Pershing at the Front (by poet Arthur Guiterman) a student recitation favorite…

Back in the day students were required to memorize poems and recite them in class.  For most the process was torture—memorizing a poem from a list of “suggested” poems, working up the nerve to stand up in front of the class for the recitation, and enduring the embarrassment from  snickers of buddies in the audience.

Here’s one that was a favorite of the day, passed around on typewritten and mimeographed “ditto machine” purple-ink copies.     It is appropriate now, among all this false rhetoric about General Pershing, who was a World War I American general, with a long and distinguished reputation as a good, tough cookie among military Historians.

It’s a great poem…rhythm and meter perfect in my book, and well worth reading out loud and all the way through.     Thanks to the folks at holyjoe.org\guiter8.htm for posting it on their site.

Pershing at the Front

      by

Arthur Guiterman

    (1871-1943)

The General came in a new tin hat
To the shell-torn front where the war was at;
With a faithful Aide at his good right hand
He made his way toward No Man’s Land,
And a tough Top Sergeant there they found,
And a Captain, too, to show them round.

Threading the ditch, their heads bent low,
Toward the lines of the watchful foe
They came through the murk and the powder stench
Till the Sergeant whispered, “Third-line trench!”
And the Captain whispered, “Third-line trench!”
And the Aide repeated, “Third-line trench!”
And Pershing answered- not in French-
“Yes, I see it. Third-line trench.”

Again they marched with wary tread,
Following on where the Sergeant led
Through the wet and the muck as well,
Till they came to another parallel.
They halted there in the mud and drench,
And the Sergeant whispered, “Second-line trench!”
And the Captain whispered, “Second-line trench!”
And the Aide repeated, “Second-line trench!”
And Pershing nodded: “Second-line trench!”

Yet on they went through mire like pitch
Till they came to a fine and spacious ditch
Well camouflaged from planes and Zeps
Where soldiers stood on firing steps
And a Major sat on a wooden bench;
And the Sergeant whispered, “First-line trench!”
And the Captain whispered, “First-line trench!”
And the Aide repeated, “First-line trench!”
And Pershing whispered, “Yes, I see.
How far off is the enemy?”
And the faithful Aide he asked, asked he,
“How far off is the enemy?”
And the Captain breathed in a softer key,
“How far off is the enemy?”

The silence lay in heaps and piles
And the Sergeant whispered, “Just three miles.”
And the Captain whispered, “Just three miles.”
And the Aide repeated, “Just three miles.”
“Just three miles!” the General swore,
“What in the heck are we whispering for?”
And the faithful Aide the message bore,
“What in the heck are we whispering for?”
And the Captain said in a gentle roar,
“What in the heck are we whispering for?”
“Whispering for?” the echo rolled;
And the Sergeant whispered, “I have a cold.”

 


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Johnson’s Island, Confederate officers prison on Lake Erie, Ohio (Part Two)

(all photos on this page © Sometimes, 2017)   These photos were taken in May 1981 by Bob Dreger, my late husband.

The island prison housed Confederate military officers who were originally  captured during Civil War battles, and imprisoned  at Camp Chase, Columbus Ohio.   The object was to separate the officers from the rank-and-file soldiers and house them in the Northern prison where they remained until the end of the Civil War in 1865, or their death, which ever came first.    Over two hundred of them remain there, in their graves, to this day.

There is more to come from SOMETIMES, so please check back for more information about Johnson’s Island.     (I would continue now, but I have a lunch date with my best friend where we will fight the Civil War again.   We are on the same side…North, anti-Slavery, but present upheaval over Civil War statues opens up new debate across our nation—as if we don’t have plenty to debate! 🙂   For what it’s worth, this on-going perennial battle never dies.

 

 

Johnson’s Island confederate cemetery on Lake Erie, Ohio….photos of Southern soldier statue (Part One)

Here are two photos of the statue at Johnson’s Island, Ohio, taken by Bob Dreger in 1981.   The cemetery is a protected U.S. site, where more than two hundred Confederate military officers are buried.    I do need to clarify that Bob Dreger was the photographer, in 1981.  The copyright  is ©Sometimes, 2017.

