Silver Threads/Tale Spinners  December 1996

Silver Threads is the publication of an informal group of
netizens interested in how the net serves the three score plus
internet user and vice-versa.

The newsletter is mailed to subscribers via e-mail and posted at

The current issue WWW edition is at http://www.freenet.mb.ca/sthreads

There is no charge. To subscribe e-mail olsonjam@uwec.edu

 e-mail edition:   Jim Olson, olsonjam@uwec.edu 
 Web page edition: Tom Kyle, tom_kyle@mbnet.mb.ca
Boulder Community Net Archivist: Art Rifkin,  



   Editorial Bits and Bytes

   Features and Gleanings from the Net  

   Notices and Reviews 
   The Cup of Memory
   Senior Smiles 

  Editorial Bits and Bytes

If any of you have ever been to an Elderhostel you know how
compulsive and conscientious seniors are about being on time. If
you arrive five minutes early you are considered late.

Tom and I are trying to destroy that stereotype here in Silver
Threads by our new publication scheduling  policy that we have
dubbed "Confusasenior" or "Erratic Scheduling". We do hope to
roughly approximate a monthly schedule both with the e-mail and
the web edition and to vary the content of the two, but the
timing may vary from month to month as we work around various

We are happy to announce that Silver Threads has recently been
awarded recognition as an Outstanding Web Site by Web Crawler-
and named a Way-Cool site by another organization. So I guess
that makes you readers and particularly you contributors  both
outstanding and Way Cool- we knew you were.
We have added a new feature to the web editions with this issue, a selection of material from our "friendly rival" e-mail senior newsletter Tale Spinner" edited by Jean Sansum.

Generation Markers (Dec 7, 1941)

        - Jim Olson olsonjam@uwec.edu

Each generation seems to have some  common events or reference
points that serve as a basis for relating the experiences of that
generation. This varies with culture and geography, and there
seem to be few if any universal generation markers.  For our
generation the events that surround the second world war come
fairly close to being a universal marker as the events of that
era profoundly affected and shaped our lives. For those of us in
The U.S.A. and Canada the date that marks that era was December
7, 1941, when the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor set in motion a
series of events that affected  our cohorts around the world.

I've asked a number of Silver Threaders to tell how they reacted
on that day and the effect it had on their lives. The responses
show a wide range of age and geographic response. Most readers
were children at the time, some were in high school as I was,
others in college, others were just starting various careers.
They come from various walks of life and geographic area. I've
selected several responses representative of variety of response
to share here:


On December 7th, 1941, I was 12 years old and living in the
Finger Lakes area of New York state.

I came downstairs that chilly morning wearing a red and white
checked dress with a circular skirt.  I wanted to get to the
central register in our living room before my brother or sister
so that I might monopolize all the heat. As I stood there, I saw
my mother and father seated on either side of the radio, their
heads bent close together as they leaned into the speaker.  They
were crying!  My parents were typical New Englanders who, except
for a forehead peck by Dad,  didn't even kiss in public. front of
us children.  Parents just did not cry.  When I questioned them,
they said the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor.  Meaningless to
a 10 year old, of course.   I was pleased when I realized
something of great importance had occurred. Mostly, I hoped
school would be closed for a while. The years passed; names were
engraved on a memorial, a young soldier and his beloved committed
suicide when her parents refused permission to marry,  one
soldier came home minus a leg and he'd sit downtown on the curb
drinking and crying,  handsome boys walked proudly in their
uniforms.  When I was sixteen,  I married one of them.  He died
two years ago.  His war finally ended.

Catherine White 


There are only two times in all my life that I saw a mass of
people, young & old crying. One was Pearl Harbor & the other when
President FD Roosevelt died. I was about 12 years old at the time
of Pearl Harbor, and walking my dog through a park called Mt.
Eden Park, in the Bronx NY, in fact I was doing the same thing at
both those sad occurrences. Two very sad times in all of our

Micky Waltch


Dec 7, 1941 is one of the memorable days that is indelibly
engraved on memories. I was 10 years old at the time and was
playing in Donald Oglesby's living room when news of the attack
came over the radio. I was too young to serve but the impact on
all of our lives was profound and far-reaching. I recall that
Walsh-Kaiser built a shipyard in the neighborhood on Narragansett
Bay to produce Liberty ships. Rosie the riveter went to work and
thereby changed the economic face of America. Buying on credit
became accepted and boosted the economy in a heretofore unknown
way. Most of all the GI Bill educated middle America and brought
on prosperity and a new way of life. The very sad part is that so
many of our young men and women were unable to enjoy the fruits
of the victory that their lives helped to obtain.

