Hello Young Lovers Part IV

Below is one of our favorites written by Ethel.  The basic idea for it started in the 1960’s when she worked for the Murray Eagle newspaper and wrote a column by the same name as this blog.  Go figure.  It has evolved over the years but remains timeless . . .

Ethel is doing quite well and we hope to see her writing again here soon.  Best wishes to all.

We’ve had a love of our own . . .

I recently turned a hallway corner and startled a young couple holding each other closely, sharing a moment of love and tenderness.

As soon as they saw me, they hurriedly stepped apart, blushing, embarrassed, and their reaction was obvious, that I, of another generation, could not in any way, understand their actions or what they were feeling.

I was momentarily tempted to pause and tell them that indeed I did understand.  That I was intensely aware of their happiness, and  could feel the emotion that passed between them, because, as the old song says, ”I had a love of my own, you see, I had a love of my own.”

We live in a world that seems programmed to think that love, and all its glory that ‘makes life worth living’, is meant only for the young.  And that if you are 50, or anywhere beyond, that love is foolish and out of the question.  That any  marriage, at those ages, must be nothing but empty, hollow arrangements and could never have the least thing to do with that most ‘tender emotion.’

How wrong they are.  Oh, heavens, how wrong they are and how much they have to learn as they are taking their first startled steps into the world that is at the heart, and the reason for every birth, book, opera, song, poem, sculpture or work of art.

They were so young, so starry eyed and they think the joys and love they are experiencing can, in no way, be understood by people their parent’s age.  But they must be excused, because every generation thinks the wonders and joys of love and sex are unique to them.

It is the wise (blessed? lucky?) ones who go through the young infatuations, and though moved, recognize them for what they are. To enjoy, learn, but carefully, oh most carefully avoid any acts or commitments that could entail a child, marriage, and so often a divorce.

I read, and still like to refer to Margaret Mead’s book, the world-wide classic, Coming of Age In Samoa written in 1925, after she lived there as an Anthropologist.  Among other aspects of their life, Mead wrote of Coming of Age, or as we say, the Teen years. In Samoa at that time, love and sex were routinely expected, accepted, and tolerated with no criticism. She compared sex as arriving to those of those early years, like  flash fires, bolts of lightning and over just as quickly.

However, if a Samoan pair conceived a child, (and here their rules were adamant and frighteningly strict), and with no censorship, they were automatically considered ‘married’ and would continue that responsibility until the child (children) reached adulthood.  And horribly harsh punishments followed if those rules were ignored.

But then, when those ‘family’ years were completed, they had done their duty to the next generation and were free to do as they pleased, and again with no criticism.  What did it matter, they said. It is the children who are important and must be nurtured.

But back from Samoa to my encounter in that hallway.  Teen-age love comes, and goes, and that young pair I interrupted  has so much to learn.  How swiftly that first wild love can fling them into a marriage they’re not ready for.  A child?  A divorce?  And leaving both disillusioned, bitter and knowing that the rest of their lives have been irrevocably changed.

But life does not stand still. We get older, hopefully wiser and no matter how badly burned or blessed with that first Bolt of Lightning, time passes, life heals, and then another love enters people’s lives.  Not the same as the first,  not taking the place of any cherished memories, and not to be criticized or explained, but entirely different. And welcome.

Yes, I passed the young couple I had surprised without seemingly giving them more than a passing glance, but they could not and can not know what thoughts and  memories they stirred, and at the same time, what hopes and fears of where their  lives, almost out of their control, would now go.

I knew they thought I would/could not understand them, but I understood so well that a smile touched my lips as I recalled  another song that tells us  “Love is wonderful, the second time around.”  And whoever penned those words knew exactly what they were talking about.

And while we’re on the subject, and not in Samoa or even in that hallway, and as if you don’t already know, I’ll tell you a secret.   If you’re lucky, the third time is nothing  to be  underestimated either.  And a fourth time?  You’re asking the wrong person, but each one, in its own way, is distinct, different, wonderful.

Oh me, and all this from a moment’s encounter in a out-of-the-way hallway.