This island is far North, half way to Canada.   It was important because all of the prisoners were Confederate military officers (Lieutenant and higher) who were separated from the rank-and-file soldiers incarcerated at Camp Chase, Ohio, and transferred to Johnson’s Island.

Later today I will try to post several more photos from this same batch.

This is the first part of this post on SOMETIMES, photos of the statue itself, including the pedestal, or base, which clearly explains the presence of a Southern monument this far North.   Johnson’s Island is located off of Sandusky, Ohio, in Lake Erie.   The island itself is privately owned, with controlled access.     Visitors to the federal cemetery do have access to the cemetery grounds, however.

PICT0021.JPG close good statue
U.S.Civil War. Statue of Confederate Soldier, at Johnson’s Island, Ohio. Photo by Bob Dreger, ©Sometimes, 2017
PICT0011.JPG base good
Base of Confederate Soldier statue on Johnson’s Island, Ohio, Civil War Prison. ©photo by Bob Dreger, Sometimes 2017)

Dreaming imaginary Prague, reposted

Dreaming imaginary Prague

 I have never been to Prague, except in daydreams…
but my impressionable mind is easily led
into the magical world of zithers and Gypsies,
of violins singing and wailing in ageless melodies…
music of joy and abandon…or sadness and melancholy.

Put on your hat, my girl, and come along with me…
We will trip the light fantastic (or is it a Fandango?)
whirling, twirling and dancing …and laughing at nothing
as our echoing soles  click and ring among  the cobblestones…
back to the days of fancy and intrigue.

Halcyon days of exquisite youth and passion for it all–
sordid or glorious, respectable or ridiculous–
days when common sense stayed at home amid the quiet
and comfortable over-stuffed chairs…and crackling radio static
never quite able to drown out the strains of an orchestral tune.

Prickles of goose bumps remind of running with n’er-do-wells
and bad influences…those mysterious, exciting  ones that
never existed, masquerading as “ladies” and “gentlemen,”
life’s forbidden (or at least frowned upon) adventures
among the brilliantly dark recesses of shadowy corners.

The mere mention of Prague always brings unseen wonders–
half-vision, half-dream.      There are Ladies in satiny dresses
and impossible shoes…. dancing away the nights, until dawn.
They sway with the music of instruments with no names,
enticing dangerously handsome partners with unknown designs.

But I digress, as is my wont…
the thoughts of romance and mystery subside–
old Prague returns to an idea that lives on
for dreamers…and poets.

©Sometimes, 2016

New Leaf…stay tuned

OK.     Enough time has been wasted on the agonizing and agonistic misadventures of the United States Government (or lack thereof.)    I do hope to live long enough to ingrain some of the History of the World Under Trump into my DNA.   Right, I’m not even sure that is possible, about the DNA that is, but the truth is that until about twenty years ago I was not even aware of such a thing.       Science was never my bag,  although my interests and obsessions lie as much with clouds and rocks, bugs and sea creatures, as any one.

A basic interest in Geneology is in fact part of my basic make-up, due largely if not mainly to my Dad’s Mom, my Grandmother Lillian Turney Piper.    The font of knowledge or awareness of our family origins was argueably Lillian’s mother, Ann Avann Turney, of Tenterton, England.      OK, enough with the name-dropping.

We lived with the aforementioned forebears until I was three, so direct influence of Great Grandma Ann was by osmosis, so to speak.   She no doubt talked with me a lot about family affairs.  She also kept personal diaries after the age of about 80, when she was forced to curtail her former active social life and retreat to her home.   There she wrote her faithful diary entries…and discussed life and the world with visitors and family.    She read daily newspapers and other periodicals, and often wrote and received personal letters.

Visitors included members of social clubs, and church membership.   GG Ann was into all sorts of world activities, and wrote poetry.   Yes…a poet.   There was no WordPress then, of course, no computers or email.   The telephone was tied to the wall with a cord, and used only in turn with other people on the line (of course they listened in) so one just stated their business and got off the phone.    No texting…no cell phones.

GG Ann was keenly interested, and involved to whatever possible extent, in the WCTU: The Women’s Christian Temperance Union.   Their target—Alcohol.     I wish that here would follow exciting tales about women in long dresses and big fancy hats smashing bars and bottles with axes.   Or at least, rolling pins.     I have no details about GG Ann’s adventures with the WCTU, although there are extant examples of her original poetry and quotations clipped from newspapers.