"Bruce M. Murphy" 


I was an 18 year old when December 7th 1941 came along.  I was
working my first job at R.G. LeTourneay Inc. in Peoria, Illinois.
My hours were from 5:30 P.M. till 4:00 A.M.(an unGodly shift for
a farm boy).  But then I made the tremendous salary of 36 cents
per hour with a 6 cent night bonus.

In 1943 I found myself in the UNITED STATES ARMY AIR FORCES. July
7, 1944 found me in Thionville, France giving 5 minute Air
Support to General Patton's 5th Armored Division--we had three
squadrons of P-51"s and one squadron of P-61's--I ended up in
Pilsen, Czechoslovakia.  During this period I became one of World
War 2's "YOUNG OLD MEN".

Every Memorial Day I put on my American Legion hat, stand in
front of the American Legion Home and give a very proud hand
salute to each AMERICAN FLAG passing by.  I AM NOT ASHAMED OF THE

John Picco 


I was one leave from Sacramento (CA) Air Depot at my parents'
home in Palo Alto CA.  I found out later that the news was first
"broken" to the American publis with a news flash on the NBC
radio networks by a friend and former Stanford classmate of mine
who was working in the newsroom in their New York studios.  He
first tried frantically to find a standby announcer, but they
were all on coffee breaks or something, so he raced down to the
studio floor and persuaded an engineer to put him on the air to
break the story.

"Philip J. Bernheim" 


At about 5PM on Sunday evening, I, at age 17 years, 1 month and 3
days, was just leaving out the front door to go downtown in
Peoria to a rehearsal of a small orchestra group at the First
Methodist Church, when the announcement of the activity at Pearl
Harbor came from the radio. Needless to say the discussion at the
rehearsal was not entirely about music.

In 1942 I joined the Army Enlisted Reserve Corps. I eventually
attended nine months of college in the Army Specialized Training
Program and then was assigned to the Army Air Corps.

I was very fortunate in having a very safe military service. The
experience as a teenager was one that I shall long remember.
Because of the 33 months spent on active duty, I was able to
finish my engineering studies under the GI Bill of Rights and was
prepared to provide a service to my nation.

Wayne Barney 


On a Sunday afternoon in early December, my motherÕs younger
sister drove over to see us. We had no telephone and Aunt Laura
wanted mom and dad to know that the Japanese had bombed Pearl
Harbor. Uncle Ralph had stayed home with his ears glued to the
radio, for both were worried sick. Their oldest son, Bob, was a
sailor stationed on a ship in the Hawaiian port.

Later that day, we all went over to listen to the radio news
reports. My little amateur radio wasnÕt useful for such serious
matters. Of course, the news about the bombing only got worse.
And, there would be no news about Bob for several weeks. When it
came, it said simply that he was Ōmissing in action,Ķ words that
a great many families received at that time.

I recall BobÕs memorial service in great detail. He had been a
typical high school athlete, well-known in the community. The
church was packed and overflowing. But time passed and our family
settled back into its routine, though we monitored the war news
just as everyone did. One day Aunt Laura came rushing into our
home waving a post card. It was from Bob. She didnÕt know what to
think about it. Perhaps he wrote it before December 7th. But no,
about two weeks later there came a letter of explanation.

He had been sitting astride one of the shipÕs large guns reading
the Sunday paper on that fateful morning. He paid little
attention to the aircraft, for early training flights were
common. When the first bomb hit nearby, the shock threw him into
the water. He clung to a scrap of wood until a passing ship
picked him up. They were moving ships out of the harbor as
quickly as possible and all ships were under strict orders of
radio silence. Bob never thought about being reported missing and
simply mailed a picture post card when they returned to port
weeks later. Yes, I certainly do remember Pearl Harbor, though it
was fifty-five years ago.



I had just graduated from University and was one of the very
lucky people who had a job. It was called "research librarian"
for the Edison Electric Institute which was on the tenth floor of
a big building at 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue in New York

Our boss was a Mr. Kellogg - his brother was a captain of a big
ship which was parked (moored) just outside Pearl Harbour.

I think it was the Missouri.

The ship was sunk on December 7, 1941.

Can you imagine the panic and disbelief that ran through the
office. Our mailroom staff downed tools and went to enlist.

The city was in shock. One might think, living in Manhattan, that
it was always in shock - but on that day everything came to a
standstill. Nobody knew how to greet anyone else.

