As a child, I
left notes to future me
strewn about, recalling
a version of myself
that left quietly in the night.
We used to make time capsules
and fill them with trinkets we swore
we’d want to remember someday.
Funny how that changes
from reminding you of your
most prized possession
to even just the smell
of dew at the public park
you fell in love at
nearly a decade ago.
My hands, reaching out
passenger side window
I wish I could’ve bottled
the dew on my hands
and kept that freedom
in a jar
to remind me of even
the smallest of memories.
Source: Wiki Commons (Public Domain)
WHY IS THIS COMMON?
Why is this common?
Flags now flying at half staff
Why such tragedy?
Note: The American flag flies at half-mast at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. President Barack Obama ordered all United States flags to half-staff as a mark of respect for the victims of the act of hatred and terror perpetrated on Sunday, June 12, 2016, in Orlando, Fla. (U.S. Navy Photo By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Phillip Pavlovich/RELEASED)
Source of Photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Flags_of_the_United_States_at_half_staff#/media/File:JBPHH_Flies_At_Half_Mast_For_Orlando_160613-N-QL961-031.jpg
1 Wisdom hath built her house, and hewn out her seven pillars.
2 She hath killed her vitailles, drawn her wine, and prepared her table.
3 She hath sent forth her maidens and crieth upon the highest places of the city, saying,
4 Who so is simple, let him come hither, and to him that is destitute of wisdom, she saith,
5 Come, and eat of my meat, and drink of the wine that I have drawn.
6 Forsake your way, ye foolish, and ye shall live: and walk in the way of understanding.
7 He that reproveth a scorner, purchaseth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh the wicked, getteth himself a blot.
8 Rebuke not a scorner, lest he hate thee: but rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
9 Give admonition to the wise, and he will be the wiser: teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
10 The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord, and the knowledge of holy things, is understanding.
11 For thy days shall be multiplied by me, and the years of thy life shall be augmented.
12 If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself, and if thou be a scorner, thou alone shalt suffer.
13 A foolish woman is troublesome: she is ignorant, and knoweth nothing.
14 But she sitteth at the door of her house on a seat in the high places of the city,
15 To call them that pass by the way, that go right on their way, saying,
16 Who so is simple, let him come hither, and to him that is destitute of wisdom, she saith also,
17 Stolen waters are sweet, and hid bread is pleasant.
18 But he knoweth not, that ye dead are there, and that her guests are in the depth of hell.
• Introductions are important, whether in books or in public speaking. Author Peg Kehret once spoke in a juvenile detention center library before an audience of 12 teenage juvenile delinquents, all of whom were wearing orange jumpsuits. Clearly, they were not interested in her or in what she had to say, so she needed to think of something that would grab their attention immediately. She opened her talk with this sentence: “I once got a brand-new car for writing only 25 words.” This grabbed their attention, and she was not lying. She then told them about entering a contest—“In 25 words or less, please complete the statement, ‘I like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner because ….’”—and winning a Honda Civic. The boys became interested in other things she had to say, and three boys even borrowed her books from the library after her talk. Later, the librarian told her, “Our last speaker left in the middle because the boys were so rude.” Ms. Kehret says that she is glad that she did not know that before she started speaking.
• Ernest Rutherford, the 1908 Noble-Prize winner for Chemistry, was kind in many ways. He once gave a public lecture that was attended by Lord Kelvin, a great scientist who had estimated the age of the Earth as between 20 and 40 million years by measuring the rate at which the Earth gave off heat. However, in his lecture Mr. Rutherford asserted that Lord Kelvin’s estimate was way too low and that the Earth in fact was several hundreds of millions of years old. (Current estimates based on radioactive dating say that the Earth is almost 4.55 billion years old.) Lord Kelvin fell asleep at the beginning of the lecture, but he woke up when Mr. Rutherford started talking about the age of the Earth and gave him “a baleful glance.” Mr. Rutherford remembers, “Then a sudden inspiration came, and I said Lord Kelvin had limited the age of the earth, provided no new source was discovered. That prophetic utterance refers to what we are now considering tonight, radium! Behold! the old boy beamed upon me.”
