Posted tagged ‘Bob Emery’

“Someone once called Lincoln two-faced. “If I am two-faced, would I wear the face that I have now?” Lincoln asked.”

February 20, 2017

The gray sky has returned. After the beautiful day yesterday, I was hoping for more, but I guess one sunny, warm day will have to do for the meanwhile.

When I was a  kid, we didn’t have President’s Day. We celebrated Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays. Well, we actually didn’t do any celebrating. It was always the first day of February vacation which was a celebration in itself.

My first president was Truman, but I was too young to notice. President Eisenhower, however, I knew because he got a toast from me every day. I watched Big Brother Bob Emery on TV, and we all lifted our glasses of milk and toasted President Eisenhower while Hail to the Chief played. I have to think I was a bit fuzzy as to the connection between President Eisenhower and me.

The politics or the political parties of these presidents didn’t matter to me as I didn’t even know what a political party was. I just knew some neat stories about the presidents. George Washington cut down the cherry tree and told the truth when confronted. I always pictured him as a little kid wearing his general’s uniform and tri-corner hat and standing by a cut-down tree with an ax in his hand. To me, Lincoln always wore his top hat making him even taller than his contemporaries. I always liked Teddy Roosevelt. I saw him with sword in front as he and his horse charged up San Juan Hill.

When I first got to Ghana, the country was in the middle of a campaign to replace the military government, formed after a coup, with a civilian government to be called the Second Republic. It was exciting. Women wore dresses made from cloth covered in party symbols. I saw Busia, one of the candidates, speak at a rally in Bawku. He spoke English which was translated to Hausa. The crowd went wild listening to the Hausa. In my town, there were impromptu rallies with singing and drumming. On election day, the lines were long. You couldn’t see the end of the line from the beginning. People voted the symbols of each party, not the names, so literacy wasn’t a prerequisite for voter registration. Busia was elected. Later, he would be deposed in a peaceful coup.

If given a choice, I’d pick drums and dancing. I’ve had enough rhetoric.

“I like boring things.”

February 18, 2011

It’s another spring-like day. The temperature will reach 50° or even higher. Having two days in a row of such warm weather almost makes me giddy, but I know it’s still winter and it could snow next week. I’m guessing these last two days were just Mother Nature’s way of saying hang in a little longer spring is on its way.

I’m stuck in my house for a bit. The front steps are being made higher and the concrete has just been laid. I’m having the work done because the top step is nearly a foot lower than the front doorstep, and that’s a long way for older knees to span. Watching the work is a bit of an attraction so Gracie and I wander to the front door periodically to see how much progress is being made. It’s not exactly an exciting day.

I have lived in small towns in Massachusetts my whole life. No one exciting ever came to my town when I was little, but I did meet one of my TV heroes. It was on July 4th when I met Big Brother Bob Emery. We, what seemed like a million kids and I, were in a bandstand crowded around him. I was right behind him at first, and I remember a bug was on his neck. The bug was green. Bob Emery was the host of The Big Brother show on one of our local channels. Kids were small fry to him. His opening song was The Grass is Always Greener in the Other Fellow’s Yard and he accompanied himself on a ukulele. I never understood that song when I was little. He lost me around the line, “Little rows we have to hoe.” My strongest memory is running to the kitchen every day to get my glass of milk because in the middle of the show we raised our milk glasses and toasted President Eisenhower while Hail to the Chief played. The President’s picture was on Big Brother’s wall. I don’t remember the end song and I don’t remember anything about the program itself but I can still sing The Grass Is Always Greener in the Other Fellow’s Yard, and now I understand.