People on the street would just look at one another and burst
into tears. There had been tremendous war propaganda going on,
with the songs of war coming from every radio - but suddenly it
all lost its showtime glitter and became a reality.

My own boyfriend at the time was in the RCAF - teaching
navigation at the Commonwealth Air Training Plan in Manitoba.
Very soon after that he was sent overseas and eventually wound up
with the RAF on Bomber Command - and in the meantime we were
married and all the reality of the danger of his getting out of
bed each morning was upon us - but I know that the first time
that war hit me as a killing experience was that day in the
office when the news or Pearl Harbour came to us over the radio.

Some days you never forget.

But right up there with those memories - Dec 7, 1941 - sticks

Rosaleen Dickson 


Our first Introduction in this issue is in an interview format:


Jacqui Kinnie http://www.bluevalleydesignworks.com/ a  web
designer, grandmother and psychologist  who uses her talents to
brighten the web, and as grandma Jacqui, to present a chance for
kids to be creative on the web.

Silver Threads:

You have produced two web sites with striking design features and
interesting content and concepts. One concentrates on design and
displays your talents in that field and the other shows you
working with and understanding kids

How did you get started with these two different types of web
projects? What was there in your background that led you to
undertaking these projects?


That's easy Jim.  After 63 years of "playing" with both art and
kids, both of these aspects within me are pretty strong. I've
been interested in art since the time my father found me sitting
on the floor underneath the grand piano trying to draw a picture
of God.  I was about four years old.  Those who have worked with
me in meetings at the public school and university level will
tell you I drew through hours of boring committee meetings!  I
haven't taken an art course ever, but I've lived with and worked
with artists all my life .. it rubs off!

As for understanding kids, I AM one and always will be, and I
raised four of my own plus a few more who needed someone during
the years of motherhood.  I then went to work in the Bay area of
California in an agency that worked with seriously disturbed and
badly abused children, moving back motherhood.  I then went to
work in the Bay area of California in an agency that worked with
seriously disturbed and badly abused children, moving back to
working with more "normal" kids, (many also badly abused but not
"adjudicated") in our public schools.  After 30 years of helping
kids learn to know joy despite their pain, I returned to my own
healthier childhood of art as I took an "early" retirement and
some time to heal myself. One cannot help but absorb some of the
pain one works with .. and I needed time to heal myself at this

Thus, the "art and design" piece which has become a rather nice,
independent, small business, and the containing interest in trying
to help children heal. If you notice, the stories so far are
about a small rabbit called "Flippen" who has strange ears and
often cries because others make fun of him.  I hope young kids
who are sad will identify with Flippen, and I hope they also
listen to Blue Dragon, who has fine words of wisdom and fun for
hurt little ones!

Silver Threads:

As a person experienced in using the internet graphics medium,
what do you think are the inherent strengths  and weaknesses of
this  medium for developing creativity in people of all ages?


Oh wow!  If schools could but afford to provide this technology
to kids beginning at kindergarten and continuing through their
school years,  and provide caring mentors along with the
computers, kids could learn to learn and learn to communicate in
ways you and I haven't even begun to think about! You and I grew
up in the linear world of print.  We were trained to look at
parts from which we built the wholes, to "read" text and pictures
from left to right.  It was/is a linear world for us, and rather
narrow in its scope. We learned to cut off the "big view", the
gestalt of our experience, and to right.  It was/is a linear
world for us, and rather narrow in its scope. We learned to cut
off the "big view", the gestalt of our experience, and to make
"logical sense" of it all with word symbols in a medium which
was/is grueling in comparison to the world of electronic media.

Young children easily access their whole selves, see the whole
gestalt. They view , smell, hear and visualize far more than we
can with our conditioned limits.  Imagine what wonderful things
they can "see" and teach us!  Imagine a world where feelings and
images communicate instead of the convoluted world of words we
use.  I really believe that is where the world of communication
is headed.  And the Net makes moving around in complex worlds
with differing images and ways of being a real possibility.  It's
truly the most democratic medium and institution we as a human
race have ever known. The possibilities for gaining new
information, for forcing the brain to "see" in new ways, and for
growing as a result of contact with a universe of data and
information are truly awesome.  Kids don't have to go to the
library and get a book which must then be "read."  Rather, they
can access a search engine and get answers immediately!  Imagine
what that means in terms of the explosion of knowledge! And THEY
have participated in the getting and the learning .. that's
REALLY exciting.

