Knocked Out

I’ve been away from this keyboard for a few weeks and it feels good to be back. I literally “knocked myself out” and spent some time in the hospital. The result was finding a brain tumor, which we will be treating as best we can.

Losing all memory of several days of life is a scary thing. I keep wondering what strange things I said or did during that time. So far, no one has told me I danced naked in the hospital halls or sang my favorite Johnny Cash songs at the top of my lungs.

Now that I’m home and feeling better, maybe I should stir up some excitement in the neighborhood – just to let everyone know I’m back.

Published in: on April 12, 2016 at 10:15 am  Leave a Comment  

Nicknames

In a March 21, 2016 Wall Street Journal article about hiking the Appalachian Trail, I was entertained by the nicknames (or trail names) hikers used to identify themselves in trail log books.

Examples were Doc, Sunshine, Turtle, Moose, and Strider. This made me wonder just how these names came to be attached to a particular hiker. I found one example: A hiker slipped in a stream and got wet. He stood close to the campfire to dry out. His pants began to steam as the water evaporated. Thus he gained the trail name “Hot Pants.”

Published in: on March 27, 2016 at 6:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

Women’s Firsts

airplane While visiting the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona, I noted a great display of “firsts” by female aviators. These women overcame many challenges to fulfill their dreams of becoming pilots. Here are a few that stood out.

Bessie Coleman became the first African American, male or female, to receive a pilot’s license in 1921.She had to go to France to receive training.

In 1932, Amelia Earhart was the first woman to make a solo flight across the Atlantic.

In 1963, Valentina Tereshkova of Russia was the first woman in space.

Twenty years later Sally Ride became the first American woman in space.

The cute little bumble-bee plane at the top really few but had room for only one person.

Published in: on March 18, 2016 at 11:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Finding The Right Message

panhandlerThe exit from the north bound lane of I-25 to 29th street is a busy location. Cars are often lined up waiting for the light to change so they can make a left turn. This makes it an attractive location for people seeking handouts. While stopped in that lane, only occasionally do I see someone make a contribution.

However, recently a man stood beside the exit ramp holding a sign that read “Let’s face it. I just want a beer.” The three cars behind me all made contributions! I suspect, after an hour at that spot he was able to buy a round for everyone in the bar.

Published in: on February 15, 2016 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Advice for Job Interviews

Never drink an alcoholic beverage before going to an interview or with the interviewer!

I was one of four candidates selected by the Division President for a very good position. We each had a final interview with the Corporate Human Resources Manager. When I called to schedule my interview, I was told that we would talk over lunch.

The HR Manager took me to an elegant restaurant. As we looked over the menu, he politely asked if I would care for a glass of wine. I declined. He ordered a bottle of fine wine. During the meal, he offered me wine at least three times as he poured himself another glass. I continued to decline. Now, I really would have liked a little wine but I was intent on keeping my tongue and my brain in full functioning order. I really wanted that job.

A week or so later, the Division President called to offer me the job. He met with me when I reported for work some weeks later. He told me that I had been his first choice. The HR Manager preferred another candidate but accepted the Division President’s choice. He also told me that I was the only one of the four candidates who did not accept alcoholic beverages during lunch. One candidate drank too much and revealed a longtime alcohol problem. Another candidate apparently revealed some personal things that were best left out of a job interview.

Published in: on February 15, 2016 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Legend of the Springs

FountaineAt the base of Pike’s Peak is a little valley carrying a stream the old French voyageurs… named Fontaine Qui Bouille, or Boiling Fountain…[At] its source were springs which boiled forth charged with carbolic acid gas and pleasantly saturated with soda and other minerals.

These springs were held sacred by all the Indians both of the mountains and the plains because of their supposed medicinal qualities. Around [these springs] they wove traditions, as they did about most natural phenomena which they could not understand. This was supposed to be the spot where Manitou, the great spirit of all the Indians, came forth upon the earth from the happy hunting grounds. The gas bubbles in the water were thought to be his breathing.

Major Ruxton, an eccentric English Army officer…sought health by traveling in the Rocky Mountains all alone as far back as 1834…[He] found the springs filled with bead work and trinkets, left by the Indians as …offerings to Manitou. In his memoirs is found the legend that accounted for the springs.

A Comanche and a Ute…met at the springs…The Ute had killed a deer and this had aroused the jealousy of the Comanche. As the Ute stopped to drink, the Comanche leaped upon him and held his head in the stream until dead. At once the form of Manitou, an aged man with white beard, appeared out of the stream…and, with a war cry, brained the murderer. Immediately the water of that spring turned bitter.

So that his children might not have to drink of this, the great spirit smote the rocks some distance away and sweet and healing waters came forth.

All of this happened a long time ago “when the cotton woods along the big river (the Arkansas) were no larger than an arrow” and was the beginning of that feud between the Indians of the mountains and those of the plains, which lasted for centuries.

From “Shan Kive Marks Race Friendships” The Salt Lake Telegram, September 2, 1913, by Frederic J. Haskin

Published in: on February 8, 2016 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Bridey

Bernstein House

Bernstein home in Pueblo, Colorado

While searching my bookshelves for something to read, I came across The Search for Bridey Murphey. The book had belonged to my husband’s grandfather – a man who wrote his name and the date he acquired a book on the first page. He bought this copy sixty years ago, the year Doubleday first published this work by Morey Bernstein (1919-1999).

The book’s initial printing in January, 1956 was 10,000 copies. It quickly hit the New York Times best-seller list, where it remained for 26 weeks. By mid March, 200,000 copies were in print. The story was promptly made into a movie staring Louis Haywood and Teresa Wright. The book was reissued in 1965 and eventually published in 30 languages.

