Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Somewhere in Shandong, Shanghai, China

If you are a blogger and do not use a Stat Counter....stop reading and go get one. The one I use is free and you can even color coordinate it with your site. As those of you "in the know" know, there are some very interesting things that can be found perusing your Stat Counter. I think the most interesting that has happened to mine occurred about a month ago. A computer from Egypt found the advertisement that I posted for World Peace Day and translated my page into Arabic. It was VERY cool.

Yesterday, someone from Shanghai queried "Stephen Colbert bed liberty picture". I was able to see the results of this Google query. ALL all of my May postings were in the #1 of 113,ooo slot for this query. Of course, the words were picked up at random from a variety of articles, but I'm left wondering about the who, what and why of this query. I mean I watch Colbert as much as the next guy, but I do have my limits.

Now that we are on the topic of Colbert, I do need to point out that an old friend of mine who I've known since my college days...and he does not hold that against me as I, too, can tell stories....was mentioned recently on the Colbert Report. The friend is Charleston's own Blake Hallman who is the spokesman for the Morris Island Coalition and a board member with the SC Battleground Preservation Trust. On the show Blake was mentioned on the short list (of 1) that Stephen Colbert recalled from fourth grade as a Pinochet supporter. When I quizzed Blake for details, I realized immediately that I could never publicly repeat those sordid details. The jist of it, though, is that Colbert has NEVER forgiven Blake for being funnier than he.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Postcards from Flora

After I acquired Rose Butler's photo album, I made an effort to contact a few people that I thought might be interested in the photos. One of those contacted was a second cousin twice removed that I did not know. I had a nice conversation over the phone and afterwards I reprinted a few photos and snail mailed them to my new found cousin. I then called my grandmother and told her about the phone exchange. I remember her being surprised because the person I called was someone she knew well as a child.

A few weeks went by when out of the blue I received a package from my cousin. He had sent me an old box that had been in his basement for years. It was filled with postcards from around 1910. Most of them had been written by Rose Butler, but many were from family and friends. All were addressed to Rose's parents George Washington BUTLER & Augusta Virocca SPECK.

I have a few distant cousins who are interested in Augusta's sister Flora so I decided to share a few of the postcards. From the writings it is evident that Augusta & Flora shared a close relationship.

Above is a photo of them with their spouses. The back of the photo reads: "Grandma Butler, Grandma Butler - Augusta (Speck) Butler, Aunt Flora Kaufman, Uncle Monroe Kaufman" The couples are listed in reverse order.

Without further are the postcards from Flora (mostly).

#1. Decoration Day, The Blue and The Gray
- Stamped in Akron Ohio on May 18, 8 PM, 1908
- Addressed to Gussie Butler, Fredericktown O, RFD No 6
- Dear Gus. you see I am in Akron - all well here. Bye-Bye. Flora

#2. Greetings from Mt. Vernon O. (red flowers)
- Stamped in Mount Vernon Ohio on May 6, 7-, 1908
- Addressed to Mrs Gussie V Butler, Fredericktown Ohio, RFD no 5
- 5/10-08 - Dear Gus. your card received - glad to hear xxxxxxx I have been sick again but now H.B. & Baby(or boy) was down and sick ago to day. Staid 1 1/2 days. I wish you could see him. he says automobile man on byshiekle calls on Grandma & Minnie Pusulpa. Mary is still in Newark & the kids school will be out 11 of June. xxxx are/all xxxx help to go on the roof. I am going to Akron a week from tonight - if I am able. Rxxxl & Minnie are well. I got a letter from xxx They are all well. xxxx x xxx baby didn't get along very well. They had a spasm from indigestion. I am afraid you can't read this guss. My love to the boys. Bye-Bye. Flora You didn't give the route. I don't know whether this is right xxx route. Would have written sooner if I had known.

#3. A Happy Birthday be Yours
- Stamped in Mount Vernon on Jan x, 12-M, 1910
- Mrs. Gussie Butler, Fredericktown O, R.F.D. No 6
- Hello all (all is overwritten by Gus). May you see many happy returns of this day. B is mooning/moving over Bogordis stxxxx can see her from our window, all midling well. Bye Bye. Sister Flora

#4. January, Aquarius, "No gems save garnets should be worn By her who in this month is born" Snowdrop - Friendship, Hope, Consolation
- Stamped Jan 1910
- Addressed to Mrs. Gussie Butler, Fredericktown O, R.F.D. No 6
- "May your birthday be bright and happy." Monroe Jr.