Happiness and Life’s Changes

Ethel has certainly been going through some life changing experiences, and as she does so, she continues to teach us how to handle and accept what comes.   Back from death’s door, perhaps without as much energy as the ‘old’ Ethel, she remains sane and strong, and reads these posting carefully so i have to careful what I say . . .  : )

Here is one of Ethel’s earlier columns, and I think it speaks well of her current life and that of all of us.

Some years ago, a friend asked me to write about how ‘people like me’ survive the deaths of those close to you and then able to go on and lead happy lives. At first I pretended to be puzzled, and asked what she meant, for I eat, sleep, work, play, worship. What else is there?

But, truly, I knew what she meant. She was saying, “Ethel, in the time of only one short year, you lost your husband, your Gram, and your children grown and living their own lives, so what did you do…what do you do…to be as happy as you are?”

So I figured it was time to look back at the Ethel I was, and the Ethel I suddenly became the startling moment when I sat at my desk and received a sad phone call telling me that AW was dead. And no matter how it’s worded, there are no ‘right’ ones.

So I took time and compared ‘the two Ethels’ and Lordy, Lordy what a lot of difference there is.

At first there was absolute trauma. Paralysis. It was an event so new, so unexpected, so out of context to my life, that I lived through the immediate events as if hypnotized. The awful arrangements of cemetery, funeral, casket, what clothes for him to wear, should I take off his rings or not?  And horror of horrors, questions were very carefully asked, what about all that gold in the teeth?  Yeah, that, too. Terrible questions.

And then…there were so many people (thank heaven’s) helping and telling me what had to be done, that I had to be careful to make sure my husband’s funeral was what I wanted, and not what others wanted it to be. Hard.

But after the excitement (yes, there is excitement) was over, came the long haul. And it is a long haul, and I can speak only for myself.

I was scared. Scared as I never had been before in my life. Could I survive? Emotionally? Mentally? Financially? Spiritually? I felt utter terror, absolute isolation, and it was only the established routine of work, eat and sleep that saved my life.

Emotionally I didn’t think or feel, and almost became a robot and taking each day, hour and minute as it came. Not looking ahead. Not even for a day.

Mentally? Well, again, a demanding job kept me balanced and busy and I still thank God for it.

Financially, I did not spend one dime that I didn’t absolutely have to, until I found out that I could ‘make it’ on my own, but I must admit, there were many times of worry and fear. And over and over I asked myself, ‘Has anyone else ever, ever, ever been left as alone as I was?’

Spiritually? Oh, there is the saving grace that saw me through and remains my foundation. It saw me through the anger that came. Anger to think that I could be left alone. Anger at AW for dying (Oh yes, don’t be surprised, there is that, too.) Anger at the world that it could laugh, play, travel, visit and love, while I walked around wounded and bleeding.

It saw me through the despair of lonely days and nights and gave me the wisdom not to join clubs “guaranteed to find a companion.” It gave me courage not to cling to my sons for emotional support. You see, I’d seen young people crippled by a sorrowing parent and swore not to do likewise to mine.

It saw me through the fear of changing my life style from the one I had known into an unknown one.  What else?  My life had changed and it saw me through finding new friends who, first, did not replace those who had died; second, do not take the place of children, and third; did not become crutches for me to lean and weep upon.

No, but it brought me friends and activities that were new. But, you can’t be in a hurry, for it takes time. Took a long time for me not be feel guilty when I found myself laughing and happy  with people, and in situations that neither my husband, sons, or dear Gram had heard of or known.  I can tell you,  it’s a weird feeling, for it truly becomes a new life.

Yes, the spiritual life brought me through the guilts that clung to me as I carved out a new life filled with people I hadn’t even heard of while Brad lived. They, of course, now know my grown sons and all is well and good.

For me it is the only way. For me, that of  sorrowfully clinging to the old life, after it was irrevocably gone, would have not only crippled me but crippled all close to me.

So I chose to survive and be happy. It’s not knocking the old one bit, it’s just ultimately being able to say “That life is over. Now, Dear God, whatever comes next, bring it to me, for I’m ready.”

And that’s how ‘people like me’ again become happy and able to live a full and good life.  None of those I lost that terrible year would know those who now make up my life now, but that’s okay.

