HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!
234 years old!
| Declaration of Independence - National Archives
Someone once told me that our words
last longer than our lives.
So did these.
The Think Tank
Speaking of words. By definition a word is the smallest 'freeform' uttered or written in semantic content. It's
what you do with words that decides the impact of your sentence, paragraph, or page.
Crane stepped on the gas while he tried to put up the top of his convertible, just minutes ahead of the impeding storm.
"Perfect timing Crane," Lee groused as he stepped on the gas and struggled to put up the top of his convertible, just
minutes ahead of the impending storm.
"Oh God, oh God," Lee whispered as he stepped on the gas and struggled to put up the top of his convertible, just minutes
ahead of the impending storm.
Which has more impact? The narrative or the 'converstation'? Sometimes conversational writing can be more 'wordy', than
you'd like, pun intended, however, it can add a great deal of 'being there' for your readers.
Questions and Answers
Q. Why do Mr. Morton's pants fit so tightly?
A. I have no idea, but you won' t see any of the ladies complaining.
The Story of 'Yankee Doodle'
'Yankee'- obscure origin but in the 1770's it referred primarily to New England
'Doodle'-referred to a 'country bumpkin'.
So you might say one of America's favorite songs could be titled 'Colonial Country
The original melody is claimed by several nations, including England, Ireland,
Holland, Germany, Hungary, and that it was also originated as a New England jig. Whatever the origins, it's a catchy tune
and the first lyrics were probably coined by a British military surgeon, Dr. Richard Schackburg, and several other lyrical variations
were coined by only God knows who.
What is known for sure is that some of the lyrics we still sing today were sung at Bunker
Hill. So a song that at first was one of derision, became a kind of anthem.
'Macaroni' was slang for a vain 'dandy'.
'Feather' in the cap was possibly included after Elizabeth Fitch insisted her brother
Col. Fitch, in his shabby uniform, wear a 'plume' like some of the British soldiers, (and retrieved one from the chicken coop
for him) This may or may not be true but there's a strong possibility that it is.
Yankee Doodle was so popular that Connecticut drafted is as their state song. Not
bad for a 'Country Bumpkin'.
Lyrics that are pretty much used today:
Father and I went down to camp,
Along with Captain Gooding;
And there we saw the men and boys,
as hasty pudding.
Yankee doodle, keep it up,
Yankee doodle dandy;
Mind the music and the step,
And with the
girls be handy.
There was Captain Washington
Upon a slapping stallion,
A-giving orders to his men,
there was a million.
And then the feathers on his hat,
They looked so' tarnal fin-a,
I wanted pockily to get
give to my Jemima.
And then we saw a swamping gun,
Large as a log of maple;
Upon a deuced little cart,
for father's cattle.
And every time they shoot it off,
It takes a horn of powder;
It makes a noise like father's
Only a nation louder.
I went as nigh to one myself,
As' Siah's underpinning;
And father went as nigh
I thought the deuce was in him.
We saw a little barrel, too,
The heads were made of leather;
upon it with little clubs,
And called the folks together.
And there they'd fife away like fun,
And play on cornstalk
And some had ribbons red as blood,
All bound around their middles.
The troopers, too, would gallop up
fire right in our faces;
It scared me almost to death
To see them run such races.
Uncle Sam came there to change
pancakes and some onions,
For' lasses cake to carry home
To give his wife and young ones.
But I can't tell half
They kept up such a smother;
So I took my hat off, made a bow,
And scampered home to mother.
Simon grew so bold,
I thought he would have cocked it;
It scared me so I streaked it off,
And hung by father's pocket.
there I saw a pumpkin shell,
As big as mother's basin;
And every time they touched it off,
They scampered like the
Yankee doodle, keep it up,
Yankee doodle dandy;
Mind the music and the step,
And with the girls be
|'Painting' by Carol aka Catfish
The vote for American independence was taken on July 2, 1776, but ratified - with corrections and deletions - on
July 4. However there's great debate on when the document was actually signed. The parchment we call The Declaration
of Independence hangs in the National Archives. But also over 200 printed broadsheets were printed by John Dunlap of
Philadelphia and distributed widely.
Words which changed the world:
|Dimensions cross stitch of a Patriotic Angel
"Mr. Morton, we're headed to shallow water!"
"Captain, we're running out of water!"
"Very well, secure the showers."
(paraphrased from 'Aha! Jokes')
And now for a very delicate matter....
How to use the toilet aboard Seaview.
1. Close the hatch. This will insure that in case of a mishap, it's isolated and you won't end up swabbing the deck
and suffering the jibes of your shipmates.
2. Read the instructions.(It's a 'Captain' thing)
3. Follow the instructions, and in order, or the contents may decide to torpedo you.(It's a pressurization thing-see
SSRN Seaview Manual- 'How to use the Head')
4. If you find any sea critters that have slipped through the tank filters, scoop up and report to the Admiral in
Humor in Uniform-Sideways
When my father, a US Air Force fighter pilot, was assigned later in his career as the Vice Commander of 3rd Air Force,
we had no choice in the matter of housing. It was ordered that he live on base, being the # 2 man for all of the US Air Force
in the UK. It was an ugly old 3 story brick house from the 1930's and in constant need of repair.
One day, when nobody was home except for me (taking a sabbatical so to speak from college at Florida State) and a civilian
workman contracted to do something or other, I think it was the plumbing, he accidently bumped the little side table
which housed...the 'Red' phone, and knocked it off the hook. He paled and asked in a hoarse whisper, "Did I just
start World War 3?"
Now, this was a phone of the 1970's but had no fingerholes for dialing. And it did look identical to the 'hotline' phone
used in a great deal of cold war movies at the time;a cumbersome thing by today's standards, and a bright cherry red.
Suffice it to say, no, he didn't start World War 3, and all I had to do was say into the live receiver was 'false
alarm' and return it to the cradle. No, I hadn't spoken to the White House, just the command center for the headquarters of
Still, it always made me wonder if my dad's boss, the # 1 man had a more 'direct' line.
I know for one thing, I never went near his phone when we visited accross the street.
And yes this is a true story.
Just a note
Well, it's been 234 years and the events of the past that shaped our nation and to some degree ourselves are long past,
but not forgotten.
But it would surely hearten our founding fathers that our relationship with our 'mother' country, so to speak, is
now one of mutual respect and deep friendship that will long endure.
THERE REALLY IS AN UNCLE SAM!
'Uncle Sam' is defined as the 'personificaton of the US.'
But there's more to it than that...
It was the war of 1812, and provisions for the Army were purchased in New Jersey by Elbert Anderson. They were inspected
by brothers Ebenzer and Samuel Wilson. The goods were packaged as E.A. -U.S.
When someone asked what that was, a workman said he didn't know unless they meant Elbert Anderson or 'Uncle' Sam.
It stuck and from shipments of fat for the Army the term came to mean the US.
The image we know today was created by James M. Flagg (really), on July 6, 1916 in a magazine, Leslie's Weekly,with the
caption, "What Are You Doing for Preparedness?" later evolving into the 'I want you' recruitment posters for World War 1.
He may not be as old as the Declaration of Independence but he deserves a little 'happy birthday' wish in spirit as well.