We visited Shenandoah River State Park last week and walked the Bluebells Trail. The flowers were beautiful, and they seemed to go on for miles. The experience called to mind Emily Dickinson's poem "South winds jostle them" -- and though I "present them here" (i.e., the bluebells), we did not pluck them. We only photographed them.
Below: The was a short hike to a lookout point where we got a nice view of the southern branch of the Shenandoah River.
I attended a virtual tour of the Houghton Library's Emily Dickinson Room/Collection the other night, and that will be the subject of "A Visit to the Houghton Library -- Part 2." I'll post info and pics about that virtual tour soon.
First, though, I thought I would share a funny story about my first (and real) visit to the Dickinson Room back in 2013.
During the summer of that year, my wife and I visited New England, and we spent time in Boston, Amherst (my first visit to Dickinson's Homestead), and the coastline of New Hampshire and Maine. Information about that trip is included in this travelogue, HERE.
We happened to have time during a weekday -- a Tuesday I think -- to take a tour of Harvard, and following that tour I ventured into the Houghton Library. I inquired about the Dickinson collection at the security desk, but the guard told me that the public was only allowed in to see it during specific times (I think it was something like a Friday at 2 p.m.).
I was about to walk away, but I pulled out one of my business cards and handed it to the guard. I explained that I had written a book about Dickinson and asked if they would be willing to bend the rules a bit since it was my one and only time there.
The guard inspected the card and then picked up the telephone to call someone locked away in a staff-only section of the library.
Soon, a woman came out. The guard explained my plight, showed her my card, and she mulled over my request for a bit.
"Sure," she said, "I can show you the room -- but come back at about 2:00 p.m." It was about 10:30 a.m. at the time She then added something like, "I can show you the room at 2:00 -- but only for a few minutes."
I thanked her profusely, and then ran off with my wife to find a restaurant for an early lunch. I figured that we could eat and chat until about 1:30 p.m. or so, and then we'd head back to the Houghton.
While we were eating, I had a terrible thought -- WHAT IF between now and 2:00 p.m. that very librarian were to check out my website dedicated to Emmett Lee Dickinson? After all, the web address was printed on my business card. What if she visited my site and deemed the humor to be too boorish and not deserving of a private tour of the Dickinson room? What if I return to the Houghton, and the woman were to throw me out on my ear for misconduct unbecoming of a true Dickinson fan?
I believe I actually broke out into a sweat and my heart started racing.
After we ate lunch and paid the check, we headed back over to the Houghton. I was a nervous wreck. What sort of reception would I receive?
Well, all the worry was for naught. The staff member greeted me in the lobby and took my wife and I up to the Dickinson for a private showing, and the woman was very gracious. Hee hee -- I don't think she had a chance to look at my site! LOL.
I did send her complimentary copies of my books though, to thank her -- it was very considerate on her part (and the guard too) to accommodate us! The tour was certainly a highlight of our trip!
White racists in Georgia are madder than MAGA insurrectionists beating police officers with flag poles because voters flipped the state Blue when they (a) went for Biden in the 2020 Presidential election and (b) sent Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff to the US Senate. Klansmen in the state's legislature responded by passing stringent changes to voting procedures in the state to ensure that they suppress the votes of Blacks and other minority voters. The Jim Crow Era in Georgia is morphing into the Jim Crow Eon.
This treasonous and racist act on the part of Georgia legislators -- committed in broad daylight in front of our entire nation -- inspired us to post Emmett Lee Dickinson's poem "Ours -- by the Right of the White Election," below on the left. Dickinson's poem inspired third cousin Emily to pen her poem "Mine -- by the Right of the White Election," below on the right.
Below left: Klansmen in Georgia's State Legislature witness their racist Governor sign the Jim Crow legislation into law. Below right: A Black state legislator was arrested and led away in cuffs because she dared to knock on the Governor's office door during the signing.
Spring has sprung! We're in the middle of March Mudness, and the daffodils are in bloom. Three of my favorite poems with daffodils are below:
Our Twitter account was offline for awhile due to this issue:
LOL -- I was suspended for telling a has-been porn star to "jump in the Cement Pond." That's just talk from the Beverly Hillbillies TV show for "swimming pool." And why not? A swimming pool is an expected extension to a tennis pavilion, no?
Anyway, I appealed the ruling but it's been two weeks, and I never heard anything back from Twitter -- so I figured the grifter's third lady just wasn't worth waiting for a response from Twitter so I deleted the tweet. Sooo....now I'm back.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
In honor of the wearing of the green -- and the drinking of the beer -- we have posted the now-classic poem by Emmett Lee Dickinson about the holiday, "I bring an oft-accustomed ale," below on the left. Dickinson's poem inspired third cousin Emily to pen her poem "I bring an unaccustomed wine," below on the right.
