Background

Monday, May 29, 2017

JFK'S 100-YEAR ANNIVERSARY


May 29, 1917--the birthdate of John Fitzgerald Francis Kennedy--  "Francis" was his confirmation name.  Below is an article from Sue's News, published in 2010:


             NOT MEETING JFK

The only time I ever skipped school was in 1960, to go to London, Ohio, as Senator John F. Kennedy was supposed to be in a motorcade on his way to Columbus, while campaigning for President.

When we arrived the motorcade had already passed. Whoever heard of a political event being ahead of schedule? When I returned to school, all was forgiven because Mr. Kelley was a Democrat and he excused me.

Watching the results of the election, President Kennedy was quoted as saying, "Ohio--where I get the warmest welcome--and the fewest votes." I was passionate about the election and spent every moment I could "campaigning" for JFK. There is no way to ever capture the passion felt of young love--or young politics--one of the saddest realizations--and a defining moment in my life--was discovering all of the anti-Catholic sentiment in my own county, as well as in the rest of the country. 


My best friend and I would go around the county with her mother, gathering up all of the anti-Catholic literature we could find and destroying it. At that time, there were phone booths on nearly every corner in Washington C.H. and there were always pamphlets left there. The disgusting literature was also readily available on the counters at Downtown Drug and Pensyl's and all other businesses of the John Birch Society followers. I was so naive that I asked Mr. Pensyl if he knew who had left those disgraceful pamphlets. He told me to leave the store. My friend's mother quit going to Dr. Binzel when she saw those flyers there. In the remainder of the time that Pensyl's and Downtown Drug were there, I never again entered the buildings. 

That is the main reason that we started shopping out of town. My friend has kept one of those deplorable pamphlets we found, framed on her wall with the note, "LEST WE FORGET".

At a class reunion, two of my classmates and I were discussing JFK and how important he was in our lives. Then something peculiar occurred--all the others there said how they had also been for Senator Kennedy--but I knew better because Mr. Kelley had conducted a mock election in our Government class. I spoke up and said, "I remember the mock election and there were only FOUR votes for Kennedy and the rest were for Nixon."  Mike Coil laughed and told them that it was true. I then proceeded to tell WHO in our class had voted for Kennedy: Mike Coil, Bob Hammond, Don Grim, and myself.  I took out my collection of senior photos and inscribed on the back of the pictures of Mike, Bob, and Don were references to our being Democrats.


As my brother Norman says, "I can never find anybody NOW who admits he/she voted for Nixon!"  

Sunday, May 28, 2017

WORLD HUNGER DAY

MAY 28 is WORLD HUNGER DAY

Saturday, May 27, 2017

PISS AND VINEGAR


A Facebook friend recently posted that her grandmother used to say that she was "full of piss and vinegar";  she wondered about the origin.  My mother also used that phrase. I have written previously that Mother would oftentimes use "indelicate" language.  

The Free Dictionary provides this description: "Although many speakers assume that the phrase has a negative connotation, it is often used as a compliment, because vinegar is an old slang term for enthusiastic energy."

Many people use the more polite term "pith and vinegar" but that makes it lose its flavor. Oops! "lose its flavor"-- that's an almost unintentional play on words-- flavor/vinegar.  To keep with the flavorful connotation I could have written that Mother's language was "salty" or "spicy" which would be more accurate than "indelicate" language.


Whenever Mother would use language that we thought was unbecoming, we would ask, "Would Donna Reed talk like that?" The Donna Reed Show had Donna Reed portray Donna Stone, the embodiment of the perfect mother/housewife of the the 1960's.

During our "Montgomery Clift Movie Festival", my brother and I were watching From Here To Eternity and when Donna Reed demonstrated less-than-perfection as her character as a "lady of the night",  Les piped up, "Would Donna Stone act like that?" I said, "She didn't win the Academy Award for It's A Wonderful Life  but she did for that performance!"

Friday, May 26, 2017

CRACK STICKS

A Facebook friend posted a recipe on Facebook for "Crack Sticks" with the tag line that they are "addictive". 

I screaked at Les, "OMG, look at these; Mother used to make these when we were kids; she called them roll-ups;  she would flatten pieces of bread with a rolling pin and add cinnamon and sugar and other stuff and bake them." Les said he didn't remember them. I said, "I guess we weren't as poor when you came along;  maybe she had quit making them by then." I looked up the recipe in my Family Cookbook and decided to make them.  Of course, they were not as good as I remembered.  See the recipe below.

Dishes made from stale bread were staples at our house: French toast, bread pudding, and dressing (how "stuffing" for turkey, etc., ever became known as "dressing" is beyond my comprehension) were common and Mother also made those "roll-ups". 


My father, two of my brothers, and my husband worked at Pennington Bread Company and before the prevalence of "bakery thrift stores", the employees were allowed to take home the day-old products;  thus we always had plenty of bread and other baked goods;  none was ever wasted.

