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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

SUMMER CONVERSATIONS


Les and I like this cartoon from this week's New Yorker. The caption: "Summer's here. Do you want to start talking incessantly about tomatoes and corn?" just about sums up our summer conversations.

We are fantastically lucky to be the recipients of free sweet corn. The ears have yellow and white mixed kernels and they are oh, so sweet! Les just finished "putting up" 15 bags for the freezer and we're promised more ears Monday!


My brother Duke told Gerald about a device that his friend uses for cutting the corn from the cob and Duke had made one also. Gerald immediately set about making one; see Gerald's device.

I am very happy because I had been WHINING about having a blister last year from all the cutting I did; I had been online looking for one of those corn cutters.

Les says not to buy one because this homemade device works wonderfully well.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

BAS-RELIEF

An acquaintance wanted a medallion for the grave of her great-grandfather, who was a Civil War veteran. I told her that my brother had gotten one for the grave of our Great-Grandfather Levi Shirkey who was a Civil War veteran. She got in contact with the local VSO and learned that the Veteran's Administration no longer provides medallions except to surviving spouses of veterans. Of course there are no surviving spouses of Civil War veterans! She then got in contact with her Senator to no avail.

The medallions are the flag holders that one sees beside the graves of veterans on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

Feeling that it is very unfair to have a Civil War veteran's grave not have a flag placed to honor him, I decided to make it my mission to acquire a medallion. I made at least a dozen telephone calls.

I was able to acquire a medallion quickly because of my association with the LGAR (Ladies Of The Grand Army Of The Republic). You will notice "GAR" on the medallion.


The GAR (the Grand Army Of The Republic) was founded 1n 1866 and by 1890 had more than 500,000 members. Only honorably discharged veterans of the Civil War could be members. The group was instrumental in founding soldiers' homes, securing pension legislation, relief work, and making sure that Civil War veterans were recognized and honored. The final Encampment (as conventions were known) was held in 1949. The last GAR member died in 1956 at the age of 109 years. Descendants of Civil War veterans can join the SUVCW (Sons Of The Veterans Of The Civil War) and the LGAR (Ladies of the Grand Army Of The Republic).

The medallion had been in storage. Although I personally liked the patina, I wanted it polished to be placed at the gravesite. I looked on the internet about polishing bronze and the first hint was to purchase bronze cleaner. We already had Brasso and the directions on the can show it is also useable for bronze. There are numerous ideas of making home-made pastes which include using lemon juice, baking powder, salt, flour, and vinegar. Here is a YouTube video showing a cleaning method using some of those items.

My brother Les, the masterly polisher, cleaned and polished the medallion. Les said, "Look how it changes when it's turned in the light." I said, "Yes, that's because of the bas-relief." He said, "The BAH-WHAT?" I knew that he knew the term, but he likes to razz me. I said, "You did a lovely job of burnishing." Les asked, "Burnishing--how often do we get to throw the words burnishing-and bas-relief-- into a conversation?"

Monday, August 18, 2014

BUTT-IN

I just conducted a survey of twenty people and asked the question:

When entering an aisle where people are seated and you need to get to your assigned seat, do you:

1. Have your backside toward the person?
2. Have your front-side toward the person?

Every respondent said Number 1.

The reason for my survey: when Ziggy (husband of our great niece) was visiting recently, he asked me to tell his mother how he'd learned the word frottage. Click here to read the story of the time Ziggy and I attended a concert and two large-bosomed women had to pass us to get to their seats and both turned their front-sides to Ziggy and their breasts brushed his chest. I shared the word frottage with him.

CLICK HERE to see the article from MADAME NOIRE when she was lectured by a fellow church-goer that it's rude to turn one's backside.

However, this poses another qustion: Why is "backside" ONE word and "front side" is TWO words?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

CINEASTES

Last week, at dinner with friends I mentioned that we "MUST SEE" the movie Boyhood and one of our friends, a true cineaste said, "Oh, the only place to show that will be the Drexel."

Memories of the Drexel Theater flooded over me. When Gerald and I began dating, we would "go to the movies" at least once a week and the Drexel was the place to see the "independent" movies not available at other theaters and to see the work of directors I'd only read about. I vividly remember crossing a picket line to see The Life Of Brian, which was being protested by the Legion Of Decency. That movie, about the hypocrisy of some religions, remains relevant today, but it is now hardly controversial.

The Drexel Theater opened in Bexley in 1937, closed for awhile in the 1970s, re-opened in 1981, and became a triplex in the early 1990s. Its Art Deco style d├ęcor still remains, along with the neon lighting on the marquee. In 2011 the Drexel Theater became a non-profit organization operated by CAPA (Columbus Association For The Performing Arts).

Yes, Boyhood IS showing at The Drexel. Click here for a nice article from The Columbus Underground newspaper.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

DANDELION WHINE

Why will a weed grow anywhere but a flower that I treasure will not? (See the picture of a dandelion growing out of the foundation of our house.)

I love Black-Eyed Susans. Gerald has planted them at different places in the yard, diligently followed directions, but with no luck; they just won't "take"! He's bought seeds to start from scratch; we have dug wild ones and transplanted them, but they won't grow. What is wrong with my yard that a WILDFLOWER won't grow? Daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, peonies, crocus, amaryllis, and roses--all bloomed this year-- but the black-eyed girls obviously do not want to live here!

(CLICK HERE to see my BLOG article about Gerald picking a bouquet of Black-Eyed Susans and being stopped by the Highway Patrol for picking wildflowers!)

Don't get me wrong, I love dandelions (click here to see my BLOG article IN PRAISE OF DANDELIONS), although I don't make dandelion wine. (I'm sorry about the WHINE in the title, but couldn't resist.)

Friday, August 15, 2014

MUSSOLINI HAD THE TRAINS RUN ON TIME

A Facebook "friend" posted an "inspirational" quote from Norman Vincent Peale. I responded that I detested Mr. Peale because he was opposed to John Fitzgerald Kennedy just because JFK was a Roman Catholic. I stated that Mr. Peale was a bigot and in what I thought was a good gibe, I wrote that the title of Peale's most famous book should have been "The Power Of Positive Prejudice" rather than The Power Of Positive Thinking. I also mentioned the hypocrisy of Billy Graham because he's an anti-Semite. I suggested listening to the Nixon Oval Office tapes.

Relating those facts caused a great deal of animosity toward me. I have never understood why people do not appreciate being given FACTS, but instead lash out at the messenger.

One very vituperous respondent attempted to upbraid me by lecturing that her belief is that EVERYONE has something good about them. I responded that I'd actually heard that some people thought that Hitler had said some good things. She replied that she was sure that Hitler loved his family. I told her that Hitler didn't represent family values very well because he wouldn't marry poor ole Eva until the last minute.

I quoted my witty brother: whenever he hears someone defend reprehensible people he always says, "Yeah, and Mussolini had the trains run on time."

I was UN-FRIENDED! Perhaps it was because I shared Jack Nicholson's famous "You can't handle the truth!" scene from A Few Good Men which caused my being banned! But I don't want to be "friends" with those kind of people.

They can't handle the truth OR humor!