Ethel’s Creed

Ethel continues to mend, and is wishing everyone well.  She is unable to take calls or visits yet, but we hope that will change for the better soon.

Here is her “creed.”  It has hung in her kitchen for years . . .



So simple.

My Consciousness has never confused

Itself with my temporary body of Ethel Ohlin Bradford.


Before I came to earth, I was the Same.

I lived in a child’s body, but I was the Same.

I grew into womanhood,

Yet there was no change in Me. I was the Same.


When it was time for this body to marry and have children,

I joyously did so, but I remained the Same.


                                     And though this body has lived, worked and matured

I remain the Same.


And I learned

There are no Baby Spirits, but

There are Spirits in Baby Bodies.

There are no old-worn-out Spirits, but

There are Spirits in Old-Worn-out Bodies,



Throughout Eternity, though the Dance of Creation

changes around Me,

I shall ever be the Same.


The Creed

of the

One who lives in the temporary body known as

Ethel Ohlin Bradford


Written circa 1990.


Ethel continues her rehab time and looks forward to writing again.  Soon we hope she will be hitting the keys of the computer, and we can get more of her fresh (99 years of experience) stories and wisdom.  In the mean time . . .

Some of Ethel’s helpers have had to learn a few things, very important things, like how to make a proper Woffee.  We are all particular about certain things, and Ethel likes her Woffee.  Here is her take on the stuff.

One of these days some smart cookie is going to open a Woffee House and it’ll be a popular place.  I, in fact, will reserve my own personal table, and as I look around, I doubt if I’ll be the only one choosing it as first choice.

And if you aren’t aware of what Woffee is…well, you just don’t know Ethel Bradford very well.  See, Woffee is one of my most favorite drinks.

The whole thing started several years ago when my boss, Jim Cornwell, came upon the fact that I like coffee, yes, but to me it’s a mixed drink.  Half a cuppa coffee and half a cuppa water.  Jim’s the one who named my watered-down brew, Woffee.

So it went.  Day after day Ethel drank her Woffee, and, although my coffee has long been Sanka or one of its decaffeinated counterparts, it still comes to me as half and half.  Woffee.

But, little by little the idea took hold and then, one day I chuckled, for, as I walked through the shop I heard Nedra, one of the neat gals I work with, call out to another gal, “Hey, while you’re going that way, will you  bring me back a cuppa Woffee?”

And everyone knew exactly what Nedra wanted, and with no one even batting an eyebrow, she got her Woffee.

My friends have long known of my Woffee habit and simply think it one more of my oddities.  But now I find Jim’s name for my morning drink is getting around.

It’s like this.  I drop into a certain Coffee Shop quite often in the early a.m., and while there getting my breakfast, I also get my usual half-a-cup-of coffee and half-a-cup-of water.  The most agreeable clerks are more than willing to get the water for me.  Quick to oblige.

Doesn’t take long before they know exactly what I want to go with whatever else I order, and matter of factly bring me a cuppa plain ole Woffee.  Well, the other day I buzzed into the familiar place, wended my way quickly back to the always-filled coffee pot, and. before I could even begin to serve myself, the gal greeted me with “You want a large cuppa Woffee, don’t you?”  And I saw that she was already fixing it for me.

And, yes. I laughed and answered, “A large cup will be fine.”

See how a good thing gets around?  So, if you’re in some fancy restaurant and hear someone order Woffee, don’t be surprised and don’t put the blame…or credit…on me.

I only drink the stuff…Jim Cornwell is the one who named it.  Woffee, wanna join me in a cup?

Routines Can Be A Life Saver

Ethel continues to gain in health and is able to walk about and have some regular food.  There is a road ahead to recovery, but we are hopeful she will be able to live at home again soon.  But as life goes, we never know.  What will be, will be and we shall accept.

Also I am hoping she will be able to take some phone calls and email soon, will keep you posted.  Ethel thanks you for the wonderful thoughts and love.

Here is one of her blogs we have had “on file.”  During this health crisis, Ethel has often been asked how she managed to live to be 99 and take care of herself in her own house.  I think having a routine, a schedule, a way to remember all that needs doing each day is one of the keys, so here is her Routines Can Be A Life Saver.