Pennington Bread Company was purchased by Flowers Bakery and the plant closed; the Pennington label is now owned by Klosterman's. I bought a loaf of Pennington bread at Walgreen's today.

During the successful period of Pennington Bread, there was an award-winning set of television advertisements featuring the by-then elderly Morgan Pennington, the owner of Pennington Bread, giving grandfatherly advice to a grandchild. I would always make snide remarks about his being a hypocrite.



When those aired, I can recall a woman who had worked with my father and brothers at Pennington Bread, who told me, "If I tell you something about Morgan Pennington, will you promise not to ever say anything?" Expecting something downright salacious, I said, "WOW! What is it?" She then told me that when Morgan Pennington was young he worked as a busboy in Cincinnati and used to steal the tips of waitresses. I started laughing uproariously and I asked, incredulously, "That's it--that's the big secret--Hell, I thought you were going to tell me something scandalous!" 

I remember going to Christmas parties at Pennington Bread and I can recall that not all of the kids received presents. I never received a present there.  Even as a kid, I knew that was so WRONG but it taught me a very valuable life lesson: in my future work life, when I was in the position of making decisions about company Christmas parties, I always made certain that EACH child received a present of equal value. I guess I did learn something from the old skinflint which was NOT to be like him!


CRACK STICKS recipe

1 loaf of bread, crusts removed
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup butter, melted

Flatten slices of crustless bread with rolling pin.

In a bowl combine powdered sugar and cream cheese.

Combine granulated sugar and cinnamon and set aside.

Spread 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese/powdered sugar mixture on each slice of flattened bread. Roll up, jelly-roll style.

Brush with melted butter and then roll in cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake 20" at 350 degrees until golden brown. (My mother used to turn them over after 10 minutes)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

GLORIOUS INSULTS





These glorious insults are from an era before the English language got boiled down to 4-letter words.



The exchange between Winston Churchill  and Lady Astor:
She said, "If you were my husband I'd give you poison."
He said, "If you were my wife, I'd drink it."

A member of Parliament to Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease."
"That depends, Sir," said Disraeli, "whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."

"He had delusions of adequacy." -- Walter Kerr

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." -- Winston Churchill

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." -- Clarence Darrow

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." -- William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." -- Moses Hadas

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." -- Mark Twain

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends." -- Oscar Wilde

"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend, if you have one." -- George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second, if there is one." -- Winston Churchill, in response.

"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here." -- Stephen Bishop

"He is a self-made man and worships his creator." -- John Bright

"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial." -- Irvin S. Cobb

"He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others." -- Samuel Johnson

"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up." -- Paul Keating

"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily." -- Charles, Count Talleyrand

"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him." -- Forrest Tucker

"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?" -- Mark Twain

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork." -- Mae West

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go." -- Oscar Wilde

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts; for support rather than illumination." -- Andrew Lang

"He has Van Gogh's ear for music." -- Billy Wilder

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it." -- Groucho Marx

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

AS WE GET OLDER


I frequently say that the way I feel about tomatoes is "immoral" because I "lust" for them.  I haven't had a decent-tasting red tomato since my brother Norman died;  he always planted
"heirloom" tomatoes and he saved his seeds from year-to-year, just as our grandfather did eons ago!  

Gerald's brother-in-law Jerry was a champion tomato grower, usually introducing an unusual tomato each year--one year he produced a BLACK tomato-- along with his marvelous varieties, but Jerry is no longer able to garden.  My brother Duke raises only yellow tomatoes which I also relish, but nothing satisfies like a luscious, hot-from-the-garden red tomato.  Gerald has planted numerous types throughout the years, but most have disappointed.

When I whined that "tomatoes don't taste as good as they used to",  I was told that "as we get older", we lose our taste buds.  I replied, "Oh, Hell, I can tell if something tastes different!"


 AHA!  Read the following from one of my favorites sites, The Wise Geek:

It's not just your imagination.  Today's tomatoes simply don't taste the way they used to, and now science has told us why.  Researchers working on a study published in the journal Science, performed exhaustive taste tests of 100 tomato varieties and sequenced the genomes of nearly 400 varieties.

They were able to identify 23 volatile compounds that give a tomato its flavor.  Unfortunately, many of these compounds, plus essential sugars, are missing from today's supermarket tomatoes;  they were inadvertently lost when the industry sought to maximize yields and improve tomatoes' resistance to pests and disease.  

Study author Antonio Grannel said, "The flavor got lost because people didn't know that the molecular and genetic bases were, so they couldn't apply them.  Major seed producers are expected to use the new genetic information to make seeds that will grow into new, tastier tomatoes, possibly within 4 years."

FOUR YEARS?    I cannot wait four years.  Gotta get some heirloom seeds!