If there is ome priority in our nation, it is to develop a world
of literate, both in print and media, youngsters.  Whatever it
takes to provide schools with the mentors and the technology MUST
be done and now.  It's our only hope for a truly new and
reasonable, peaceful world.  Creativity can flourish and who
knows what new and wonderful forms of communication, governing
and knowledge gathering may become realities???  I see nothing
but positives coming from this media, Jim, if only we encourage
and allow it to flourish.

Silver Threads:

I see you are very enthusiastic about the use of the internet for
education and creativity for people of all ages. What do you see
as some of the possibilities for the internet as a tool for
communication, particularly inter-generational communication?


The Internet could be used very effectively as a tool for
increasing communication between the generations ... in fact, I
think it already is! A small example:  I rain into a 14 year old
boy who was madly in love and wanted advice about how to reat his
girlfriend. I serve on a design group Board, and had my "POWWOW"
running, waiting for the Board meeting to begin. I was rather
glad he ran into me and not some guy who might have given him
advice I wouldn't have approved of! 

But seriously,  I've rather deliberately used the term "Grandma
Jacqui" at the Kids Kastle site because I know there are lots of
kids out there without grandparents who are nearby or available
to them.  I've debated putting up a chat-room for kids,  but so
far don't know a way to keep it "lock-safe" and still let in
older folks ... it becomes a problem when we consider the safety
of kids.  Unfortunately there are crazy people out there who
look for ways to find, identify and hurt kids.  It's not paranoias
- it's quite real.

Other than communication on specific Internet sites, of course,
there is the wonderful e-mail exchange.  I write my grandchildren
weekly, and they send their missives back.  Since my grandkids
are far away in Georgia, it helps us keep in touch and a part of
each others' lives, and it's far cheaper than long distance phone

editors note- see a review of PowWow in the reviews section of
this issue.



Sylvia Muse who resides in a retirement home in Whicita, Kansas.

Sylvia was born in 1911 on Valentines day and has made a hobby of
collecting picture post cards . Her collection includes cards
from 1912- 1924 and can be viewed at the home page of the
retirement home at the following url:

If you like the cards you can leave a message for her at the site
and the home admistrators will see that she gets it.

          Notices and Reviews     

POWWOW   http://www.tribal.com  Click on "Get POWWOW" and follow
          all the instructions. (not available for Mac users)
  reviewed by 
   Pat Scott
   email address:  jpscott@canadamail.com
   Home Page:    http://www.why.net/home/exuian/irishcook/index.html

After he had set me up on the net, my son Andrew said, "Mum,
their is a terrific program called, "POWWOW" where you can talk
to people all over the world while typing."  How could this be? 
I sure didn't understand but he downloaded it anyway.

The first time I used it, I found it difficult to believe that
the man in the lower screen was sitting in his office in
Australia?  And talking to me? Whewwww, this was too much!

I went on to POWWOW very slowly at first.  The first time I ever
heard the loon sing and then a nice young lady's voice saying,
"You have a chat request", I looked around my room and I was
alone.  No one was there to say that to me so upon glancing back
at my monitor I saw the little screen that said someone in
Singapore was paging me for a chat.  I clicked on "Accept" and
"OK" and then the conversation started.  What a lovely young
lady. Working in her office in Singapore 13 hours ahead of me and
while on her lunch hour she took the time to page me. Working in
her office in Singapore 13 hours ahead of me and while on her
lunch hour she took the time to page me.

Last spring, one Saturday morning, I again heard the loon and
accepted the Chat Request.  Here was a little girl in County
Clare in the remote west of Ireland wanting to chat.  I thought
that when she found out that I was a grandmother, she wouldn't
want to chat but our relationship has grown and we have a date
every other Saturday to chat and sometimes she brings her friends
to talk with this older lady.  She has printed off my homepage
and taken the recipes to school and they have tried baking the

Now, after a year using POWWOW, I would highly recommend it for
anyone wishing "live" chat with other folk all over the world. 
On most evenings there are about six of us from the SeniorNet
Round Tables who get together on POWWOW to discuss our day and
say goodnight.  These folk are in Florida, Illinois, Virginia,
California and another fellow Canadian in Alberta and I'm in
Guelph, Ontario.  What an inexpensive way to communicate.

These are just my own private ramblings about what I think of
POWWOW.  I love it and I'm sure you will too.  If you own a PC
you can download it. MAC users are out of luck though as this
machine is not recognized by the POWWOW software.


Pat Scott also send us this URL for Christmas:



AgeSmart on listserv@sjuvm.stjohns.edu

by  Wanda Tilley 

AgeSmart is a forum for exchanging ideas, methods, and
information about incorporating positive and sensible approaches
to aging into the lives of those who are nearing or who have
reached that half century mark!

