Saturday, January 8, 2011


"Praying is like a rocking chair - it'll give you something to do, but it won't get you anywhere." Louise Hovick, a.k.a. Gypsy Rose Lee (1911-1970)

So, I reckon Mrs. Presley of Mississippi used to do as many another old-timey cook have done on winter mornings: measure out a cup or two dried beans and set them to soak for cooking later on. My mom & her mom & so on. I did the same, earlier today, and cooked 'em up in a broth with some chicken, cabbage, onion, & garlic, sage & thyme. Tossed in some frozen spinach too, for the color & nutrition and to offset all the Girl Scout cookies I put away today. I mention Mrs. P., of course, because her boy would have turned 76 years old today. A big day it is for anniversary & commemoration. According to the wiki-bots, it was on this day in 1790 that the 1st President delivered the 1st S. of the U. Address. The Battle of New Orleans, 1815 - and boy oh boy, let me point out 1. how much I'd love to write & illus. a book about that and 2. how much my 8-year-old self adored Johnny Horton's hit song, written by folksinger/educator Jimmy Driftwood. Fifteen years after the British were defeated by Old Hickory & the Pirate & their hard-bitten men, the glorious painter Albert Bierstadt was born in Germany. The 100th birthday of a tough resilient entertainer, Gypsy Rose Lee - a great story there was about her on NPR this morning, God bless it & let it be funded forever. There's something deep-down satisfying about puttering about the kitchen, chopping onion for a pot of beans and listening to the radio.

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