golden retriever in the background is merely watching.
isn't he trying to retrieve the flying disk? Because he
understands the concept of private property. The Frisbee
belongs to the German shepherd!
image recreates an incident that's part of this month's 100 Moons article.
P.M. CURL CHEVROLET
M. Curl and Jay Evans used to operate an automobile dealership known
as Curl-Evans Chevrolet in Richwood, Ohio. Jay's grandson Wayne
writes on Facebook, Originally, it was located at Pop's Pure
Oil (I think it may now be a NAPA store). I remember the Pure
Oil station as being around 120 North Franklin Street in my day,
while the NAPA store is at 209 North Franklin.
Curl and Evans built a new location at the corner of Franklin and
Oak Streets. Wayne says his grandpa subsequently sold his
portion to Paul, so it became just P.M. Curl Chevrolet.
I'm not sure how well they got along at the end. He
said Paul took two vacations a year; each one was six months long.
many years later, Paul decided it was time to retire. He sold
the dealership to my father, Vernon M. Thomas, who thereby became a
business owner. Our family moved to Richwood in late 1952.
snapshot from 1956 shows Margaret and Paul Curl on the left and my
father on the right.
did the dealership look like when he bought it? Bob
Connors passed along a couple of color photos that Kay
Armstrong Unverzagt shared on Facebook.
writes, I wanted to post these pictures of my uncle's garage
in Richwood before it became Thomas Chevrolet. I guess I was a
little too young to take pictures of it back then but of course my
cousin had these. I do remember those police cars. My son
liked the Power Glide sign in the window.
remember being fascinated as a boy by that neon sign. It
promoted the two-speed automatic transmission introduced in 1950 for
upper-level Chevrolet models the first automatic available in
a low-priced car.
1953, the showroom had been rearranged. The front door, with
its decal promoting GMAC financing, now was protected by a metal
awning. Most importantly, there was a new name on the building,
which would survive until 1964.
MENCKEN'S 100-YEAR-OLD PROPHECY
hundred years ago today, H.L. Mencken wrote an article in the Baltimore
Evening Sun calling the Republican candidate for President,
Warren G. Harding of Marion, Ohio, a numskull like the idiots
held a dim view of the intelligence of the electorate. He
called voters quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of
comprehending any save the most elemental.
to him, the whole thinking of the boobocracy is based on
emotion mainly dread of what they cannot understand.
a nationwide race, all the odds are on the man who is,
intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre, he wrote.
The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men.
democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more
closely, the inner soul of the people.
move toward a lofty ideal.
some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach
their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by
a downright moron.
is heavier, 16 ounces of lead or 16 ounces of feathers?
silly. Each weighs one pound.
they do. But how about this: Which is heavier, 16 ounces
of coal or 16 ounces of gasoline?
in that case there is a difference. Coal is measured by
weight; a short ton of coal weighs 32,000 ounces. However,
gasoline is measured by volume; a gallon of gasoline contains 128 fluid ounces.
it turns out, 16 oz. of coal (one pound) weighs 16 ounces ...
16 fl. oz. of gasoline (one pint) weighs only 11½ ounces.
DON'T MESS WITH THE BEAR CUBS
a new old story, many accomplishments of former leaders are claimed
by the new leader. One of his supporters goes door to door Multiplying
boasting of very great triumphs. Some of them might even have
happened, though one is mean and vengeful.
his supper, my father loved fresh sliced tomatoes, so he had half a
dozen plants growing outside the kitchen window. Here he
proudly displays the first yield of the season.
round slicing red big organic ripe homegrown beautiful a tomato.
last sentence is certainly colorful, but why is it also so weird?
