Little Egypt Heritage Articles
© Bill Oliver
23 December 2007
Vol 6 Issue: #49
O’siyo, Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen of Little Egypt,
Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays! Please take your choice or BOTH! Like
every day, on December 25th I will rise and observe the dawn and
sunrise. A time of day for me when I have some wonderful thoughts and
can feel as one with the world. If ever I'm humble it is at that time. A
time that I can feel that I am a part of some humongous universal
process – intactly small – yet part of. It is a time when I feel most
thankful as well.
The Holiday season brings many things to the fore for me to appreciate.
There are all the cards which come to let me know that acquaintances,
friends and family are still among the living. More importantly some let
me know what has been happening for them. Usually it is all the GOOD
things that have happened to them and their families. As a family
historian this is good – for me it has become great!
My maternal cousin, Paul, and one of his daughters made a special trip
to town to visit our two remaining Aunts during the holidays. Both Aunts
are in Rehabilitation Centers and both are technically ‘senior citizens'
at 84 and 97 years. I'm not sure why, but the youngest seem to always be
the feistiest. When asked why she was so enthusiastic about doing the
required therapy, she replied, "So I can get the HECK out of here!!"
Enduring ‘TB of the bone' from youth she puts us all in our place.
As to this week's article title: as I gathered some notes about what I
wanted to write about this week, I was reminded that some years ago, my
Dad, well past the Senior Citizen age, attended college to get a two
year degree. He had last attended college in the earliest year of the
1930s. One of the courses he was required to take was a History course.
He chose "Modern Hisrtory". After on session while the students were
discussing the day's lectures the students went out for "coffee"
together. During this discussion Dad was asked if he studied hard to
know so much about the material in the course. Dad's broad grin spread
wider and his eyes twinkled like a Santa in reply. He said, "Son, I
don't have to study this material – I lived it!" At least one of these
items is "far back in time" but all are in the range that I did witness
or could have witnessed.
During the year of my birth an infant boy was abandoned in a snowbank.
The day's front page center read "Cries of Abandoned 2-days-Old/Baby
Save it From Death in Snowbank". An article last week featured pictures
of the seventy five year old man. Being nameless at the time of his
abandonment he was named ‘Jimmy Snowbank'.
Another headline of this past week was "Books make Delicious Gifts". It
would seem that the Julia Childs of the writing world are featured this
year. So throw away Grandma's hand written recipes and discover them in
all these books.
Fragrances for the ladies have fancy names with Chanel #5 still popular.
I remember bringing home a "large" bottle I purchased in Paris for my
‘lovely' while taking my world tour under the tutelage of my ‘Uncle
Sam'. However, things can't [ever] be left as they were. It was reported
in the article that perfumers tweaked the ‘queen of classics' in a way
that would make La Chanel "peacock proud". There is a new version dubbed
Chanel No. 5 Eau Premiere which is said to be ‘more contemporary', but
still a scent for the ‘supremely confident'. How about these names for
men: Tokyo by Kenzo, Narcisa Rodriquez for Him, and Tom Ford for Men.
What no Eau de Beer for us nondrinkers?? Ahhh!
How about auctions this year? I reckon that the biggest auctioned
document [in my book] this year is the sale of one of the twenty copies
of the Magna Carta. Wow! How about one of those as center piece in my
living room? Then all I would need is its ‘grandchild' – the Declaration
of Independence – to balance that wall.
I noticed all the Christmas wreaths placed at the graves of servicefolk
in the National Cemeteries and couldn't help think of all the articles
about the care of those who don't need the ground yet.
Do you know what is in your attic?? What about the ‘find' of two
pictures of Abraham Lincoln and these at the 19th of November, 1863
event known as the "Gettysburg Address". Some folks are questioning
whether it be Lincoln, but others are saying, ‘could there be anyone
else so tall' attending? That brings the total Lincoln pictures to about
Reading along this week I discovered that I allow things to pass me by
with not much thought. I learned, through reading, that Rene Auberjonois
is younger than I am and that this memorable actor who played ‘Clayton
Runnymede Endicott III' in Benson and ‘Odo' in Star-Trek: Deep Space
Nine was the original ‘Father Mulcahy' in the original M*A*S*H movie.
Then this morning I read why things must be kept ‘secret' in Government.
J. Edgar Hoover's name appeared in some declassified documents in
Washington, D.C. The long [long] time director of the FBI wanted to
imprison some 12,000 Americans that he suspected of disloyalty and
submitted a plan to suspend habeas corpus to accomplish it. Deja Vu.
However, in addition to my Cousin Paul coming to town, I was reminded of
other ‘acts of random kindness'. ‘Tis the season to be'... There once
was alive and well a man named Larry Stewart who passed on this year. He
was the guy who passed out one hundred dollar bills to folks telling
them that they should do a good turn for someone else, never specifying
what the good turn should be.
It all started when Mr. Stewart was in need of a meal and had nothing to
pay for it. He tried a con by ordering a huge breakfast in a diner in
the south. He planned to fake losing his wallet when he reached for it
to pay. One Tim Horn, owner of the diner saw through the ruse, pretended
to reach over and pick something up off the floor and handed Mr. Stewart
a palmed twenty dollar bill.
Mr. Stewart took the money, paid for breakfast and had some left to put
gas in his car leaving town. As things went, Mr. Stewart made huge sums
of money in cable TV. Throughout his good fortune he gave money to many
causes. It would seem, though, that his greater pleasure was to seek out
folks who looked ‘down and out', especially at Holiday time, and give
them money, asking only that they pass it on by doing something for
Mr. Steward returned to the diner once and gave Mr. Horn ten thousand
dollars. However, the story is not yet done. A year or so ago, Mr.
Steward returned and gave Mr. Horn a stack of one hundred dollar bills
stamped with "Tim Horn" for distribution at the diner.
Now someone has established a new "Secret Santa" who stamps one hundred
dollar bills with "Larry Stewart". I read many times of the Sun's
Francis Pharcellus Church who wrote "Yes, virginia, there is a Santa
Pass it on!!
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