We all hate schedules, and yet, dang it, everyone, no matter how young or not-so-young. has a routine for their days.

To begin with, a newborn infant immediately has a schedule of food, sleep and bath, and which during all of childhood gently but constantly changes, and before long, schooling arrives, then jobs begin, and before we know it, adult Life itself sets in and we have become so ‘routined’ that we ask, “When will I ever get a little Free Time?”

But, unconsciously we like it, for after the freedom of a day or week’s vacation, we snuggle back into our routine with a comfy ‘home again’ feeling. And so it goes, until e-v-e-n-t-u-a-l-l-y Retirement, enters our mind, and when it actually becomes real, after the first month or so of ‘no routine’, we not only miss, but need having something to do with our days.

The smart ones see this coming and begin exploring hobbies that, long ago, had been set aside for lack of time. Or we recall some skill we always wanted to learn, such as wood work, a new language, plumbing, farming, writing. We all have long-buried ‘itches’ and finally know that retirement is when they can blossom. At last we have the time to do what we want, not must do. Nice.

I once took some Buddhist classes and found those old Zen Teachers were wise, wise, wise. Their thoughts are from a thousand or more years ago, but they knew about human nature, and that life was life wherever   or whenever lived. Among much else, those classes told me of the absolute necessity of a daily routine to use, and to revise as changes come. And, we were reassured, changes will come.

It was stressed to keep it simple, for our days can’t be, or should never be, ‘carbon-copies’ . Can’t be, because, the phone rings and right then, our day can change, or unexpected company comes, an illness or accident happens, you get a headache, and so on, But, the need of a pattern for our days, was still stressed, for like it or not, that’s how life is. Always changing, and after the shock of small, large, joyous or heartbreaking ones, we adjust, flow with life and this adjustment happens mainly because we have a firm foundation, our routine to fall back upon.

So, the good Teachers advised a written Routine, and mine fits nicely on one side of a type sheet, kept in my computer where it’s easily up-dated, and so can print out a few when needed. I then keep them in a loose-leaf where I can make notes for coming days, and refer to what went on a week or two ago if wanted.

On one side of the sheet I have a list of what I plan to put into this ‘machine I call Ethel’, to keep it ready and fit to accomplish what I plan to do with it. This list includes all Medications, plus Vitamins and such, And if I can get those Vitamins from Food or a Capsule, matters not, Just Get Them into my Machine. And this means keeping track of my cups of water, too

And inasmuch as each item, when done, is crossed OFF, there’s no more wondering if I did or didn’t take that pill. It’s there on the sheet.

On the To-Do side, I list my Meditation, or prayer time, plus exercise, tidying the house from yesterday’s leftovers, making phone calls or email that’s needed. Appointments made, walking forward AND backwards, shopping trips needed, etc., bathing, proper care of the body, taking care of daily garbage, my meals, massage and so on.

These lists use about half of the sheet but they will vary as time goes on, but include my writing, which is to me is both my work and joy. And I tell myself how much time is spent with that writing and what it is about. I keep track of what and when I eat, and if I might feel unwell, I can look back to see if it was something I ate, or didn’t eat.

I include walking, forward and backward (no fooling, keep that skill, for it helps keep your balance in good condition)  Yes, and the care of toe and fingernails. Be as picky as you choose, and if some of the actions are   on a weekly or daily schedule, still put them down anyway.

Keep your daily sheet where you see it often during the day , and it will not only be a reminder to you to walk, exercise, or meditate, because, if I feel lost, or moody, I turn to my daily routine and see what I might not have done for that day, and right then and there I go and do it, But any way, it’s either writing or meditation I turn to, . but choose your own, and you’ll find your mood will change. Just like that. The technique wouldn’t have lasted through the ages if it didn’t work, and speedily, too. Sure worth a try.