Our objectives are to:

~~ help participants focus on the positive and productive aspects
of aging;

~~ assist in the improvement of  mind, body and spirit as one

~~ encourage  constructive, entertaining discussion, advice,
information and anecdotes of  interest to participants;

~~ motivate list members to make positive changes in their lives,
so that these changes will have a significant and beneficial
effect - whether physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual or

We hope dialogue will be entertaining, energizing, and
effervescent and wit and wisdom will be appreciated! ;-)  We
encourage sound, sagacious suggestions which will help us achieve
satisfying middle and fulfilling senior years

This is an open list and anyone prone to thinking s/he is "over
the hill" is urged to take part!  Professionals working and
interacting with older adults are welcome to participate in the
List and to contribute their suggestions.

To subscribe, send message to  listserv@sjuvm.stjohns.edu In the
body of the message, type:

subscribe AgeSmart yourfirstname yourlastname

For example:  subscribe AgeSmart Pat Smith

    Moderator: Eileen Pedley
    Listname: granny@sjuvm.stjohns.edu

    Schools around the world are invited to write to us and
    join our exploration of "Granny's Kitchen".  You may like
    to tell us about your discoveries of the differences
    between the foods and meals that we eat now compared to the
    foods eaten fifty years ago.  Your relatives and neighbours
    will be able to tell you about some of the those
    differences and we have asked a group of on-line grannies
    and grandads around the world if they will also help to
    answer your questions.

The Philadelphia Art Museum : THE PEALE FAMILY: CREATION OF AN

From: Pat McIntyre 

This exhibit running through Jan 5  has appeal for history buffs
and antique lovers.

The Peale family , headed by Charles Willson Peale, created
portraits of more than 2,000 citizens of our country including
the Cadwalader family, during its beginning days. The elder Peale
counted Washington and Jefferson among his friends.

This is the first venue of the show and will be accompanied by a
citywide celebration of the Peales and their times at other
galleries and museums.

The elder Peale instilled strong family values in his offspring
and several of his children, sons and daughters alike, went on to
make their ? Help       M Main Menu  P PrevMsg     - PrevPage   
D Delete      R Reply several of his children, sons and daughters
alike, went on to make their own way in the art world.

Also on display as a companion exhibit is THE CADWALADER FAMILY:
Elizabeth, Cadwalader, purchased a house in 1770 they strove to
make it the most fashionable and grandest in Philadelphia. 
Charles Willson Peale painted the family portraits and the finest
craftsmen in the city supplied the furnishings, some of which are
on display. Since each generation passed on their furnishings and
decorative art to their heirs, many of their original pieces
remain intact and can be seen in the museum exhibit.

HICAP Medicare and health Care Asssitance

 Jo Camp 
HICAP is administered by the California Dept. of Aging, is a
volunteer supported program which provides free assistance with
Medicare problems & help with health insurance problems.  We
provide assistance, education & counseling on Medicare, medi-gap
insurance & related health insurance problems for seniors &
disabled persons on Medicare. We work to aid older folks with
impartial, accurate (hopefully) information regarding private
supplemental insurance (medi-gap), long-term care insurance (I'm
still in training in this area) & health maintenance
organizations (HMOs).  We have no HMOs in our town at present but
help those moving to Ridgecrest who are members of an HMO who
need to disenroll & return to Medicare.  In this area one
belonging to an HMO would have to drive to their nearest health
provider who might be located anywhere from 75 to 100 mi. from
here.  Emergency services of specialists, hospital, etc. are only
available to the HMO enrollee on proveable emergency situations.

At present Ridgecrest is working toward a community health
service organization but that is still in the future.  Too,
companies with the most employees will be signed up first, next
smaller companies with a smaller group of employees & lastly,
private citizens (retirees, senior citizens, etc.)  Just how long
it will take to get everyone in the net is debatable but
definitely managed care is in the "works" for our isolated,
desert town.

There are 4 HICAP volunteers here in Ridgecrest (2 active, 2 fill
in when needed).  In other towns in the county there are from 1
to 4 volunteers with all under the jurisdiction of the
Bakersfield (our county seat located 100 mi. away) Senior
Information & Referral Office.  We meet several times during the
year for further training, information updates, staff meetings,
etc.  Our local office is located in the county bldg. & we are
available Mon. & Thur. for consultations with clients on a
drop-in or appt. basis.