includes too many adjectives, but more to the point, they're
jumbled. A rarely-taught rule
of English grammar requires that if multiple adjectives modify a
single noun, they must precede it in a certain very specific order
according to these nine categories:
didn't know that was a rule, but everyone fluent in English has
unconsciously internalized it. The colorful sentence ought to
be rearranged to read:
It's a beautiful
round red homegrown
TO __ WE SING
of Black Lives Matter has recently returned the National Anthem to
the national conversation. Folks are again recalling NFL
quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who knelt during the Anthem and
declared, I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag
for a country that oppresses black people and people of
color. Other folks have toppled a statue of the National
Anthem's author, Francis Scott Key, an attorney who defended
slaveholders' rights to human property.
words were by Key, who owned slaves himself, but I've heard that the
melody is also questionable. Why? Because it comes from
an old British drinking song, To Anacreon in Heaven.
title always puzzled me. Assuming the name
Ana-creon to be pronounced like Hannah Kreeon,
I couldn't imagine how it could fit the anapestic rhythm of the tune.
I never investigated the mystery until now. It turns
out the knack is to put the accent on the second syllable
while eliding the letter e from the name as well as from heaven.
An ancient Greek poet. While others celebrated myths and
histories, he wrote about everyday themes such as love and parties.
centuries later, about 1766, London gentlemen formed a music
club. Two dozen erudite fellows met once a month in a coffee
house at Rowley & Leech, a wine merchant. The festivities
typically began at 7:00 with a concert. One notable guest was
Franz Joseph Haydn. At 10:00 everyone retired for a late
supper. Afterwards, they returned to the concert room and
joined in their official Anacreontic Song, an origin story written by
members Ralph Tomlinson and John Stafford Smith.
Anacreon in heav'n, where he sat in full glee,
A few Sons of Harmony sent a petition
he their inspirer and patron would be,
When this answer arriv'd from the jolly old Grecian.
his reply, the old poet from Mount Parnassus promoted both the
goddess of love and the god of wine:
fiddle and flute,
No longer be mute!
I'll lend ye my name, and inspire ye to boot.
besides, I'll instruct ye, like me, to entwine
The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's vine.
up on Mount Olympus, the king of the gods snobbishly objected.
news through Olympus immediately flew,
When Old Thunder pretended to give himself airs.
these mortals are suffer'd their scheme to pursue,
The devil a goddess will stay above stairs.
the English idiom of the day, the last line means no
immortals, not as much as one goddess, will remain up in
heaven. But Zeus was too late. The mortals were
experiencing joy, which in those days rhymed with cry.
Already they cry
In transports of joy,
A fig for Parnassus! To Rowley's we'll fly,
there, my good fellows, we'll learn to entwine
The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's vine.
the verses required a wide vocal range, the leader sang
them solo. The others repeated his final two lines, swinging
their glasses from side to side and then fraternally joyning hands
for the last of the six choruses.
the official song, the merriment continued with at least another
hour of songs, catches, glees, puppet shows, and everything
that mirth can suggest. In this James Gillray caricature,
they're still braying at 3:42 in the morning, whilst snug in
our Club-room, we jovially 'twine / the myrtle of Wenus with
Anacreontic Society outgrew the London Coffee-House and relocated to
the Crown and Anchor Tavern. Unfortunately, ladies had begun to
attend, so the members had to clean up their revelry.
disgust they began resigning one by one. By 1792 the club had
disbanded. However, their signature tune survived. Across
the Atlantic, in 1799 it gained new words (including an image of
George Washington using his sword as a lightning rod) and was sung
during the re-election campaign of President John Adams. In
1805 Francis Scott Key set When
the Warrior Returns to the same popular melody.
used it again (along with some of the same words) for Defence
of Fort McHenry in 1814. Known as The Star-Spangled
Banner, this song became even more popular.
it has taught us to venerate the banner. We place our hands
over our hearts and swear allegiance to the flag. We fix our
eyes worshipfully upon it while singing the words of a slave
owner. In parts of the country, unreconstructed descendants of
slave owners counter with a different flag.
it time to move on from banner idolatry? Is it time to move on
from Key's militaristic song with its glaring rockets and bursting
bombs? If so, may I suggest another English melody to which new
American words were written, in this case in 1831. It is
worthy of being a free nation's anthem.