Going Home

Some of Ethel’s readers may know she recently suffered a health set back and has been hospitalized.  We thought we lost her at one point but Ethel is a tough lady and is now resting and in rehab, but she won’t be doing too much writing for a while.  Her mind is alert as ever and she is a study in how to handle life’s bumps in the road. We expect her to be around for a while.  I will post updates here about her, and if you want to leave a note for Ethel please do it below this post, or email to me bill@k7ea.com

Thanks to all and in the mean time . . .  Here is one of Ethel’s recent writings.

Everyone wants to go home. The infant, far too young to know anything about home, is still aware that in a certain room and in a certain crib, he relaxes and sleeps better. The school boy, visibly glad to be home, tosses his books aside, reaches for the milk and cookies and tells his mother of his day.

Or the sick, weary in body and soul, se resolutely maintain that “I am sick, and I may even die, but if such must be, please let it happen in my own home and bed”.

And each of us knew exactly what Jacqueline Kennedy meant, when knowing her days were numbered, asked to be taken home, and John, her young son, did so and, only days later, she died in her own room, surrounded by her books, music, pictures and people she knew and loved. Ah yes, and it’s a sorrow that her son, John, couldn’t have had the same for himself, rather than a plane crash in the cold Atlantic.

Every bride and groom rightfully glory in their own home, but , (remember?)   it’s a long, time before there’s no mix-up when one of them says, “Let’s go home for Sunday dinner.” Whose home? Her childhood home? His parent’s home? Their home?

In fact it’s not until children come along that the difference is clear, and even then, it’s a compromise, for then is when their old childhood homes become known, not as theirs, but as Grandparent’s homes. Yeah, you’ve seen these changes in your life, too.

And a definite feeling of ownership remains long after we’ve moved. We wouldn’t ever want to live there again, but we see where others have cut down a tree we planted, have done some repainting, or even some remodeling, and, as we pass by, can’t help but stare, and become, for the moment, the ‘one’ who once called that place home. And we wonder, that if the new owners change the outside, just what have they done to . . . oh, the kitchen, living room, or if that favorite spot by the fireplace is still there.. Yeah, we chose to no longer live there, but, ln a certain part of our heart, that place will remain forever, ‘home’ .

And though it’s been decades since I lived as a member of the Ohlin family, at the NW corner of 7th East and 4500 South, in the Salt Lake valley and no matter how high the apartment buildings now rise there, to me, as I pass, I see old irrigation ditches, barns, Dad’s cornfields, and the sheds for coal, animals, and even Grandma’s small home. Yeah, it was and remains , Ethel’s basic Human Life home.

We look forward to vacations, but when the trip is over, and our eyes turn homeward, some bit of tension deep within us (tension we weren’t even aware of) relaxes and the closer we get to home, the more at ease we become. And , if driving, once we start on our way, the milestones come thick and fast. First we see the mountains rising out of the flatlands of the Midwest, , then we reach the State Line, and before we know it, there’s the county line, the skyline of the city we know so well. Then every bit of the scenery is known and then . . . . then home. Yeah, and no matter how we joyously planned the vacation, we inwardly rejoice, for finally we want to be home again. Home, home, home at last.

And if you’re like me, for some reason I must then check each room to convince myself that I’m really home and everything is still all in the right places, too.

Yes, ah yes, there’s something within the heart of each of us that craves the security of home. And though at times, each of us wishes for the money and time to travel whenever and wherever we please . . . we know that those who do nothing but skim the world, and have no place they have as a base, . . . are the ones to be pitied, not envied.

The   ailing want to go home and it’s a proven fact that we do recuperate faster at ‘home’. And when death comes   it comes with greater peace and dignity when met in the person’s own home, surrounded by his own possessions, in rooms he has lived, worked, and loved in.

Yes, we go home for holidays. Home to see Mom and Dad. Home to visit friends and home to have the new babies blessed in the old family church, with familiar people in charge.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if our deep yearning for home will only be satisfied when the trials and joys of life are over and Our Father calls us to our Real Home.

Only there, me thinks, will that ever-constant yearning for ‘home’ be satisfied for only when we become One with the Source of All, will we find peace and contentment.   Home, our Real Home. Our Final Home, God’s Home..

Our Inner Flame

No matter what your life is, or where and how you are living it, you can look back and find people whose impact helped form the person and life that is now ‘yours’.