To get back to my new pursuit…as I said earlier, my preoccupation with the United States government (or lack thereof,) only grows by the hour, and has no practical application to my personal blog.    My associates, followers, correspondents, critics…mostly are on the same political page wherever they are in our world.   Common sense and questionable judgement urges me to stay out of the comment sections of various venues, on the premise that everyone has an opinion and anything I say they will ignore, take offense, or call me names…which hurts my feelings.    Preaching to the choir has no direct result except winks and thumbs-ups…and arguing with the posters, trolls or not, is counterproductive and only makes me mad.

This morning a blogger pal reposted an article from a newspaper that mentions the Koch Brothers and hitherto emphasized family (group?) The Mercers.   I know who the Koch Brothers are…friends of Trump, I think…but the Mercers?   Hmmm, I have decided to find out who these people are, what they are up to, and—if they are related to ME.     GG Ann’s grandmother was a Mary Mercer… so that’s my new preoccupation.   (stay tuned)

 

 

The Pen…by poet Charles Yonkings

The Pen

There is a bang
as the gavel
strikes the bench.
My mind unravels
from the sentence
that is imposed
Just another case closed
and life as I know it ends…
Ten years thrice to
serve in the pen.

But then
I pick up my pen
and start to live again.
With each stroke of  ink
I transcend
my transgressions,
release
my repressions.
And for the first time
I am truly free
because of the pen.

©Charles Yonkings,2016

The tyranny of fear, reblogged from “420 ways to reach the sun.”

(Here is a new-to-me site I found yesterday. I really like the site, theme and layout, and especially the content. This article on the inconsistencies and idiocracies of politics and the “will of people.”   I really relate to what the author says., and the way in which she writes. I have written elsewhere about my personal experience with fear and sanitation of war back in the 1940s when young children knew all about the chances of surviving a nuclear blast and could discuss it sensibly. ( I will re-post my Me and the War next.)  Thank you, ginsberg420!   🙂

420 ways to reach the sun

The face of fear has no expression.

Heaving dreams are hard to realize in a world where being a pacifist is akin to being a “radical idealist”. I remember when my father called me that. In this entire political rhetoric of normalization of war, it’s the opposition that is demonized. It’s a tragedy to be 20 and deprived of the privilege of being naïve. Never mind the fact that he owns more than the rest of the country put together. Never mind his disregard for the value of human life. Never mind the heaving dreams he stepped on with a smirk in his head. Never mind his rage, his tyranny, his plutocracy, his fast flying drones. Never mind.

Growing up to the politics of war hasn’t been easy, but watching a hateful, angry plutocrat get elected as one of the most influential men in the world has shaken me. Not…

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Extradition…by poet Charles Yonkings

Extradition

Click go the cuffs
clamped on wrists,
rubbed raw
from the irons’
cold embrace.
Legs shackled,
chained at the ankles,
Crammed
in a cargo van
Filled
with fellow fugitives
on a journey
across country
to fulfill fate’s wishes
and the desire of destiny.

©Charles Yonkings, 2016

Mad Woman (Still) Searching for Lost Things (2)

Previously I re-posted an article I wrote two years ago.    I haven’t learned much since, when it comes to finding lost things.

The issue with the lost books from my inventory continues.    Yesterday’s book was right where it was supposed to be.   However, I won’t get complacent, because many of my books are not where I expect to find them.   The thing about that is annoying, but usually ends up with the book being found without much delay.    Only once in the years I have been selling books online have I had to run to HalfPriceBooks and buy another copy.

The search now involves a rotary slide holder, filled with slides and stored in the original yellow Kodak box the tray came in originally.    These slides are part of a slide-show production I put together to entertain my university class in World Civilizations, specifically a   2-credit course required of all students.   The courses were specifically designed History classes in world areas such as Latin America, Africa, Middle East…and many others.   The classes were usually chosen by students based on the time-slot as it fit in with their other classes, rather than any particular interest in a world region.