Best wishes from the Mojave Desert in southern California.


Seniornet Announcements


SeniorNet is pleased to announce a new program sponsored by

In January 1997, we will be launching the MetLife Solutions Forum
on SeniorNet.

The program will run from January to June of 1997 on SeniorNet's
web site at http://www.seniornet.org/solutions.  During that
period we will be conducting three Forums on three separate
topics.  Each Forum will last for six weeks.  The first topic to
be addressed, from mid January through February, is the Future of

Each Forum will have several components: a moderated message
board discussion in a *private* message board open to
participants who apply to the Forum, an open message board
discussion in the SeniorNet Roundtables and polls open to all.

           The Cup Of Memory

Christmas Memory

Larry Hanna <930lch96@worldnet.att.net>

In 1961 I was doing my student teaching in the high school at
Cameron, Missouri.  It was the Christmas holiday break and the
evening of the last day of school before the holiday it started
snowing and continued to snow all night.  My parents had planned
to pick me up the next day, which was two days before Christmas.
Since I was located about 50 miles from home and the roads were
impassable they could not make the trip.  On the next day I was
able to get a ride with a friend and we followed a snow plow in
the usually one open lane of the highway and made it back to the
College. I then got a ride from the College to the country road
that led to my folks farm where I lived.  My Dad was able to get
through the snow drifts with the Farmall H tractor and got me

At this time I was engaged to my wife, who was attending College
in Maryville, Missouri, and had planned to return to
Independence, Missouri, to spend the holidays with her family.
Obviously, with the roads blocked with all the snow her Father
could not make the trip and so she was going to have to spend
Christmas by herself.

Not to be.  On Christmas Eve my Dad said he thought we could get
her out to the farm and she could spend Christmas Eve and
Christmas Day as a guest of our family and stay until her folks
could make the trip. Our neighbor had taken his truck to the
highway before the storm and he took me the 6 miles to pick up my
wife-to-be at the College and brought us back to our little
country road.  My Dad met us at the highway on the tractor and we
made it to the farm, standing on the drawbar of the tractor and
with me holding on to her and her suitcase as she had never
ridden on a tractor before, certainly not standing on a drawbar.

On Christmas Eve it was a custom in my family that we always went
to my Grandmother's house to have dinner and then have a gift
exchange.  So we all piled on the tractor, clutching our gifts,
and holding on for dear life and Dad drove the tractor for the 1
1/2 mile trip into the little town of Pickering, Missouri, where
my Grandmother lived.  After a delightful meal and the
traditional gift exchange, that could not occur until the dishes
were washed, we again made the trek on the tractor back to the
farm.  My wife was amazed that both my Mother and Grandmother
were able to find appropriate small gifts so that she was not
left out in the gift exchange even though they had not known she
would be present.  After the festivities, we again made the trip
on the tractor drawbar back to the farm.  The next day we had our
traditional at-home Christmas dinner.

The day after Christmas the roads had been cleared and my
then-to-be wife's folks were able to make the trip and get her
home ending a very memorable Christmas for a love-struck young
lad and lass who have now spent many Christmases together and
established our own traditions with our family.

When I asked my wife what her enduring memory of that Christmas
experience was, she said three things stood out.   The first was
the high snow drifts that in places were higher than the truck
and the tractor. The second was that my Mother and Grandmother
had found presents for her. The third was the two terribly
bruised knees she suffered from holding so close to the tractor
seat and gear box as she stood on the tractor drawbar during the
several trips we made through the snow and cold.

            Senior Smiles
Psychiatric Hotline

Recording -   "Hello, Welcome to the Psychiatric Hotline."
 If you are obsessive-compulsive, please press 1 repeatedly.
 If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2.
 If you have multiple personalities, please press 3, 4, 5 and 6.
 If you are paranoid-delusional, we know who you are and what you want.
    Just stay on the line until we can trace the call.
 If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a little voice will tell
    you which number to press.
 If you are manic-depressive, it doesn't matter which number you press.
    No one will answer.

The following is a  newspaper article from somewhere in

Two local men were  injured when their pick-up truck left the
road and struck a tree near Cotton Patch on State Highway 38
early Monday morning.  Woodruff County Deputy Davey Snyder
reported the accident shortly after midnight Monday.

The accident occurred as the two men were returning to Des Arc
after a frog gigging trip. On an overcast Sunday night, Poole's
pick-up truck headlights malfunctioned.  The two men concluded
that the headlight fuse on the older model truck had burned out.
As a replacement fuse was not available, Wallis noticed that the
.22 caliber bullet from his pistol fit perfectly into the fuse
box next to the steering wheel column. Upon inserting the bullet,
the headlights again began to operate properly and the two men
proceeded on east-bound toward the White River Bridge.