Away back I remember Elizaberh Harding, English Grammar teacher at Granite Jr. High. We groaned when we found we were assigned to her class and I’m sure she did her best to teach us all we could understand or were ready for, but unbeknownst to her (or me) she gave me far more than the language rules.

See, there was one long ago afternoon and I can still see that drab room, smelling of chalk dust, with its four tiers of seats, and the exact place where I sat.

Miss Harding, for some reason, was reciting ‘Columbus’, Juaquin Miller’s poem, “Sail on, Sail on, Sail on and on”, and suddenly she was no longer a boring school teacher, but was ‘alive’ and in those moments, it surprised and comforted me to find there are deep hidden fires within adults as well as within such as I knew were within me.

And her Fires touched me that day, for I still see and recall, her passionate words spoken as she strode back and forth, “Even when all hope is gone . . . Sail on, Sail on, Sail on and on”. And, thanks Miss Harding, those words still live within me, and I wonder if she could even guess that she changed at least one life that day.

Then there was Gram. Of course there was Gram, and though in name, my mother in law, she became infinitely more. She, as we all do, had reasons ro be sad and bitter, but she was neither. and in her way, taught me how to keep a calm dignified attitude under all or any circumstance.

In the days of her final illness, Gram quietly spoke of how difficult it is to be aware of finding yourself slowly lose control of one’s mental, emotional and physical selves. Yes, in so many ways she taught me how to live, and with her death, she showed me how to die.

Of course, we all are changed by our own offspring, I have ruefully found mine were/are Teachers, but we, as parents, are so accustomed to being in control of all changes, that it’s a surprise (shock?) to find, that, as they have matured, they, have acquired wisdom that did not come from us. And, if we can be humble enough, in a most unexpected, turnabout way, we learn from them. TYG, TYG and TYG.

And then, Dr. Arya. a man, who was born in Bengal, India, chose to spend his life teaching, with his headquarters in the U.S.A., and I found his classes. He not only changed how I spent my days, but blessedly also gave form and meaning to my Inner Life And for years, his letters, coming from strange places around the globe, brought joy and light to me and I read them over and over before tucking it into my treasure box.

And then, and I hesitate to mention it, but I spent several hours a week for several years, in the Men’s Medium Security Section at the Point of the Mountain,  es, the State Prison and those men brought many surprises to me.

When first asked ro teach there, I was hesitant, but decided to ‘give it try, that I might be able to do some good.’ And I shiver now, in disgust to recognize that kind of thinking was from Ethel’s great, big overgrown ego. For the truth is, that I found a lot of caring wisdom and understanding within those walls. And it was a rude, but badly needed, awakening of my pride, arrogance and judgmental mind, to find that, yes, I talked to them, but also gave them time to talk to me, and I could listen to their thoughts and actions. And it was good, for while in our give-and-take of ideas, I hoped they learned from me, for I found, to my surprise, I learned from them.

It’s there I truly found that there is no “you . . me . . these . . . those . . . or that kind of people’. But that we’re all just people. God’s people. People trying our best to cope with the different, often difficult and sometimes horrible experiences that come to us.

Like all of us, there have been many more who have changed me, but this small space can’t contain them all. And so, to Miss Harding, Gram, the author, Pearl Buck, my offspring, Dr. Arya , the men at the Point . . . and AW. . . . I deeply and humbly say thank you.

Beware The Telephone Scam

This past week I came within a hair’s breadth of being Scammed and taken for $5,000.00, in CASH. I shiver when I think of it, because, it happens often, all around us, and to ordinary people like me. The kind who hesitate to let others know how stupid we had been  to be fooled. And so, I write about it, and, just maybe, save someone from being ‘ taken’, 

My saga began at 7:30 one morning, and still half asleep, answered the phone and a muffled voice said “Grandma, this is George, (fake name) your grandson”. I couldn’t understand what he was saying, and he repeated it, but in my half stupor and his muffled voice, I couldn’t make sense of what was happening.

But getting more awake by the second, I then heard a clear male voice ask if I were Ethel Bradford, and, when I said Yes, told me that George and two pals had gone to Toledo, to attend a friend’s wedding, and after the party, they had gone downtown, to look around, drank more wine, and then got in an accident. George, as the driver was in jail, with a DUI charge, and had a broken nose which accounted for his muffled speech..