"The Simpsons," the longest running animated TV series in history, was just renewed for two seasons, the 33rd and 34th seasons for the series. Who would have thunk that this would be in case way back in 1990 when the series premiered, after a Christmas special in 1989; however, the origins of the show dates back to an 1853 poem by Emmett Lee Dickinson, "A jaded Boy -- in light blue Shorts," below on the left. Dickinson's poem inspired third cousin Emily to pen her poem, "A faded Boy -- in sallow Clothes," below on the right.
Below left: Matt Groening, creator of "The Simpsons." Below center: The Emmett Lee Dickinson School for Boys in Portland, Oregon -- where Matt Groening attended school -- where Groening first learned Dickinson's poem "A jaded Boy -- in light blue Shorts," the poem which inspired him to create "The Simpsons." Below right: Bart Simpson
Click the images to enlarge.
Coincidentally, I have a collection of old newspapers and magazines, and I found an old TV guide in the stacks that featured a 10th anniversary look at "The Simpsons" from October 2000. There were 24 different covers, and the table of contents of the magazine stated, "TV Guide marks a decade of The Simpsons with a 14-page extravaganza celebrating Springfield's delightful supporting players."
Click the images to enlarge.
Yes, the Trump Virus is still raging out of control, and the Trump Death Toll is climbing -- but with the Biden vaccination plan was are somewhat close to working our way out of the colossal mess Trump created. Still, GOP politicians across the country are doing what they can to undermine our success -- and just yesterday the Governor of Texas announced that he would rescind the mask mandate, and he re-opened the state 100%.
@stevenbeschloss said on Twitter, "Texas Gov. Abbott’s decision to end the mask mandate and open everything is a reminder of how he and many leaders don’t need Trump to showcase selfishness and indifference toward a rising death count."
@SawyerHackett said, "There was a 300% surge in hospitalizations after Gov. Abbott prematurely reopened Texas in May—and we kept the mask mandate! We were at 5,000 new cases a day then. Now we’re at 7,500 cases per day, and he’s reopening businesses at 100% capacity and rescinding the mask mandate."
The decision also called to mind Emmett Lee Dickinson's poem "The Opening of the Closed," below on the left. Dickinson's poem inspired third cousin Emily to pen her poem "The Opening and the Close," below on the right.
Is it really March already? What the heck happened to January and February?
Don't get me wrong, I look forward to the warmer weather ahead since we've all spent way too much time inside due to the winter weather -- and the continuing devastation brought on by the Trump Virus.
So -- as spring approaches -- I have posted Emily Dickinson's "Dear March -- Come in" below, along with some final pics from our recent winter storm.
When the Grammar Rodeo concluded, Korecht convinced Spelchyk to take one of his devices home with her to Coxsackie, NY, and then he would send messages to her from his home in Wapakoneta, OH.
Unfortunately, when Korecht typed out his first message of “good morning” to Ms. Spelchyk, the self-correcting telegraph changed the greeting to “Good Moaning.” Ms. Spelchyk was incensed by Korecht’s off-color remark when it come over the telegraph, so she did not reply.
After hours passed with no response from Spelchyk, Korecht reviewed the message he had sent only to discover what the machine had substituted for his intended communication. He was so flustered, he began to strike frantically at the keys to send Ms. Spelchyk the message, “OOPS!” Once again, though, the self-correcting mechanism misunderstood Korecht’s intent, and the device changed his message to “BOOBS! Korecht dispatched the message before he realized that the machine had once again altered his text, and Spelchyk received the offensive remark.
Korecht was so flustered when he discovered what had happened, he threw out the prototype of his Self-Correcting Orthographic Letter Detector, and he jumped on the next available stage coach to Coxsackie. When he arrived three weeks later, he was able to explain what had happened, and he apologized to Ms. Spelchyk.
Fortunately, Korecht never saw Spelchyk’s return message, “Forget You,” which she typed back to him in a blind rage. Interestingly enough, as she slapped at the keys, the telegraph changed her message to….
Well, it doesn’t really matter what the modified message was, because Korecht and Spelchyk patched things up, married just months later, and together they went on to publish their seminal work, English Language Spelling and Mechanics Simplified.
Below left: Otto Korecht and Anita Spelchyk shortly after their wedding in 1854. Below right: Kroecht and Spelchyk in 1884.
Emmett Lee Dickinson wrote a short poem about Otto Korecht's first telegraphed message to Anita Spelchyk called "'Morns like these' -- I texted," below on the left. Dickinson's poem inspired his third cousin Emily to pen her poem "Morns like these -- we parted," below on the right.
A poetry log for the Emmett Lee Dickinson Museum (above the coin-op Laundromat on Dickinson Boulevard in historic Washerst, Pennsylvania).