Saturday, March 8, 2014

Quakers for climate change action; Charlie McCarthy; Outreach; We talked about; Zoos revisited

Quakers for Climate Change action


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A Midnight snack 
is partaken of
 using the round-these-parts
famous Charlie McCarthy spoon, it
having worked its way to the top of the
spoon slot in the kitchen drawer silverware tray.

It is just one of several spoons in that drawer
so no special care was taken to select it
for my midnight snack.

But having picked it off the top of the spoon tray
I ate my jello with pineapple -
from the can of birthday cake pineapple
left over in the ice box -

with this beloved spoon
and got to thinking about the 'raccoon'
feature potential with this spoon....

But first, the jello itself
which is a regular snack here around midnight:
We make the jello and 
ultimately keep it in the ice box
in a recycled Kemp's sherbet container.

I usually eat about half of it in a wee hour's
sitting, leave the spoon on the jello
when half-finished, and then snap on the convenient big lid
and return jello and spoon to the ice box.

If I'd known I was going to run this in the raccoon
I might have chosen a plain container
for better photography,
but per SRN custom, realism prevails,
dealing off the top of the deck.

The spoon dates back to the 1940s
as so much of my act does, further
evidenced by the use of the term ice box.

We listened in those days to the radio.

One of our favorite radio shows
was the Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy program.
Here I am tuning in
with a picture over the radio console of my soldier dad
who was fighting the Nazis in WW II.
A major world fragmentation.

If you bought a particular product back then
(cereal, maybe soap or something)
you might get a silver-plate Charlie McCarthy spoon
inside with the product.
I had a Captain Midnight secret decoder ring also
which I had to mail in for...

I really wanted that spoon at the time
and so it was secured for me by my mother
Ruth Dix, later Hale.  

As to the Charlie McCarthy spoon
it has fallen to me to be the custodian of it
and I'm glad to have kept track of it
and have not lost it
as I have so many other things...

If you covet this spoon
forget it - no way
because I would not part with it
- at this moment -
when it so well assists in my midnight snacking.

It does have to work its way to the top of the drawer though.

Charlie was Edgar's dummy
Edgar was a ventriloquist
It was a day of simple humor
some will remember




(courtesy of Vicky)


We talked about the fact...

We talked about the fact that
it wasn't the danger,
it wasn't the skill,
it wasn't the applause
that made the act what it was.
It was principally the grace;
the bringing into being,
for a moment,
the beautiful thing,
the somersault,
the leap,
the entrechat on horseback.
The skill,
of course, has something to do
with it. It is pleasant
to know you can do anything
so difficult. It is good when you
have mastered it, and you are
really in competition with yourself.

"When we make a mistake in
the ring we are very angry. The
audience doesn't know, but we

But it is a pleasure
to do anything
so difficult
and do it

"We talked about the fact..." by Robert Lax from Circus Days & Nights. © The Overlook Pres



I recall someone once admitting
that all he remembered of Anna Karenina
was something about a picnic basket,

and now, after consuming a book
devoted to the subject of Barcelona—
its people, its history, its complex architecture—

all I remember is the mention
of an albino gorilla, the inhabitant of a park
where the Citadel of the Bourbons once stood.

The sheer paleness of her looms over
all the notable names and dates
as the evening strollers stop before her

and point to show their children.
These locals called her Snowflake,
and here she has been mentioned again in print

in the hope of keeping her pallid flame alive
and helping her, despite her name, to endure
in this poem where she has found another cage.

Oh, Snowflake,
I had no interest in the capital of Catalonia—
its people, its history, its complex architecture—

no, you were the reason
I kept my light on late into the night
turning all those pages, searching for you everywhere.


A 1981 letter we sent to the Milwukee Journal on the subject of zoo gorillas