Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Recently, I was going to be in close proximity to a product demonstrator and I recalled my brother Norman's advice: "Never say NO when someone offers you a breath mint."

That prompted me to think of other times one should not say "NO"!


1.  My brother Les quipped, "Never say NO when asked do you want fries with that?"

2. Never say NO when someone offers you a place in line. Whenever I offer someone the opportunity to go ahead of me in line, I get really PO'd when they say, "Oh, no, that's all right!" Why the Hell would somebody turn down the chance?

3.  Never say NO when offered a different food.

4.  My brother Les also suggested that one should never say NO to pie!

5.  Never say NO to taking a nap!

6.  Never say NO to starting a healthier diet or exercise regimen.

7.  Never say NO to asking for help when you need it.

8.  Never say NO to trying a new activity.

9.  Never say NO to accepting an invitation.

10. Never say NO to join family for an activity.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


In conversation with a friend I said, "That is clearly demonstrable."  I noticed the quizzical look on his face and he said that he didn't know THAT word.  I said, "You know, when something is easily demonstrated."  He asked, "Are you sure that's how it's pronounced?  I answered, huffily, "I am QUITE sure;  would you like to BET?"  We went to YouTube (listen here) and he said that he'd always said "DEM-UN-STRATE-UH-BULL".  I answered,  "Then you have always mispronounced it;  I hope you've never said it aloud in public!"  

He countered with, "I suppose you've never mispronounced a word."  I laughed and said that my mistakes were LEGENDARY and are posted on the calendar for everyone to see!  "REAL-UH--TORE", "POE-TASSIUM" and "CEE-MENT" haunt me!

I then related about my family's collection of mispronounced words.  As a youngster, when my mother was reading in the Bible, she thought that Lebanon was pronounced "LUH-BANNON' and that Deborah was pronounced "DUH--BORE--UH"!  My brother Bode thought that Catholic was pronounced "CAT-HOLIC"!  Gerald thought that Armegeddon was pronounced "AR--MADGE-UH--DON" and that facade was pronounced "FUH-CADE".  

See my BLOG article from 2012 about FACADE:

Les told me about seeing Kevin Hart interviewed and Hart was telling about being given a movie script for Fool's Gold and the script contained the word façade. When the camera rolled he pronounced the word as "fuh-cade" and the director yelled "Cut!" but, as Hart told the story, the director let him repeat the scene three times before correcting his pronunciation, as the rest of the crew were enjoying the spectacle. Hart said that he knew the word façade and knew how to pronounce the word correctly, but had never seen it in print.

A friend asked if I knew what the word deigns means, but she pronounced it as "deens"; when I did not recognize the word she spelled it and I said that I did know the word but it's pronounced as "danes". Les was listening to the conversation and said, "You know, that's one of those words that one sees on the printed page, but seldom hears pronounced."

In a recent BLOG article I used the word "banal" and then a friend referred to it and mispronounced the word.

Les said, "It's your Francophilia--you just love those Frenchy-sounding words--remember your insanity about niche?"

Other words I've heard fractured by people:

YOSEMITE (yes, Yosemite!)


Monday, November 23, 2015


While dining with Gerald's nephew Daren and his two children Emily and Eric, there was a birthday celebration at the table behind us which was accompanied by the restaurant's wait staff clapping, singing, and bestowing a large sombrero on the victim!

Naturally (well, it's NATRUAL with me) I joined in with the clapping and singing and then I arose, went to the table and wished the birthday honoree a happy birthday!

Shortly afterward, I was presented with a piece of birthday cake.

Gerald commented that it's interesting just how many times that my extending birthday wishes has resulted in receiving FREE CAKE!

Sunday, November 22, 2015


It's been fifty-two years since the death of President Kennedy and I still mourn for what might have been.  See my bittersweet article below:

                              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.

When we got there 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 county. 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. They were also all around 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 vicious pamphlets 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--everybody there said how they had 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 all of 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!"

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Our friend John was riding with us to an event and he expects me to provide literary and historical references when he cannot think of the source.  We were talking about a certain portly presidential candidate and John asked what part of Shakespeare had the line about having people around who are fat.  I laughed and said, "That's the one from Julius Caesar about Cassius having a lean and hungry look and it mentions that Cassius thinks too much and that is dangerous."  I said I would have to wait to get home for the full quote.  

