Category Archives: Family

About family matters

More Thanksgiving Rhyme

My friend Tim provided me with some additional Thanksgiving items:

Because you and your family fully appreciates “My turkey, ’tis of thee,” I thought you and they might also enjoy two additional celebratory Thanksgiving pieces. The first is in some editions of “The Four Leaved Clover and Other Poems” but not in others, and because it’s not in the edition you mentioned in your Smatters post, I don’t know if you’ve seen it. I attach it below. The second is new, produced by my brother Chuck, and I must warn you, is something of an earworm. (And its basis will be unfamiliar to many in the current generation.)

Have a great Thanksgiving, and pass my love along to everyone there.

Tim

Incidentally, I can’t read “The second” link above either. I’m guessing it’s a turkey-themed version of “Mr. Sandman.”

AN “INSIDE TIP”

Thanksgiving was over, and I, on my bed

Was resting my stomach as well as my head;

For both had been busy ’till late in the night,

Causing turkey and puddings to be put out of sight.

Just as conscience oft troubles the mind of the sinner,

My mind was disturbed by the weight of that dinner.

Then, trying to get all bad thoughts from my brain,

My mind wandered back to Columbia again.

And by thoughts of my Homer and Odyssey smitten,

I remembered that poem which I knew should be written;

But no thoughts would appear for my eager inspection,

And the state of my mind was not good for reflection.

Last, I cried, “Would that turkey could show me a plan

That would bring me to worlds unexplored yet by man!”

Then a voice from within me distinctly replied:

“T. B. Penfield, I will help you, though you’ve put me inside.”

Like the Trojan Aeneas, that hero of old,

My hair stood on end, and my blood ran quite cold;

But the turkey within did not stay in me long,

But straightway came forth, looking hearty and strong.

Then he swelled like a Sophomore who’s bursting with pride,

And he opened his mouth—and he put me inside!

What I saw in that land “unexplored yet by man,”

I guess I won’t tell, for I don’t think I can.

I remember my feelings—not anything more.

What I did is a mystery, and all that I saw.

The next I remember, was the coming of morn

And the night and the turkey were, both of them, gone.

Written December, 1886, in a competition for the coveted honor of Class Poet of the Class of ’90, Columbia University. Professor J. D. Quackenbos decided the contest, giving me the place.

New York City

The Orlando massacre

img_0567[repost from guest author havematwilltravel]

No, actually, I *don’t* think what happened in Orlando will lead to any sort of gun control. In December 2012, 20 children – babies, practically – were murdered in their school rooms, and no meaningful changes to gun laws were made afterwards. If America doesn’t care about the lives of children, do you think it will care about the lives of LGBTQ2IA people?

Continue reading The Orlando massacre

Major Honey Heist in Hastings (A Parody)

POLICE REPORT: Despite active efforts by busy teams of workers, three hives were looted of honey yesterday afternoon. This is a sad closing to a busy summer of honey making. Large, ungainly creatures dressed in white and wearing funny hats removed numerous combs of honey. One worker hid herself in a creature’s clothes and took revenge, but this did not halt the crime.

Observers estimate that half of each hive’s honey may have been taken. Meanwhile, no statement has been issued by the queens or drones of the affected hives.

The scene of the crime

PHOTO: The scene of the crime. The large, empty box bears silent testimony to the cold-blooded theft of many large combs. Note the red wagon used in the getaway.

Continue reading Major Honey Heist in Hastings (A Parody)

Adieu, Spock and Leonard Nimoy

Alex with Spock earsOur family has always admired Leonard Nimoy, and his famous character, Spock.

Biscuit likes to tell about playing Star Trek with school friends when she was about 12. A few years later, Nimoy played summer stock on the North Shore (Beverly, MA) in a production of Camelot. The production borrowed one of the Atwood’s sheepdogs. So she got to meet him. Biscuit and her friends even made cupcakes for him.

We grew up with Roddenberry’s classic Star Trek, but our kids grew up with The Next Generation. They learned about Spock through the movies, and then, eventually, through the original series.

And Alex taught himself to make Spock ears.

Dad at auction

ONR NewsletterCJ emailed me this link to a Bonham’s auction last summer. They sold a “complete set” of the Digital Computer Newsletter, a periodical Dad started in the late 1940s to share information about computers under construction or in operation. The issues range in date from 1949 through 1962.

This is one of the earliest computer technology periodicals out there. The auction brought over $4,000.

Unfortunately we didn’t keep a “complete set” like that ourselves. I have the first issue tucked away at the bank, and a few other gems. I don’t know what the other items are worth.

Continue reading Dad at auction

Author of My Turkey ’tis of Thee

My Turkey 'tis of Thee
My Turkey ’tis of Thee

I first learned this song from my old friend, Tim Leonard. The song is a tradition in his family and is attributed to their distinguished ancestor, the Reverend Doctor Thornton Bancroft Penfield (1867-1958). The Reverend Doctor was born to missionaries in India but grew up in the US, graduating from Columbia in 1890.

He wrote a fair amount of poetry and had a sense of humor. He did time as class poet at Columbia and he edited various college publications.  He also published a book of poems called The Four-Leaved Clover.

[Updated!]

Continue reading Author of My Turkey ’tis of Thee

WordPress and Facebook

Memo to self: next time I edit one of my WordPress postings, be sure to edit the “Publicize” property in the upper left corner.

If I’m updating an old post, I must be sure to un-check Facebook so I don’t republish an old post. If I’m creating a new post (like this one) that doesn’t need to go to Facebook, I should also un-check Facebook.

Continue reading WordPress and Facebook