Child’s Eye View of Religion

SDC10398          When my husband processes an order for our used book business, I always ask, “What did this person buy?”
         Recently, the book purchased was Faith, Hope and Hilarity: The Child’s Eye View of Religion, a 1970 work by Dick Van Dyke. Yes, TV’s funny man.
          I delayed shipment for half a day while I sat on the patio and read this slim volume.  Here are a few of the stories that kept me laughing:

          The children’s Sunday School teacher was explaining the concept of the Trinity, three persons in one. She used an egg to demonstrate how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost could be one entity. God is the yolk. Jesus is the white of the egg. The Holy Ghost is the shell. Then she cracked open the egg to show the three parts. Wouldn’t you know, that egg had a double yolk!

          A New York City Sunday School Teacher asked a boy, “Who defeated the Philistines?”
          The boy replied, “If they don’t play the Mets, I don’t keep track of them.”

          A first grade girl insisted that Adam and Eve had two children – a boy and a girl! “Their names were Cain and Mable,” she said.

Found in Old Books

We operate a used book business and are often entertained by the items we find tucked inside old books. Cards received with a gift book are common along with printed bookmarks and business cards. Here are a few oddities we found in old books:

Pages from a Cardiologist’s note pad with two hand-sketched diagrams of a heart. Arrows apparently indicate the patient’s problem. Page three notes the estimated annual number of deaths from the particular condition.

An invitation, dated May 1967, to the fiftieth anniversary party of the 1917 graduating class of Centennial High School, Pueblo, Colorado.

A letter from a man to his father. It is written in very large, back-slanted script on a very large piece of paper. In part it reads, “I no you didn’t entend to upset me. But you did – you no when one calls long distance – it is something very important…”

Two copies of a color photo of a family posed with Elvis Presley. The backdrop stage curtain announces “The King Returns to Vegas.”

A postcard, date stamped Hutchinson, KS 1958, offers advice to Mrs. Lee on locating someone who did caning (the craft of weaving chair seats or backs using rattan cane).

A copy of a man’s fully completed 1990 credit application for purchase of a new car.

Published in: on June 30, 2014 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Reading Into The New Year

SDC10222Five years ago I began keeping a list of the books I read. Looking back at year end allows me to evaluate how I spent my time.
          Usually, I complete 15-20 books–a mix of middle grade works and adult fiction and non-fiction. The high count of 29 books on my 2009 list surprised me, until I realized that six were children’s picture books.
          Typically, one book stands out as the most compelling read for that year. As I reviewed the fifteen books I completed in 2012, I recalled my days of total immersion in two very different books. One offered outstanding research and exceptional writing (it was a Pulitzer Prize finalist) and the other a unique yet believable point of view.

Here are my  “stand out” books from the past five years of reading:

2012 Empire of the Summer Moon – Non-fiction, S.C. Gwynne

           Memoir of an Imaginary Friend – Fiction, Matthew Dicks

2011 DOC: A Novel – Historical Fiction, Mary Doria Russell

2010 An Absence So Great – Historical Fiction, Jane Kirkpatrick

2009 Blood and Thunder – Non-fiction, Hampton Sides

2008 All Over But The Shoutin’ – Memoir, Rick Bragg

I look forward to lots of great reads in 2013. I’m already wait-listed for two new books at my local library and have a Christmas gift book downloaded on my Kindle. I hope that you, too, enjoy great reading in the new year.

Note: some of the books listed were not published in the year I read them.

Published in: on December 31, 2012 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Summer Reading #5: Any time, any place

I was a child who never left home without a book. Partly, I loved to read. Partly, it was a survival plan.
          My parents were 35 and 40 when I was born and I was an only child. Mom and Dad’s friends tended to be about their ages but most had married younger and their children were nearly grown. As the only child at a dinner table surrounded by adults, I became quite adept at sitting quietly in my chair, tuning out chattering voices and escaping into a book.
          In the summertime, I liked to ride along with Dad when he made short sales trips. He called on dairies so there was ice cream involved! I could read in the car or in the reception room of a busy office, undisturbed by ringing telephones or people coming and going.
          Those childhood experiences were good training. Today, I can escape into a good book in a noisy restaurant, a busy airport, a crowded subway train, and, once, in the midst of a cheering crowd at an Air Force Academy football game.

Published in: on July 26, 2010 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Summer Reading #3: Airports

During a recent layover on B Concourse at Denver International Airport, I made a visual survey of how travelers spent their waiting time. I visited four gates where passengers were bound for Dallas, Santa Barbara, Toronto and Wichita plus a general waiting area in the middle of the concourse. Here is what I observed:

30.8% watched other people, talked to a companion, or slept
27.7% read a book
18.5% used a cell phone to talk, text, or play games
15.4% used a laptop computer
  4.6% wrote using pen and paper
  3.0% listened to audio devices
In addition, 9.0% used two or more devices at one time

Of those reading books, all held paperbacks. No Kindles or similar devices were in use.

Published in: on July 12, 2010 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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