George pled with me to keep it all a secret, but if I could, please, quickly send him the money,  in cash, so he could get out of jail, and come home, AND NO ONE but the two of us would know of it, and there would be no record in Salt Lake of his arrest. and so, not on his ‘record’.  Oh.

Of course I wanted to help him, but had no idea of how to quickly get cash half way across the country, but the ‘Attorney’ who was helping George knew and immediately began telling me the ‘how’ of it all.

I still wasn’t really awake, and was in shock to think of George in trouble, hurt, in jail, and needing money so that his attorney could do this and that, before other attorneys got to his case and did such and such. It made no sense to me, and it was then I knew I was ‘in over my head’ and needed help.

I explained to the two men that I would have to get George’s Uncle in on the plans for I didn’t understand what it was beginning to entail. The attorney didn’t like what I was saying, but they needed the money, fast, and so I called my son, got his OK to help, and  then  gave him the phone number to reach George.

And he did, and he saved the day for me. My son was more awake and more aware of life’s oddities, than I was or still am. He talked to the attorney and got the details of what, who, when and where and then casually mentioned he had best call the police here to get their aid in moving the $5,000 in cash across the country, and, what do you know, George’s Attorney there in Toledo, hung up the phone and the phone number we had been using, was, of course,  suddenly no longer in service.  And that one word, ‘police’  did the trick and brought to an end to the  Scamming.

Another quick phone call told us that George was in the midst of his routine morning ablutions, almost ready for breakfast, had never been and had no plans to be in Toledo. Yeah and his nose wasn’t broken, either.

So, I learned professional Scammers are sharp. And smart. They know who will be the most vulnerable, and at the top of the list are, a female, older widow, with grandchildren, and who just might have a ‘buck of two’ stashed away, The people of this category are also said to be more likely to panic, and so, with no thought, of talking and telling anyone else. No one, that is, until she finds her beloved one had never been in trouble and that she had been Scammed. Royally Scammed.

When the hubbub was over, I called the local police, just to report what had happened, and the fellow was kind, rather bored, and not a bit surprised. Said it happens all the time, and they, the police, seldom know of it until the money is sent, the one with the supposed problem never did have a problem. And not a clue as to who did it, for  Cell phones  leave  no trail, even where the call  had come from.

Yes, I had his phone number, but it is so easy to buy a cheap  phone, use it, and then with an utterly untraceable phone number, toss the cheap device into the garbage, and buy a new one to pull the next scam.

And . . . if it does happen to you, . . of course you’ll panic, that’s human nature when one you love is in trouble, but take a few moments to ask a few questions, and seek help, which is exactly what the Scammer does not want. and be as lucky or blessed as I was when you find your ‘George’ to be safe at home and your money still the bank.

Just remember, with untraceable phones, Scamming happens more often than it once did. Good luck and remember it does happen to ordinary people like me . . . but hopefully not to you.

Yeah, it’s been over a week now and I think I ‘m getting over the scare, the panic and the anger that followed .

So, see ya next week, and be careful and don’t let yourself be scammed.

Money? I Love It

I’ve written this first paragraph half-a-dozen times and it always sounds as if I’m a crass, selfish, greedy woman, when all I want to say is, ” I love money,” and you do too. And so, ignoring all my odd feelings, I repeat, I love money.

The precious stuff has been made of wood, rubber, fur, china, salt, tea, copper, rum, tobacco, teeth, and yes, lest we forget, it’s made of paper, gold and silver, as well.

These ramblings came to my mind a day or so ago when I bought a good sized package of salt and realized that, back in the days of early Rome, that package of salt would have made me a wealthy women, I shuddered in joy.

Salt was priceless as a preservative in those long-gone days but back then, it was so precious that Roman soldiers took their pay in ‘sal’, and the word salary is still the word we use for our hard-earned wages.

Slaves were sold for their weight in salt, and you and I, unwittingly, pay homage to that custom whenever we say, ‘someone is (or isn’t) ‘worth his salt.’