• Film director and screenplay writer Kevin Smith is a funny guy, as is amply demonstrated in the question-and-answer sessions he has with his fans in his numerous live shows called “An Evening with Kevin Smith.” He says, “There’s no such thing as a dopey question. In fact, the worse the question is, the better for me, because we can have some fun with it.” Other people may disagree with Mr. Smith and say that some questions are, in fact, dopey. For example, Mr. Smith remembers, “One guy at a show came up to the mic and said, ‘Let’s say your wife is in a horrible accident and the only way to save her is to put her brain in the body of an 8-year-old girl.’ And then he wants to know what our sex life would be like.” As Mr. Smith correctly points out, “Marty Scorsese never gets questions like that.”
• Educator Alice Trillin once listened to a speech by New York governor George Pataki in which he spoke about his older brother, who grew up in a home with modest financial resources but was accepted to Yale. Their post office worker father drove to New Haven, Connecticut, to ask the Yale director of admissions how the son of a postal worker could be expected to go to Yale without a scholarship. (The director of admissions immediately called the Yale Westchester Alumni Association to find a solution to that particular problem.) After governor Pataki had finished the speech, Ms. Trillin told him, “That was one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard. Why in the world are you a Republican?”
• Orson Welles was multi-talented, although multi-geniused might be a better adjective. He spent a lot of time doing things to make money so that he could make his own independent films, and many people think that some of the things he worked on were not worthy of his genius. Sometimes, late in his life, he gave lectures in middle America to audiences that did not fill all of the seats available. He would introduce himself, correctly, as a film director, an actor, a writer, a painter, a designer, and a magician, and then he would scan the audience and say, “Isn’t it strange that there are so many of me and so few of you?”
• Ian McEwan wanted to learn to speak correctly when he was young; therefore, he arranged for his best friend, Mark Wing-Davey, whom he calls “a rare and genuine middle-class type,” to say the word “did” whenever Ian mistakenly said the word “done.” One day, Ian gave an oral presentation in history class on the reforms of Pope Gregory VII. Ian mistakenly said the word “done,” Mark said the word “did,” and the history teacher became angry at what he thought was Mark’s rudeness. Fortunately, Ian was able to explain what had happened.
• Al Capp, the cartoonist of Li’l Abner, frequently lectured. He especially enjoyed question-and-answer sessions, and before his lectures audience members would be given index cards on which were printed this message: “Al Capp Is An Expert On Nothing But Has An Opinion On Everything. What Is Your Question?” He would compose witty and/or thought-provoking answers to the questions, then deliver them at the public-speaking event. For example: “Are you for or against euthanasia? A: For whom? Clarify.”
• Resistance can be successful, at least temporarily. On January 13, 1943, a Nazi leader named Paul Geisler made a speech at the University of Munich. In his speech, he stated that women ought not to be students at the university; instead, they ought to be making German babies. Insulted, several women left the lecture hall and were immediately arrested. This enraged the male students, who beat up Paul Geisler until the women were released. Later, the Nazi leader apologized publicly for his remarks.
• In 1985, American novelist Don DeLillo won the National Book Award for his novel White Noise. His acceptance speech was brief: He simply stood up and said, “I’m sorry I couldn’t be here tonight, but I thank you all for coming.”
Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved
Buy the Paperback: The Funniest People in Books
I’m pretty sure Chaplin will be there.
If I could have any ten historical figures
over for dinner,
I would choose,
1.) Pot luck.
2.) My famous potato salad, and
3.) What-ever the historical figures bring
Because I can’t cook.
And I, sure as hell, am
not going to embarass myself
in front of the Three Stooges
** Don’t forget to leave out a letter of apology to Zander, Klaus! **