#5. Are you sorry for anything you did last night?
- Stamped in Mount Vernon Ohio on Jun 3, 1910
- Addressed to Mrs. Gussie Butler, Fredericktown O, R.F.D. No 6
- Dear Gus. the book gives their names as George, Isaiah & David - Potoffice Olmitz PO Barton Co. Kansas. I was scared so bad. I am so nervous I can scarcely write. this card is all I had to write in. one of the kids Teddy said he would like to see you all. would love to see you. He is near Galalia Kan. Bye Bye Flora

#6. It isn't my Face Kid, it's my Shape!
- Stamped Mount Vernon Ohio, Jun 8, 1910
- Addressed to Mr. Geo Butler, Fredericktown O, R.F.D. No 6
- Hello. Arrived home all O.K. Flora

#7. To Greet you for a Bright Birthday.
- Stamped in Mount Vernonon Oct 10, 1910
- Addressed to Mr. Geo. Butler, Fredericktown, Ohio, R.F.D. N0 3
- Many Happy Returns from your nephew Monroe

#8.We're afraid to go home in the dark.
- Stamped on Jun 8, 1910
- Addressed to Mr. George Butler, Fredericktown, Ohio, R.F.D. #6
- This is from Minnie. "Good Luck"

#9. Birthday Greeting
- Stamped Oct 13, 1910
- Addressed to Mr. George Butler, Fredericktown, Ohio, R.D> No 6.
- With hearty congratulations from your loving neice Minnie.

#10. Heartiest Greetings
- Stamped Oct 1910 in Mount Vernon, Ohio
- Addressed to Mr. Geo. Butler, Frericktown O, RTD#B
- 10/13-10 Hello Bro. Just happened to think of your advent into this world several years ago. Wish you many happy returns. We are moving - come & see us. Sister Flora. Monroe is in Kenton/Kenlow, the kid is doing fine.

#11. Thanksgiving Greetings
- No stamp
- From Myrtle to Aunt Guss. Dec. 13 1910

#12. May cares and woe go fleeting With this my CHristmas greeting.
- Stamped Dec 21, 1910 in Mount Vernon Ohio
- Addressed to Mr. Geo Butler, Fredericktown, O RFD no 6
- 12/20-10 - Hello, Geo. Are you still among the living? Well I guess I can say that I am, everybody just medium. Best wishes for a Merry Xmas and a happy New Year. Flora

#13. Loving Greetings
- Not Stamped
- Addressed to Mrs. Augusta Butler, Frederickton, O
- 1/27-1911, May you be blest with Many returns of the day. Best Wishes, your only sister Flora

#14. Feb 14 Valentine Greetings
- Stamped Feb 14, 1911 in Mount Vernon, Ohio
- Addressed to Geo W. Butler, O, RFD No 6
- 1911, Hello, Geo. All well as usual, Best wishes Flora

#15. A Happy Halloween
- Stamped Oct 28, 1911
- Addressed to Augusta Butler, Sparta O
- Dear old Gusie, Thought I would send you a pretty card. We are as well as usual only cold. I hope you are well. Write & let me know how you are. I am in/on P.C. Mama/Minnie xxx has been gone 3 weeks. Flora

#16. Birthday Greetings
- Stamped Oct 28 1911 in Mount Vernon, Ohio
- Addressed to Geo W. Butler, Sparta O
- 10/28-11, Hello Geo. I know you think this is rather late but you know the old maxim better-late-than-never. It slipped my mind. All well. (no signature, but it is the same writing and pen of Flora from #15.)

#17. St Valentine's Day
- Stamped Feb 14, 1912
- Addressed to Mrs. Gussie Butler - Sparta Ohio
- 2/13-12. Hello Dear Sister. Are you frozen up yet. How are you all. We are as well as usual. Write. Bye Bye Flora

#18. Easter Greetings
- Stamped Apr 5, 1912
- Addressed to Geo E(W.) Butler, Sparta Ohio
- 4/4-12. Mt Vernon O- Hello George. How are you getting along. I have a bum week, from Flora

#19. Mt Manitou Park, Colorado
- Stamped Aug 5 1920 in OM & Colo
- Addressed to Mrs. George Butler, Sparta Ohio, Morrow Co.
- 8/5-20, Dear Sister. Arrived Sunday Eve. All OK. 2 days & 2 nights on the road. Such grand sights. Wish you were here. Sister Flora

#20. A Merry Christmas
- Stamped Dec 23, 11AM 1912 in Mount Vernon, Ohio
- Addressed to Mrs. Gussie Butler, Sparta Ohio.
- Hello. Well I suppose you got home O.K. as least we haven't heard anything different. Blanche didn't get to come. Wish you a Merry Xmas & a happy new year. Your sister F.A.K.