My presentation dealt with Mexican archeological sites in Yucatan including  Chichén Itzá, Uxmal, and Tuluum.  Obviously the slides that I selected were the ones I considered to be the best quality.   Most had been photographed by my late husband, I might add.    There are about a hundred slides.    The search is on…and the good part of it is that I have so far cleaned out and rearranged two major room closets searching.    I have located thousands of slides…but not this particular collection.

Last winter I ordered a Digital Film/Slide Projector, and it is the best thing since sliced bread.    It is very simple in operation, you just put the slides in the contraption, transfer the images onto an SD card, which corresponds to a photo site on my computer.    Perfect…..not automatic, exactly, but it isn’t bad because I get to view all of my slides from a thirty year period.       An added bonus is seeing the family shots of 30-something grandchildren as babies.   The farm is well represented in photos going back to the 1970s, as well as multiple vacations during the subsequent years.

Back to the subject…searching for that slide tray.        The closing of two shops at a flea market and an antique mall about five years ago resulted in half of my book inventory and dollhouse miniatures and all-kinds-of-stuff  into my garage, and most rooms in my house.     About half of my book inventory of about 2000 books now (not counting my personal library of books which is more extensive,) is catalogued on online book sites such as Amazon, Alibris, Biblio, Barnes&Noble…etc.     I have culled the inventory excess to the extent that most of what is left is  saleable. … in theory.     Every one of these books is numbered sequentially and readily available….except, of course, those that insist on misplacing themselves.

Oh yes, the point is that I am in the process of publishing many of my slides on my blog, and some of my best are missing.     However, my slide converter gadget also does film strips, so all is not lost.   I just haven’t tried the film strips yet.

Mad Woman Searching for Lost Things

First published here in February 2015.    I do find this whole situation to be pertinent though…even now in May 2017….I guess I never learn!

I already looked there, Sister.

When I lose something…or more accurately have misplaced it…there is no rest for me or anyone near me, until the missing item has reappeared.  I do believe in the old prayer to St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost things, or is he the saint of the people who have LOST something?

Either way, I am not ashamed to say that the quickest way to recovery is to recite some version of the verse:   This one was told to me by a stranger at the flea market when I was out there selling books:

Tony, Tony, Tony…Something’s lost and can’t be found,

Please help me find it when I turn around.

Many things have been recovered soon after pleading with St. Anthony for help.  Finding lost keys are a specialty of the Saint’s, and various and sundry other missing things have been recovered….not only by me, but by various other believers.

Once I even found a silver bracelet that I had lost in the garage.  I had been sorting books and must have caught the edge of the cuff bracelet, causing it to slip off of my wrist.  That was a mad search, which included a grocery store, pharmacy, restaurant, and several other places.  My evil twin even suggested the possibility that some unscrupulous clerk had pocketed my bracelet.  (I didn’t really believe that myself, as I have a basic belief in the goodness of people.)  The bracelet turned up after several calls to St. Anthony…and an email friend who is a Tarot card reader of some note, and also has a reputation for finding lost things.

Hmm… maybe that’s why it took the Tony, Tony, Tony thing so long.   I found the bracelet under a chair, behind a stack of picture frames, under a few boxes of flea market stuff…and a plastic red tablecloth, which may or may not have been key.  Just sayin’….

THE CURRENT EMERGENCY SEARCH was one that I have entirely too often.  I mentioned in an earlier post,  about how I handle my book inventory.  Although I was bragging about how well my alphabetical inventory system works, I did include a caveat that IF a given book was not where it was supposed to be… in this case #1746–which should have been between 1745 and 1747, but was not.

No, Baby, it's not outside.

Now, this has to be a case of Murphy’s Law of Inventories, because this was the exact book that a customer ordered.  It was a book about making Art items from Buttons (the kind on shirts,) and I distinctly remembered  being in the book room holding the book and thinking “how mundane.”  Yes, that’s what I forget for being judgemental.   I also recall my son coming in with his current emergency, pinning his church “Usher” badge to his shirt, and I  had to leave the room–with the book in hand–and debating where to shelve it temporarily.

As luck would have it, the very next order that came in was for THAT VERY BOOK.  Thus the mad search was on.  I have books all over the house, some already inventoried, most not.  To cut to the chase, I found the Button book within two feet of my left arm, on a shelf where I keep books that for one reason or another are in a “waiting” status.

