Little Egypt Heritage Articles
© Bill Oliver
24 June 2007
Vol 6 Issue: #25
O'siyo, Greetings Ladies and Gentlemen of Little Egypt,
"Bit of Comparing"
You have heard it before – "When I was a boy". It's a
good opener. Well,
when I was a boy, I had a book! I used it and used it
and used it. I'm
sure it was worn out but I don't remember when it
title was "Things Any Boy Can Make" by Joseph Leeming.
Then someone got
me another book and you can guess what its title was —
Things Any Boy Can Make".
Well, boyhood is the time to explore natural curiosity.
I loved to get
into Grandpa's garage or Uncle Ernie's basement workshop
or Uncle Tim's
barn. There were places where one could scrounge around
components to make an electromagnet, build a go-cart, or
make a scooter.
There were other things we made, such as tissue paper
and balsam wood
airplanes with rubber band "power".
Out on the farm I learned how to tie knots and the
bowline was one we
used to "hoist" down from the "upper" levels of the
barn. Overhand loop
notes in a length of clothesline gave us hand grips to
"climb" up from
the creek to the railroad trestle and drop back into the
I still look at "pile" of wood and wonder what I can
make from it.
I wonder if one could do this today? Take ten quarters,
blotting paper, thin copper wire [old telephone wire
worked well] and a
small flash light bulb. [A small LED bulb could be
substituted.] Add a
bowl , some apple vinegar and some masking tape to round
materials. Put them all together and what do you have?
RIGHT!! A working
I'm sure that batteries will evolve in the future;
however, if you
understand the principle of this simple battery you
principle of every type of current battery made today.
And, that goes
from nickel-cadmium to lithium-ion ones. True, alkaline
slosh anymore, but that is due to the use of gels
instead of "battery
Well, I've been reading about outsourced labor to other
labor is so much cheaper. I also noticed on e-Bay that
there were so
many shop machines listed for bid. Further investigation
large amounts of this equipment is coming from school
are auctioning off their "shop" equipment and tools.
apparently are out of "style", at least in larger
Is [or has] this decline in tool use signaled a shift in
our world in a more passive way and thus a more
dependent life? Have we
lost the spiritedness that challenged us to fix or make
things by "hand"
ourselves? The questions abound: make, repair or buy?
Even when we elect
to "repair", the reality is "replace" the failed
Just "food for thought". Could all this lead us from a
orientation of things into a virtual orientation where
one never gets
off the "couch" and never attempts an original thought?
As an educator, I was able to instill "self-esteem" in
stressing pride of accomplishment in academics. I often
wondered if I
gave enough encouragement toward the well-founded pride
that academic knowledge into the sense of accomplishment
satisfaction of applying it to things done with one's
own hands – "a
pride of craftmenship".
Though I see a lot of intenseness in youth playing with
computerized games, I also see many leaning from courses
"hands on" constructive competitions where teams of
students compete to
utilize materials mixed with their intuitiveness and
accomplish certain tasks.
This thought takes me back to my hero, mentor,
Goldberg. Rube Goldberg was a prolific artist creating
cartoons. He was
a Pulitzer Prize winner for his political cartooning in
addition he produced cartoons such as "Mike and Ike",
"Lala Palooza", and "The Weekly Meeting of the Tuesday
However, the cartoon series that was my absolutely
favorite was about a
Professor named Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts. Professor
Butts was an
inventor of self-operating gizzmos – machines. One
"Self-Operating Napkin" was one of 20 of Rube Goldberg's
on a series of commemorative US postage stamps.
e-la-Di-e-das-Di ha-WI NV-WA-do-hi-ya NV-WA-to-hi-ya-da.
(May you walk in peace and harmony)
"Myths are universal and timeless stories that reflect
and shape our
lives ..." Alexander McCall Smith, Dream Angus
Good Reads found here:
Dick Taylor's "Old Time Nebraska" Internet web site:
Pam Rietsch, "The List Lady", "The Mardos OnLine
This email was cleaned by emailStripper, available for