February 27th, 2011

Life - 1900 travel

Driving -

I remember rides in the car when I was young, singing and looking out the window. We got a nickel for every white horse we saw.  Drives were often through Iowa, to Chicago, and on to Indiana.  We did make some money.  

The game went on and worked well until we were older and driving through Wyoming, and saw a herd of buffalo.  Years before, when the possibility was remote, my brother and I had been told we would get a dollar for a buffalo, so I believe the game ended with the herd, and yet, I still think of a nickel when I see a white horse.

Today children watch movies in the car, and parents, what do they do?

Do they interact with the environment, both inside and outside the car?

Here is a comment by Maureen Dowd on our car as smartphone.

alan - joshua tree bloom

A Secret Gift


Recently I was in Book Passage and the book A Secret Gift by Ted Gup hopped into my hands.  I kept thinking it must be fiction but no, it is a true story.  I began reading tonight.   The author is given some papers by his mother, papers from his grandfather, and through them he goes back to learn about his grandfather's early life.  What is so intriguing is that during the depression his grandfather secretly gave away money to suffering families.  

Under a fictional name, he took out an ad in the paper, requesting letters from people who lived in Canton, Ohio, requesting they write why they needed a financial lift to make it through Christmas, 1933.  He had planned to give $10.00 to seventy five families, but the stories were so touching, he sent $5.00 to 150 families.  $5.00 was a great deal of money in 1933, but the point was more than that. It was that someone cared.  They were invited to share their grief and pain and to know someone was listening, and now, all these years later, we can listen, and read the words of those who helped build the "Greatest Generation".

It was a different time, and yet, Canton, Ohio, is again hit hard.

Gup begins the book by these words of Walt Whitman:

Other states indicate themselves in their deputies - but the genius of the United States is not best or most in its executives or legislatures, nor in its ambassadors or authors, or colleges or churches or parlors, nor even in its newspapers or inventors - but always most in the common people, south, north, west, east, in all its states, through all its mighty amplitude.

May this be so!

Read more:  http://www.asecretgiftbook.com/