What was the great appeal of this story? Evidence of a woman’s previous life in another time. The fly page described it like this:  “His subject, a young woman named Ruth Simmons [real name Ginni Tighe] had been put into a deep hypnotic trance in the presence of witnesses. A home tape recorder was turned on to record every step in the experiment, beginning with the age regression process… Bernstein…took his subject back to the age of seven, to five, to three, to one–and finally through the barrier of time itself. ‘I want you to keep going back,’ he told her, ‘back through space and time, and you will find there are other scenes in your memory – in some other place, in some other time’.”

Ruth recalled a past life in Ireland when she was known as Bridey Murphy. The book’s fly page reports she was “…born in Cork, in 1798, she grew into a spirited miss with a saucy tongue who married a young barrister and moved to Belfast. She died at the age of sixty-six.”

Of course, the book was controversial! There were stories that investigators in Ireland found no record of Bridey or her family. Newspapers reported parallels between incidents in Ruth Simmons’ life and the stories she told as Bridey. Regardless, the story was intriguing and remains so today. The book reports Mr. Bernstein’s prior experiments in hypnotism, information about Edgar Cayce who did “life readings” that identified individuals’ medical problems, and then contemporary research in the field of extrasensory perception.

After 20 years of reflection, Mrs. Morrow told The Times in 1976 she remembered nothing of what she said of Bridey Murphy under hypnosis but considered the recollections valid. She expressed personal ambivalence about reincarnation.

Published in: on February 1, 2016 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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College Life 1932

1930sFrom the Colorado Woman’s College Catalog 1932-1933
A Recognized Junior College with a Four-Year Conservatory of Music

Regulations:

If a student desires to spend a night or week-end off of the campus, it is necessary to file, two days in advance of the proposed visit, a written invitation from the people she proposes to visit and also the written permission of her parents giving the name and the address of the person or persons whom she proposes to visit. General permissions are not approved.

Expenses:

Tuition for all literary subjects for the year = $225.00
Charge for only one or two regular class subjects = $8.00 per semester hour

The yearly cost for books = $12.00-$20.00 depending on courses selected

Two semesters room and board for a double room = $425.00 – 475.00 per year, depending on a bath with the room or a bath down the hall.
A singe room with bath = $500.00

Campus Organizations:
Browsers – literature club
Scribblers – a writers group. Membership limited to ten women and vacancies filled based on poems, essays, dramas or short stories submitted by an applicant.
Press Club – advanced journalism students
Glee Club – 25 members selected on competitive basis
Band – newly organized that year
Orchestra
French Club
Spanish Club
Home Economics Association – Meetings devoted to the discussion of such subjects as make life more beautiful and housekeeping a pleasure.
B. Z. Club for students interested in biology
Pi Omega Iota – club for students preparing to be teachers
Tri Chi – for girls taking secretarial courses
International Relations Club
Art Club
Chem Club
S.I.A.C. Honorary Athletic society – Open to all students who are able to meet the endurance and scholastic requirements.
Riding Club
Pi Kappa – daughters of ministers, who call themselves “Preachers’ Kids”

Published in: on January 25, 2016 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Bestselling Books 1916

Old BooksWhat were people reading one hundred years ago? Here are the Publishers Weekly bestselling novels of 1916:

Seventeen by Booth Tarkington (two time Pulitzer Prize winner: 1919 for The Magnificent Ambersons and 1922 for Alice Adams)

When A Man’s A Man by Howard Bell Wright

Just David by Eleanor H. Porter

Mr. Britling Sees It Through by H.G. Wells (prolific British writer in many genres but best remembered for science fiction novels)

Life and Gabriella by Elen Glasgow (won the 1942 Pulitzer Prize for In This Our Life but died before the selection was announced)

The Real Adventure by Henry Kitchell Webster

Bars of Iron by Ethel M. Dell (British author)

Nan of Music Mountain by Frank H. Spearman

Dear Enemy by Jean Webster

The Heart of Rachael by Kathleen Norris (a prolific author who sold over 10 million copies of her 80 books and became the highest paid female author of her day)

One interesting note in the article accompanying the list reports: “…just because a book is purchased doesn’t mean it will be read. The rising length of bestsellers may mean that more of them are simply becoming bookshelf decor. In 1985 members of the staff of The New Republic laced coupons redeemable for $5 cash inside 70 books that were selling well, and none of them were sent in.”

The term “best seller” was first used in print in 1889 by The Kansas Times & Star newspaper in Kansas City. For more information about determination of a best seller, there is an interesting Wikipedia article online titled “Bestseller.”

 

Quilts

crazy-patchwork-quiltOver the holidays I enjoyed reading The Runaway Quilt, one in the long series of quilt themed books by Jennifer Chiaverini. It is a story that takes place in two eras – one just before the Civil War and the other in modern time.

One character mentions that “Families often set aside a special quilt to be used only infrequently by guests, but those quilts were typically the finest in the household.”

We had just such a quilt when I was growing up. It lay carefully folded in Mother’s cedar chest. I remember being very sick with chicken pox at about age 10. When I was past throwing up and beginning to feel better, mother laid that beautiful special quilt over me. I knew that I would be well soon! That quilt continued its “getting well” appearances until I left home. Later it came to stay in my own cedar chest.

The quilt had no fancy pattern. It was made of solid color satin squares laid out in rows. The squares were cut from the ribbons that trimmed flower bouquets at my grandfather’s 1927 funeral.

 

Published in: on January 11, 2016 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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