I had looked in the very spot several times.  It was much smaller than I had remembered it, and had slipped partially behind two neighboring books: one on Tai Chi, and one on Ribbon crafts.  The inventory numbers matched several books in the immediate space.

This whole situation where a given book is not readily located happens too often to be coincidental.  There are nearly three thousands books in my inventory, on shelves, in order.     WHY is the one on order frequently misplaced?

I guess I’ll have to ask St. Anthony that question.

Magic of WordPress support

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/reblogging/

 

I love the way WordPress support people just hang on my every word and serendipitously post the perfect article pertaining to questions on which I am obsessing at any given time.

OK, logic tells me that it isn’t really magic, more like internet triggers that connect information sites with people who want to know.     I admit that I have been searching the support pages for re-blogging information.

The question of re-blogging is one that bothers me a lot.   The rules of correct citation of articles, papers, and texts are not strictly enforced as they are in a language class at a high school or university.     No one whips out a theoretical red pencil and “corrects” what we write, and plagiarism is rampant…although it is mostly not intentional.

Sure, it could be argued that commenters in an online chat room don’t know and don’t care if facts are really true or if they are “fake facts.”

So what do we expect from blogs?    At times all I expect is a nice poem, or a page of pretty flowers, an outrageous point-of-view or page of insults.     Jokes, comics.    How to raise children; How to raise chickens; How to bake an apple pie…all interesting.     But I also turn to certain bloggers that are knowledgeable and educated to some degree on topics of world upheaval or historical background on new or on-going crisis spots across the globe.     No one can know everything about everything.

This is where the subject of re-blogging comes in.   I often re-blog posts from other bloggers.     Criteria for a reblog is that my readers know exactly where the piece comes from: who wrote it, the reason for re-blogging it, and where to find it.      Sometimes it is difficult to trace back to an original source…then decide if it should be para-phrased or quoted directly.

The new re-blogging system of WordPress is good, it takes care of notifications to the original blogger…although there should always be that information in the very top of an article.   Admittedly I’m lax about this, and although try to specify the original source in the headline of the post, and include an introduction as to the author.    A link is easily copied from the address bar.

The thing that worries me is that someone will think that a post is mine, where in fact it is written by someone else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change in the Neighborhood…Photo Op

 

My new camera is wonderful.   I love it…the way it feels, the reassuring heft, the quality of the photos.    The colors are glorious, landscapes good and clear, and focus…well, focus is not my strong suite.   I used to blame it on my eyesight, on the camera itself, pesky f-stops and shutter speeds, and my own tendency to shake.     But now the brutal truth of photography is shining brightly in my face in four large words:  read the manual stupid!

Actually I’m not stupid, just impatient.  The simpler the camera the less there is to know of techniques and tricks of the trade.   Point-n-shoot….way to go.   Except that I want to learn how to be a real photographer, not just a picture-taker.      Fully recognizant of the need to study the basics and memorize a few simple tips such as keeping the camera battery charged…and checking to see that there is an SD card in place.

Even as I write there is an imminent barn-collapse in the works across the road, where they are tearing down a big old greenhouse operation and are in the end-time of demolishing a big 100-year old barn and some assorted out buildings.    The greenhouse structures are already gone.     I do have photos of the destruction and clean-up.

Both of my camera batteries are charging.  Really.    My new Sony DSC-HX80 needed to be charged, and so did my little blue Sony which I like to keep fired up for back-up…and besides, it doesn’t require much thinking.

So hopefully the little orange charging lights will turn to green before the barn becomes a pile of rubble.

The latter may be a really big deal, as the front edge of the barn is maybe 20 feet from the edge of the road pavement.   It has been there for a century, before there was much of a road.    The operation will probably need a police car, maybe a fire truck…and a flag-person-crew to direct traffic.

… stay tuned.

 

SIDE SHOT BARN HOUSE TOYT
See house to the SouthWest of the barn.

B

SYMBOL'S BIG BARN
All these buildings will come down. 
BIG BARN GOOD CLOSE
The big dumpsters are rented, and when full are taken away to the dump.