#21. Citizens Hospital, Barberton, Ohio
- Stamped Aug 25, 2:30PM, 1912 in Barberton Ohio
- Addressed to Mrs. Geo Butler, Sparta Ohio
- 321 1/2 no, Hopocan(sp?) Ave, 8/25 - Dear Sister, You can see we are at home again. Blanche & family just left for home. been here on their vacation. Minnie has gone to risk/rink in Akron & Emmie & family are in Mt. Vernon. Minnie is working in a tailor shop & 4/I am/are linesxxx. This hospital is xxxx xxxx same/some so near dying - Hope you are all well. - write. Flora-

#22. Bathing Pavilion, Cedar Point, Ohio.
- Stamped Aug 8, 1912
- Addressed to Geo W. Butler, Sparta O
- 8/7-1912, Hello Bro - thought you would like to see what they do up here - Flora

#23. All Happiness for Easter
- Stamped Apr 5, 1912 in Mount Vernon, Ohio
- Addressed to Mrs. Gussie Butler, Sparta, Ohio
- 4/5-12, Mt. Vernon, Dear Sister, I wonder if you are up yet, 3 o'clock. Frank staid 2 nights with us & he had to go to work at 4:30. I coughed all night. Haven't heard a word yet, your sister, Allen

#24. May Thanksgiving bring you countless new Blessings and forget to take any away.
- Stamped Nov 27, 6:30PM, 1922 in Barberton Ohio
- Addressed to Mrs. Geo Butler, Sparta Ohio
- 321/2 W. Hapocin Ave, Barberton O, From FLora

Saturday, December 02, 2006

A Re-Evaluation of Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit

The December 1st post at Postscripts put an uncontrollable twitch in my left eye. The specific line that caused this odd tick read "Blue Ion wants to know if you said "Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit" today. Did you?"

I DO say Rabbit to myself the first of every month....but Mary and I have both banned the saying of RABBIT in the house. The memory of the last time it was said aloud in our house by Papa Bear is the stuff of rage and tears!

It all began some 25 years ago when Papa Bear was a student at USC. His college girlfriend taught him the rules and he then taught his future girlfriends and EXTREMELY close friends the rules. The rules as he passed them on pretty much stated that you said RABBIT to someone else who was in the know. The first one to say RABBIT had good luck for the entire month. The other person would not have bad luck, but he/she/they would not get the exceptional good luck as the first person. If saying it on the first day of the month is exceptional....just imagine what saying it on the first day of the month would mean.

This is exactly where the horror story ends....January 1st, 2006. Our daughter, who was nine at the time, was staying up for her very first New Years Eve. I was prepared to make it special for her with Sparkling Cider, hats, horns and everything required to bring in the New Year. By the time we get to the countdown, she is getting pretty tired. We start yelling 10!...... 9!........ 8!...... 7!...... 6!....... 5! .......4! ......3! I am geared up to yell Happy New Year! and throw my arms around Papa Bear for a kiss and jump around the house with Mary..... 2!........It's just about to happen...... 1!...... Hap..."RABBIT!!!", Papa Bear yells at the top of his lungs. Our poor, tired daughter is in tears, runs shrieking to her room, and slams the door. I wind up yelling at Papa Bear for ruining Mary's first New Years. Papa Bear is unable to see why we are such poor sports just because he played his cards right and won the best of luck for the entire year.

I finally convince Papa Bear that his ill gotten winnings have spent the whole family's luck for the year. As I recall, anything that you do on January 1, you will be doing for the rest of the year. It is for this reason that we have always spent time with family, traveled, cooked collards with strick o'lean and hoppin' john and whatnot. The way I saw it, this Rabbit game had gotten way out of hand when celebrating the New Year and hugging your wife took a back seat to RABBIT! Now Mary would be tired, crying and feeling misunderstood the entire year, I would be exasperated and hollering the entire year and Papa Bear would be crying "FOUL", errr I mean "POOR SPORT" the entire year. The only way to make amends was to quit this Rabbit business and have it banned from the house altogether. Papa Bear still plays the game with our son and our best friend's family while Mary and I refuse to participate. Our wounds are still gaping 11 months later.

This is what all ran through my mind in the instant I read: "Blue Ion wants to know if you said "Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit" today. Did you?" I turned to Papa Bear after letting out a loud exclamation, clicked on the article and read it. Hey! The rules were different for Blue Ion! Had Blue Ion's been in effect, there would have been no residual ill feelings. There would have been no immature competitive positioning. There would have been no occasional 1 am wakenings of our household.

I asked Mary to read the same article. She is siding with those who believe that saying Rabbit only brings bad luck.