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Posts Tagged ‘history’

The past is a bucket of ashes


Yesterday morning Pastor Conley read a poem that was written by Carl Sandburg in 1922. I don't remember ever having read the poem before, but it resonated with me and I thought I'd post it on my blog. If you read it aloud, it is particularly stirring.

"The past is a bucket of ashes."

The woman named Tomorrow
sits with a hairpin in her teeth
and takes her time
and does her hair the way she wants it
and fastens at last the last braid and coil
and puts the hairpin where it belongs
and turns and drawls: Well, what of it?
My grandmother, Yesterday, is gone.
What of it? Let the dead be dead.

The doors were cedar
and the panels strips of gold
and the girls were golden girls
and the panels read and the girls chanted:
We are the greatest city,
the greatest nation:
nothing like us ever was.
The doors are twisted on broken hinges.
Sheets of rain swish through on the wind
where the golden girls ran and the panels read:
We are the greatest city,
the greatest nation,
nothing like us ever was.

It has happened before.
Strong men put up a city and got
a nation together,
And paid singers to sing and women
to warble: We are the greatest city,
the greatest nation,
nothing like us ever was.

And while the singers sang
and the strong men listened
and paid the singers well
and felt good about it all,
there were rats and lizards who listened
… and the only listeners left now
… are … the rats … and the lizards.

And there are black crows
crying, "Caw, caw,"
bringing mud and sticks
building a nest
over the words carved
on the doors where the panels were cedar
and the strips on the panels were gold
and the golden girls came singing:
We are the greatest city,
the greatest nation:
nothing like us ever was.

The only singers now are crows crying, "Caw, caw,"
And the sheets of rain whine in the wind and doorways.
And the only listeners now are … the rats … and the lizards.

The feet of the rats
scribble on the door sills;
the hieroglyphs of the rat footprints
chatter the pedigrees of the rats
and babble of the blood
and gabble of the breed
of the grandfathers and the great-grandfathers
of the rats.

And the wind shifts
and the dust on a door sill shifts
and even the writing of the rat footprints
tells us nothing, nothing at all
about the greatest city, the greatest nation
where the strong men listened
and the women warbled: Nothing like us ever was.

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Do you think it applies to society today or only to times past? Have things changed since Sandburg wrote this in 1922?

quotation...

"Leave it all in the hands that were wounded for you." — Elisabeth Elliot (Through the Gates of Splendor)

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.


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What a Difference 100 Years Can Make!


This week and next, many will be doing retrospective looks at 2015. I thought it would be interesting and/or fun to take a look at 1915 instead.

Here are some events that took place in 1915:

While working as a cook at New York's Sloan Hospital under an assumed name, Typhoid Mary infected 25 people, and was placed in quarantine for life.

The Rocky Mountain National Park was established by an act of the U.S. Congress.

The United States House of Representatives rejected a proposal to give women the right to vote.

An act of the U.S. Congress designated the United States Coast Guard, begun in 1790, as a military branch.

The controversial film, The Birth of a Nation, directed by D. W. Griffith, premiered in Los Angeles.

In Washington, D.C. the first stone of the Lincoln Memorial was put into place.

NACA, the predecessor of NASA, was founded.

The U.S. submarine F-4 sank off Hawaii; 21 were killed.

Babe Ruth hit his first career home run off of Jack Warhop.

The RMS Lusitania was sunk on passage from New York to Britain by a German U-boat, killing 1,198.

Lusitania
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Postal Humor


Mr. ZIP

Monday of this week was the 50th anniversary of the introduction of ZIP codes in the USA, on July 1, 1963. I rarely sent letters until I started corresponding with cousins in France in 1967. Therefore I don't remember life without ZIP codes. I was amazed that the letters of one of my cousins arrived in a timely manner because of how she formed some of her numbers. One number in particular was her 4, which for the life of me looked more like the letter h. My ZIP code at the time contained two 4's and her number 4 looked something like the following picture, only even more h-like than this:

French 4

At the same time we were introduced to the official two-letter abbreviations for states, some of which made perfect sense — OH for Ohio, NY for New York, etc. But I still get confused about which letters go with some states. For instance, is AK for Arkansas or Alaska? And then all the M-states! Is MI Minnesota, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri? Is MA Massachusetts, Maryland, or Maine, or even Manitoba, Canada?! Is MS Mississippi, Missouri, or Massachusetts? And why in the world did Missouri end up with MO instead of MOntana?! If you pick the wrong letters, that ZIP code could be really important!

If you want to explore this subject some more, there's a good page on it on Wikipedia.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the ZIP code, the humor will be postal without "going postal".

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An airhead says to her psychiatrist, "I'm on the road a lot, and my clients are complaining that they can never reach me." Here's how their conversation continued:

Psychiatrist: "Don't you have a phone in your car?"

Airhead: "That was a little too expensive, so I did the next best thing. I put a mailbox in my car."

Psychiatrist: "So how's that working?"

Airhead: "Actually, I haven't gotten any letters yet. I figure it's because when I'm driving around, my zip code keeps changing."
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Historic Photos


Since so many historic things are either happening or being remembered this week (some celebrated, some lamented - depending on points of view), I thought I'd post some historic photos I received recently from a long time friend and now retired colleague. I won't add much, if any, info to whatever came with the pictures.

These will be presented in chronological order since no other logical order of presenting them comes to mind. Several of these are fascinating, and at least one is hysterical as well as historical. You decide.

The only known photograph of an African American Union soldier with his family. ca 1863-65

UnionSoldierFamily

A Native American looks down at a newly-completed section of the transcontinental railroad. Nevada, about 1868

NativeAmerNevada

The first official riders in New York City’s first subway, 1904
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To Call 9-1-1 or Not to Call 9-1-1


picture of call 911

In the wake of the the shock and disbelief from what had just transpired in the USA on September 11, 2001, my heavy heart found great comfort in Psalm 91:1 "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty." The 91:1 of that reference and the date 9/11 made me think of something I had in my files about the emergency number 9-1-1. The day after those horrible events, I sent what I'm posting today, and people found it encouraging. As we approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11 this Sunday, I thought it would be good to read this again. Calling 9-1-1 is not the best option in some situations....

Emergency Numbers

(These emergency numbers may be dialed directly. No operator assistance is necessary.)

When in sorrow, call John 14.

When people fail you, call Psalm 27.

If you want to be fruitful, call John 15.

When you have sinned, call Psalm 51.

When you worry, call Matthew 6:19-34.

When you are in danger, call Psalm 91.

When God seems far away, call Psalm 139.
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