After traveling approximately 20 miles and just before crossing
the river, the bullet apparently overheated, discharged and
struck Poole in the right testicle.  The vehicle swerved sharply
to the right exiting the pavement and striking the tree.  Poole
suffered only minor cuts and abrasions from the accident, but
will require surgery to repair the other wound. Wallis sustained
a broken clavicle and was treated and released.

"Thank God we weren't on that bridge when Thurston shot himself
 or we might have been dead," stated Wallis.

"I've been a trooper for ten years in this part of the world, but
this is a first for me.  I can't believe that those two would
admit how the accident happened," said Snyder.

Upon being notified of the wreck, Lavinia, Poole's wife asked how
many frogs the boys had caught and did anyone get them from the


             HOW COLD IS IT?

                An annotated thermometer
       50    - Miami residents turn on the heat
       40    - Californians shiver uncontrollably
               Wisconsinites go swimming
       35    - Italian cars don't start
       32    - Water freezes
       30    - You can see your breath
               You plan your vacation to Australia
               Wisconsinites put on T-shirts
               Politicians begin to worry about the homeless
       25    - Boston water freezes
               Californians weep pitiably
               Wisconsinites eat ice cream
               Canadians go swimming
               Cat insists on sleeping on your bed with you

       20    - You can hear your breath
               Politicians begin to talk about the homeless
               New York City water freezes
               Miami residents plan vacation further South
       15    - You plan a vacation in Mexico
               Cat insists on sleeping in your bed with you
       10    - Too cold to snow
               You need jumper cables to get the car going
        5    - You plan your vacation in Houston
        0    - American cars don't start
               Alaskans put on T-shirts
               Too cold to skate
       -15    - You can cut your breath and use it to build an igloo
               Wisconsinites' stick tongue on metal objects
               Miami residents cease to exist
       -20   - Cat insists on sleeping in your pajamas with you
               Politicians actually do something about the homeless
               Wisconsinites shovel snow off roof
       -25   - Too cold to think
               You need jumper cables to get the driver going
       -30   - You plan a two week hot bath
               The Mighty Monongahela freezes
               Japanese cars don't start
       -40   - Californians disappear
               Wisconsinites button top button
               Canadians put on sweaters
               Your car helps you plan your trip South
       -50   - Congressional hot air freezes
               Alaskans close the bathroom window
       -80   - Hell freezes over
               Polar bears move south

     -100   Life extinguished.
            Atoms split.
            Wisconsinites put on hats.



Winter comes softly
Creeping over the land
Light snow covers the leaves
Only partially
Deep brown still showing
As the noon sun lowers
In the southern sky
Ice forms a thin coating
On my pond
Thickening daily
With the crescent cold
Until I walk
Where on the water
In summers warm glory
I caught
A large-mouth Bass

    MICharley @aol.com

        Tale Spinners Corner       

Material in this section comes from The Tale Spinners, a weekly
e-mail neswletter published by Jean Sansum
 and reprinted here as the WWW
outreach of that publication. To subscribe to Tale Spinners
contact Jean. 


Bob Jackson (rob@gatewest.net) sent the following article which
points out just how far we have come:

                          HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED!

                            Office Rules 1852

With conditions of employment very much a topic of conversation,
a document headed "Office Practices," dated 1852, found in a
building recently demolished, makes interesting reading.

Godliness, cleanliness, and punctuality are necessities of a good

This firm has reduced the hours of work, and the Clerical Staff
will now only have to be present between the hours of 7:00 a.m.
and 6:00 p.m. on weekdays.

Daily prayers will be held each morning in the Main Office. The
Clerical Staff will be present.

Clothing must be of a sober nature. The Clerical Staff will not
disport themselves in raiment of bright colours, nor will they
wear hose unless in good repair.

Overshoes and top-coats may not be worn in the office, but neck
scarves and headwear may be worn in inclement weather.

A stove is provided for the benifit of the Clerical Staff, and
coal and wood must be kept in the locker. It is recommended that
each member of the Clerical Staff bring 4 pounds of coal each
day, during the cold weather.

No member of the Clerical Staff may leave the room without

No talking is allowed during business hours.

The craving of tobacco, wines, or spirits is a human weakness
and, as such, is forbidden to all members of the Clerical Staff.

