BY-WAYS - 8/3/39 - The Mailbag
Let's open it up, and see what's inside. Here is a copy of a Jacksonville (Ill.) daily. Tucked away in a column called "Small Talk," is a gem of poetic prose, followed by a bit of verse - modestly signed "A.D.L." - a phonetic abbreviation of "Adella." The author (have you guessed it?) is our Saltsburg girl, Adella McQuiston Harmon. Here is a truly religious experience - a sense of wonder and awe concerning a tiny spark of God's creation, the FIREFLY: "...Evening after evening I have sat on the terrace, watching these little glowing things. In the very early dusk they rise so quietly from the grass, like sparks from a dying fire - perhaps from the sinking fires of day; as dusk deepens into dark, higher and higher they rise, until the treetops are their playground. Then, they seem to fall again, with the gentleness of snowflakes, like sparks from a chimney. Occasionally one seems different in his ideas - prefers to stay alone under a bit of shrubbery or in the deep grass. As individual personalities do, he fastens my interest - focuses it away from thousands of his fellows floating, flitting, flashing over the many acres of verdure within my vision. Such a one fascinated me the other night, so much so that I forgot the gay, scintillating thousands, to watch his gleam within sight of my window after I had gone to bed. The following lines were my thoughts, lighted by his spark: Tiny lost child of some star, Queer lights through my casement stream, In your summer sky of green, Blotting out my twinkling sky. Are you flashing to your home, Will you be my Evening Star Hoping to be seen? As in the gloom I lie? When dewed night and morning meet Perhaps some wandering star May see your little glimmer And tell them where you are. They will dim you off to sleep, In a dusk-blue dreaming-room, Where twinkling things are crescent-rocked To rest by Mother Moon." - A.D.L. *****
Now, just to keep the "column" well-balanced (so it won't collapse) and to prove that "The By-Ways" is not just a woman's page, let's quote from a letter received this week from my fellow-member at Conemaugh Church - ages ago - Paul Lowman, of Clarksburg: "In reference to days at Conemaugh, now long gone by, the words of the poet come to me, 'Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight - And make me a child again, just for tonight!' In passing let me pay this tribute to the country church: When the little country church has passed away (God forbid), one of the grandest institutions that God ever gave man has also passed. "...Your reference to things licentious (in your letter about the C.E. Convention) no one knows better than I, running to Chicago, which has no equal, unless it is San Francisco; but I am still old-fashioned enough to believe in the ultimate triumph of right - as my mother used to say 'The wheels of the Lord grind slowly but surely.' (Taken from George Herbert's 'Jacula Prudentum' - 'God's mill grinds slow, but sure.'). While at the funeral of a very dear friend ---, the words of the soldier, poet, and sweet singer of Israel came to me, 'It is better to go into the house of mourning than to the house of feasting.' As I see life as it is being lived today, I can appreciate those words of David."
As the radio announcers say - "Unquote." Now may I pay tribute to the gallantry of this writer, who always speaks (or writes) highly of his wife. To spare her any embarrassment I shall refrain from quoting his letter - but, how refreshing in this unchivalrous age, when some men refer to their wives as "the old battle axe" or "the old woman," to hear a man speak in generous praise of his wife. No, chivalry is not dead. And the surest way to make a woman charming is to keep telling her that she is charming.
A friend, vacationing in Wildwood, New Jersey, who is an accomplished musician and teacher of piano writes, "I hope the boys listen to Alec Templeton every Tuesday night at 9:30 (8:30 our time). I thought his imitation of Walter Damrosch was wonderful." So did Virgil and I. We tried to round up the boys last Tuesday night, to hear his exquisite playing of a Mozart number. His imitations are truly funny - and clever as can be. How he lifts our spirits with his unquenchable gaiety! And to think he walks in darkness! His is a master triumph over an affliction. Some blind people you feel sorry for; but Alec Templeton impels your admiration and makes you more in love with life. I would like for our September "Mailbag," letters that tell of personal encounters with blind people who have overcome their great handicap. Nothing is more inspiring. Yours for a better and better column - with your help.
Florence B. Taylor,
4501 Lilac Road,
South Euclid, Ohio.
Next - 8/10/39 - Poultry Show and Nowrytown
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