Monday, May 24, 2004

Letter to America from Compassionate Canadian Authoress

"The British used to have a myth about King Arthur. He wasn't dead, but sleeping in a cave, it was said; and in the country's hour of greatest peril, he would return. You too have great spirits of the past you may call upon: men and women of courage, of conscience, of prescience. Summon them now, to stand with you, to inspire you, to defend the best in you. You need them."

Margaret Atwood, writing in The Nation
issue of April 14, 2003
entire piece here

Friday, May 14, 2004

Aunt Caroline Dye, the "gypsy" in the St. Louis Blues

from an article in Southern Quarterly, 1969, by John Quincy Wolf:

According to another story, Aunt Caroline showed powers of prophecy when she was a child. Born into a family of slaves, she had the knack of making predictions that somehow came true and of making lucky guesses that attracted attention on the plantation. But no one thought much about her until Thanksgiving Day, 1865. The master of the plantation had a brother, Charley, who had been reported killed in the War in '61. On Thanksgiving morning, 1865, when the table was set for the big dinner at which the family would celebrate its reunion, Caroline, then about ten years old, told the women of the house hold that they hadn't set enough plates. They counted and the mistress assured Caroline that the number was correct. But the child remonstrated: "You ain' got a place for Mistah Charley." She was reminded that Uncle Charley had been killed four years ago. Yet she still maintained that "he's coming to dinner today."

The family had just started eating when they heard footsteps in the hall, and a very tired Uncle Charley walked into the room. He said that he had been severely wounded in '61, taken prisoner, and kept in a prison hospital until after Appomattox. He had written letters but they had evidently been destroyed at the prison or lost in transit. The family thought he might have been in the neighborhood for several days before Thanksgiving and that Caroline had learned of his arrival. But he assured them that he came straight from the prison and had spent the preceding night twenty-five miles away.

The John Quincy Wolf Folklore Collection, Lyon College

Thursday, May 13, 2004

it a great life (always look on the bright side)

it a great life
rat a tat tat
enjoy yourself and
like it like that

groove widda riddum
boppin down da block
move your hands & feet
as you go hip-hop

energy movin
your flesh & bones
this is your life
this is your home

smile at your neighbor
smile at the sky
life is a blessing
why ask why

something good happen
maybe soon
maybe next week
maybe next June

don't use a weapon
let go of strife
enjoy yourself
it a great life