The first play I saw (other than high-school events) was Julius Caesar.    Mrs. Craig took a school bus load of us to Wilmington College to see the performance. I took along my copy of the play.

I was diligently following along with the dialogue and when it reached this part as Caesar speaks:

"Let me have men about me that are fat
Sleek-headed men and such as sleep a-nights
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look
He thinks too much and such men are dangerous."

The actor portraying Caesar gestured toward the actor at stage left and it was a very portly young man portraying Cassius.  Even wearing a toga, one could tell he was big! I burst out laughing at the incongruity of a rotund actor portraying Cassius. Several people turned to look at me. I could not stop laughing although Mrs. Craig and others were shushing me! I regained my composure but when Caesar uttered "Were he fatter" I broke out in peals of laughter, literally holding my hand over my face to quiet the laughter.

Riding on the school bus home someone said, "We can't take her anywhere!"

Since growing up, I have seen the play performed twice and have also seen the movie starring Marlon Brando and when that scene comes on I always laugh!

CLICK HERE to see the YouTube video Julius Caesar (1953) - A lean and hungry look.

Friday, November 20, 2015


In 2012 I wrote the article WRITER MANQUE (see below).   I recently learned that the "writer" of the "book" referenced in that article has produced another vanity-press "book" and had a book-signing at a local restaurant.  While I found it extraordinary that people actually paid for the first "book", I now find it unbelievable that people who bought the first volume are willing to buy the second!  

                                      WRITER MANQUE
I  noticed in the local newspaper that a local attorney/farmer was having a "book-signing" of his recently published book. I know several people who bought the autographed book and one had exclaimed that it was "wonderful". As I do not know the attorney, I had no interest in reading it until someone mentioned that there was a chapter about a notorious, local, former judge who had been named "The Asshole Of The Month" by Hustler magazine in the 1970s. Although I was hopeful that the chapter was about that episode, it wasn't, but I was still interested when I saw that the chapter was about a different, although equally ignorant, decision by the judge.

In leafing through the book to find the chapter about the judge, I noticed the word "suspicioned". I thought, "OMG, Miss Digman would turn over in her grave at such usage!" [Miss Digman was one of my teachers in high school.] I then saw "council" when it should have clearly been "counsel"; the Supreme Court was not capitalized; and there were numerous errors of syntax, grammar, ellipses, and punctuation. The most glaring example is on page 173 where he wrote "This house saeft....." I screaked, "What the Hell is THAT?"

A friend said, "I guess that's the problem with vanity press books." I was shocked to see in the acknowledgements that there had been an editor! I said, "Surely the people who wrote the blurbs could not have read the book prior to its publication."

I laughed when I told a person who had recommended the book to me that the book would have had just a few pages if the author had not used "Mr." for all the white characters. The black characters, a custodian and a busboy, are not given the "Mr." honor! I cringed when I read the description of a black man as having a "shiny black face" in THREE separate places! No other person's facial characteristic is mentioned in the book. When quoting the black characters, he attributed "them" instead of "those"; "cause" instead of "because"; "I give you" instead of "I'll give you"; "I been watching " instead of "I've been watching" and "I see 'em" instead of "I see them"! I seriously doubt that all of the Misters he quoted used impeccable grammar and speech patterns, but ONLY the blacks are relegated to using that vernacular! [At least he didn't commit the usual faux pas and write that they were "articulate"!] Having lived in Fayette County all of my life, I have heard "prominent" people pronounce Washington as "WaRshington"; use poor grammar; drop the "g" on being, and going; 'cause for because, but one wouldn't know from this book, as all the white people have good speech patterns and the blacks sound like Stepin Fetchit! It's astounding that the author could recall the exact speech of people from fifty years ago.

I'm surprised that the author didn't injure himself -- patting himself on the back -- for being such a magnanimous friend to black people! His self-congratulatory, self-aggrandizing, posturing is embarrassing. I wondered how he had been such a successful attorney/farmer/businessman, but I believed it after I learned that he was able to convince people to pay $14.95 for the book!

Another person told me she'd heard that the writer manque was going to do a follow-up book. I said, "Perhaps I should ask him if he'll hire me as a proofreader and editor!"