Now that the hours of business have been drastically reduced the
partaking of food is allowed between 11:30 a.m. and noon, but
work will not, on any account, cease.

Members of the Clerical Staff will provide their own pens. A new
sharpener is available, on application to Mr. Rogers.

Mr. Rogers will nominate a senior Clerk to be responsible for the
cleanliness of the Main Office and the Private Office, and all
the Boys and Juniors will report to him 40 minutes before Prayers
and will remain after closing hours for similar work. Brushes,
Brooms, Scubbers, and Soap are provided by the owners.

The New Increased Weekly Wages are as hereunder detailed:

   Junior Boys ( to 11 years )                $ .15
   Boys ( to 14 years )                         .25
   Junior Clerks                               1.05
   Senior Clerks ( after 15 years
           with the owners )                   2.50

The owners recognize the generosity of the New Labour Laws but
expect a great rise in output of work to compensate for these
near Utopian Conditions.

- Courtesy of Schumacher Hardware.


Dick Monaghan (richardm@worldaccess.com) offers some gift
suggestions he gleaned from holiday


It's catalogue time around our house, and once again, I'm a
quivering mass of indecision.

It's such torture to choose between the "authentic British taxi"
from Hammacher Schlemmer ($43,000) and the "Talking Budweiser
Frog Mug" ($24.98), where the "lift-off top starts him talking
just like the commercials." (Taylor Gifts.) The Wireless
catalogue offers a radio- controlled mouse to amuse your cat, at
$21.50, batteries not included. I hope I have only temporarily
misplaced the catalogue that offered the ashtray shaped like a
toilet that emits "genuine flushing sounds" and the slippers that
make disgusting noises as you walk. Each gift seems just right
for someone I know, yet I just can't choose.

"The Mind's Eye" will sell you a genuine rubber chicken PLUS
"three pairs of funny spectacles" for twenty bucks, or the "King
Kong and the Empire State Building Salt & Pepper Set" for $9.95.

You can well imagine my quandary. I was able to eliminate the
British cab fairly quickly, not because of the price, which is
nothing to a man in my position, but because of an ominous note
next to the illustration that said "our usual unlimited guarantee
does not apply." I'll bet the people offering the rubber chicken
stand back of THEIR merchandise!

My attempts at being an original gift giver have not always gone
as well as I'd hoped. I don't think a single recipient thanked me
for the body piercing and tattoo gift certificates, and Miss Kate
failed to display the appropriate degree of enthusiasm the year I
had the septic tank pumped for Mothers' Day. But I'll keep

Let me see: I'll bet my aged aunt would like a ride in a hot air
balloon; I wonder if there's room for her wheelchair? I'll bet
Miss Kate will just whinny with gratitude if I give her a mop
bucket with her initials on the wringer. Maybe I could get a
wholesale price on pink plastic lawn flamingos and distribute
them to the homeless, thus brightening the streets.

They say it's the thought that counts, but did you ever try to
gift wrap one?

I may not be the world's champion gift giver, but where would
garage sales be without me?


Allan Fawley (Allan_Fawley@mindlink.bc.ca) forwards the following
post from Graham C. Alig , which was
printed in HUMOR@caligari.dartmouth.edu:

                (These are real examples from real resumes)

--Here are my qualifications for you to overlook.


--Responsibility makes me nervous.

--They insisted that all employees get to work by 8:45 every morning.
  Couldn't work under those conditions.

--Was met with a string of broken promises and lies, as well as

--I was working for my mom until she decided to move.

--The company made me a scapegoat - just like my three previous


--While I am open to the initial nature of an assignment, I am
decidedly disposed that it be so oriented as to at least
partially incorporate the experience enjoyed heretofore and that
it be configured so as to ultimately lead to the application of
more rarefied facets of financial management as the major sphere
of responsibility.

--I was proud to win the Gregg Typting Award.


--Please call me after 5:30 because I am self-employed and my employer
  does not know I am looking for another job.

--My goal is to be a meteorologist. But since I have no training in
  meteorology, I suppose I should try stock brokerage.

--I procrastinate - especially when the task is unpleasant.


--Minor allergies to house cats and Mongolian sheep.


--Donating blood. 14 gallons so far.


--Education: College, August 1880 - May 1984.

--Work Experience: Dealing with customers' conflicts that arouse.

--I'm a rabid typist.


Elizabeth Peres (Elizabeth_Peres@mindlink.bc.ca) wrote this poem:

candle glow

the floral black
        bird held
           the white
                 the glow
                   lit sparkles
                      on faces
                        made serene
                           by the