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Archive for the ‘Baltimore’ Category

Edna Circa 1956


A Picture from Edna

This is a part of my church group from the 1950s, Baltimore Ward, Mayfield Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland. Here am I in my long Alpaca fur coat of which I was so proud. Behind me is my best friend Suella, her sister Janice, and their mother LaRue. I am standing next to Suella’s Uncle Charles and the girl next to him is my old friend, Cathy, the Bishop’s daughter. This photo was scanned for me by my newly found old friend from those long ago days – Lurline.

The image, Edna Framed, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives for more of Edna’s writings.

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A Snag from Edna

My father and grandfather patented this masonry hammer in 1935, while they were living in Baltimore, Maryland. I just came upon Google’s Patent Search and looked up their names, Arthur J. Richardson and Edward J. Richardson. Voila – their patent popped up immediately: HAMMER – Richardson et al.

An interesting bit of trivia is that I see my father was using only the initial “J” for his middle names. His full name on his birth record was “Edward Arthur James Richardson.” I am posting it under “technology,” although that does seem a bit odd for a hammer in today’s computer world. But … it was something new, wasn’t it? A new technology for masonry?

Those ever-inventive Richardsons! What will they think up next? See A Richardson Grandson.

The image, Richardson Hammer, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s FLICKR account.

Visit Neddy’s Vanishing Memories for more of Edna’s writings.

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Was Alice In Wonderland a “drunk”, or was she in Wonderland merely because she had been drinking a magic potion?

“It did so indeed, and much sooner than she had expected: before she had drunk half the bottle, she found her head pressing against the ceiling, and had to stoop to save her neck from being broken. She hastily put down the bottle, saying to herself  ‘That’s quite enough–I hope I shan’t grow any more — As it is, I can’t get out at the door — I do wish I hadn’t drunk quite so much!’  ~~”ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND” by Lewis Carroll, Chapter IV.

Lewis Carroll, the creator of Alice in Wonderland, was born in 1832. He attended Rugby School and was graduated from Christ Church College, Oxford, becoming a mathematician. He also studied for the priesthood. He died in 1898, 43 years before I was born. Yet for some reason, both he and I use the same grammatical verb construction that my erudite children tell me is substandard English.

My sons tell me that “drunk” is a person, not a verb and that is how they learned it at school. I am just as certain that I learned at school that an intoxicated person was a “drunkard” and that “drunk” was the past participle of the verb “drink.” My sons have shown me with the dictionary in my own home that they are correct. They say my sub-standard grammar is the result of my being born and reared in Baltimore, Maryland. Although it took me only 66 years to discover the errors of my ways,  I seem to be in good company if the famous author Lewis Carrol was using the same grammatical construction in his writings. And I doubt that he ever came anywhere near the influence of Baltimore.

Dictionary.com gives this explanation:

As with many verbs of the pattern sing, sang, sung and ring, rang, rung, there is some confusion about the forms for the past tense and past participle of drink. The historical reason for this confusion is that originally verbs of this class in Old English had a past-tense singular form in a but a past-tense plural form in u. Generally the form in a has leveled out to become the standard past-tense form: We drank our coffee. However, the past-tense form in u, though considered nonstandard, occurs often in speech: We drunk our coffee.

The standard and most frequent form of the past participle of drink in both speech and writing is drunk: Who has drunk all the milk? However, perhaps because of the association of drunk with intoxication, drank is widely used as a past participle in speech by educated persons and must be considered an alternate standard form: The tourists had drank their fill of the scenery.

American Heritage has this online:

drunk – Past participle of drink.

Thank you American Heritage Dictionary!

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On my 66th celebration of Christmas I am reminded of the storybook I owned so long ago on the shore of Maryland in the early 1940s. The memories came flooding back when I received one of those Internet emails that makes the rounds during these days of mass email messages.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

As a little girl  I loved reading the poem and following the illustrations about the outcast red-nosed reindeer. However, that was all I knew about the book. I did not know that the story was written by a 34-year-old employee of the Montgomery Ward’s department store, Robert L. May, and published by Ward’s store in 1939, for distribution as a promotional gift. 

That had to have been how the book came to be in my possession, as every Christmastime, my parents motored the fifteen or so miles to Baltimore to do holiday shopping at “Monkey Wards” while  my brother and I excitedly told Santa Claus our Christmas wish list. By 1946, Montgomery Ward’s had given away more than six million of the storybooks, one of which most certainly had been a Christmas gift to me from the Monkey Ward’s Santa.

In the old book , except for his shiny nose, Rudolph was just an ordinary reindeer somewhere with his parents in an ordinary reindeer village. Rudolph was taunted and laughed at by the other reindeer youngsters for his luminous snout.  Santa discovered the young reindeer’s glowing nose quite by accident one foggy Christmas eve, when he saw light coming from Rudolph’s bedroom whilst delivering presents to Rudolph’s reindeer family.  Worried about the thickening fog and reduced visibility for his air-born sleigh, Santa requested Rudolph to lead his legendary team of reindeer. By the end of the journey Santa proclaimed Rudolph with his shiny nose to be the hero of that Christmas Eve night: “By YOU last night’s journey was actually bossed.  Without you, I’m certain we’d all have been lost!

The image, Rudolph Reindeer, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives for more of Edna’s writings.

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Those are my vanishing memories of childhood Thanksgivings when I was surrounded by Baltimoreans. Sauerkraut with roasted Turkey was traditional. I never knew that everyone didn’t indent their mashed potatoes to make room for the sauerkraut on their Thanksgiving dinner plate. In fact, it was quite a revelation when I left Baltimore to find that everyone else in the civilized world found sauerkraut to be a most unusual accompaniment to the Thanksgiving celebration. We never knew Thanksgiving without it.

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That is how my mother always described her stint during World War Two when she was serving her country as one of the now famous “Rosie the Riveters.” Although she never described it as service, she was obviously proud of the opportunity the war brought for her to work in a Baltimore defense plant or factory performing jobs that would have ordinarily gone to men.

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Midsummer Night in Harlem 1938

When I stumbled upon this picture on the Internet of “Midsummer Night in Harlem 1938” by Virginia-born artist Palmer Hayden, it brought back a flood of memories from my growing-up days in Baltimore. The “colored” (as we said in those days) row house neighborhoods of my 1950s looked exactly like the place portrayed in this painting, with the exception of the fine white church in the background. Yes, the Baltimore black neighborhoods had at least one church for every block or two, but it was usually a store-front church as opposed to a stand-alone.

I remember riding the bus from school through these types of neighborhoods in the hot, sultry days of June, when virtually no homes were air conditioned. It seemed then that everyone in creation was outside trying to cool off. Those not on the street could be seen hanging out of open windows. What a sight it was in those days! What a sense of community it portrayed. There must have been much more of it before televisions, air conditioning, computer games and automobiles in those long-forgotten times of yore, and I suppose that is why they are referred to as “the good old days.”

The image, Midsummer Night in Harlem 1938, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives, for more of Edna’s writings.

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