. Harris. (2) Mr. Anderson, speech and drama teacher in [small Texas town] High School did a wonderful job as master of ceremonies. (3) Mayor Halbert made everyone feel welcome. (4) Mr. W. A. Lamb, Chamber of Commerce president, complimented the city officials on a job well done. (5) The main speaker, Mr. June R. Welch, paid homage to the past, respect for the present, and pointed avenues for the future. (6) Teen-ager Bobby Brague shown at the piano. The piano got a fresh coat of paint for this special occasion. (7) Ex-Mayor Harrison gave an interesting historical background of [small Texas town]. (8) City Chief-of-Police, Gene Cannon, proudly showed off the first police car purchased by the city. (9) Standing by the cornerstone is Lynn Ellis, president of the [small Texas town] Jaycees. (10) Seated by the resuscitator in the new Tarrant County Mobile Unit displayed by the Volunteer Fire Department is Rev. Charles Sullivan. (11) Police Chief Cannon demonstrated the strength of the bars in the new city jail to Mr. McBride and Katherine Peterson. Since it was their first visit Chief Cannon gave them permission to go free.”

Perhaps I should have highlighted the entire paragraph.

It occurs to me that I really didn’t need to show you the collage. Just think of the entire cast of The Andy Griffith Show and you’ll get the picture.

[Editor’s P.S. -- This is not an April Fool’s Day joke. I only wish it were. --RWP]

<b> Mundane is also a word</b>

My blogger friend Rachel Phillips is currently in the midst of a series of posts (three so far) about a trip she took with her friends Liz...