All over the world, primitive people have used teeth of dangerous animals as we use money. Porpoise, tiger, bear, boar and whale teeth have all been used, and the wealthy wore their ‘money’ around their necks. A status symbol, no doubt.

And if you think women have been discriminated against on U.S. money, take a look at Kansas. Long before the ill-fated Susan B. Anthony dollar, which died quickly, but back in 1854, that territory issued a one-dollar bill with a woman’s face upon it. And two years later that same place, made a three-dollar bill with little girl cherubs pictured upon it.

Liquor, in any form, has always been a favorite ‘coin’. English miners in the 19th century took beer as partial pay and a century before that rum was legal tender in South Carolina.

Tea leaves were ‘money’ for centuries in the far East, and were packed into bricks for easy use. And another leaf, Tobacco, to this day, automatically means M-O-N-E-Y in most of our southern states. Big Money.

At one time the actual bales of tobacco leaves changed hands, then warehouse receipts were honored for purchases of all kinds, and today owning tobacco leaves is quicker credit than a Credit Card.

Money colors our lives and our language. Like a phrase that began in the early days of this country, when many a man carried his ‘poke’ of gold dust and paid for his purchases by letting the seller take a pinch or two of that gold. All of which makes us, without thinking say, ” How much can you raise in a pinch?”

Yes, money and its uses have come a long way since man first exchanged his cache of furs for household needs, and when the goldsmith, maker of jewelry and trinkets, was the first ‘banker’.

But instead of the bank paying the interest for the use our money as banks do today, that ‘banker’ had a different slant and actually charged a fee for protecting his customer’s coins. Yeah, we paid the bank.

Oh, money, money, money. Hated, coveted, lied for, cheated for, stolen, crass. But isn’t it a lovely thing to have around the house? Call it what you will, from ‘sal’, to the American Indian’s Wampum, to a man’s ‘poke’, beaver (in the early wild days when furs were traded as money ) greenbacks or just plain money,   In all forms, and under whatever name, we’ll take it, for we love it.

Bi-Centennial Cookbook

From “way back” in 1976 . . .

I’m 40 years late, but “Better Late Than Never” and so today I tell of a small Cook Book that was published by localite. Charles P. Hines, to commemorate the Bicentennial Year of 1976. See? Forty years late, but I just ‘ found’ it myself, and think  it’s worth sharing with you.

Each recipe is special, for each one comes from the home of either a National and State leader of that time.

They begin with President Gerald Ford and Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, and inasmuch as it was the end of one Presidential term, recipes are also from the then President-elect James Earl Carter and his Vice President-elect Walter F. Mondale.

Following, alphabetically, from Alaska to Wyoming are recipes from the Governors. Some recipes are similar to today’s. but then there are surprises, such as Nevada’s .

See, from childhood on, I’ve heard of Rocky Mountain Oysters and, thought it a ‘funny’, and a lot of nonsense, but I was wrong and here is the authentic recipe straight from the office of then Nevada Governor Mike O’Callaghan . And you’ll have to search for a Sheep Camp, rather than  your Butcher Shop, to find these delicacies. .


Wash well 5 dozen Mountain Oysters. Fry slowly until cooked, in a large cast iron skillet, in butter.

In a separate iron pan, brown a sliced onion in butter.   Then add sliced Pimentos, sliced green Bell Peppers, sliced Garlic, Minced Parsley and 3 chopped fresh Tomatoes. Remove vegetables from pan and set aside.

Brown 2 Tbsp. flour in butter, add salt, black pepper and allspice to taste. Next add 1 Quart white wine to the sauce. Return the cooked vegetables to the pan. Pour this sauce over the Hot Mountain Oysters. Serve and enjoy.

NOTE….. Mountain Oysters  (often referred to as Rocky Mountain Oysters) are actually the testicles (removed from the skin sack) of two-month old lambs. The operation is  routinely performed at all Sheep Camps in order to let the lamb mature into the body of an adult sheep, and   yet retain the delicate flavor of the immature animal.  Koshkola is a favorite of the Basque Sheep men in Nevada whose ancestors brought the ages-old technique from the ‘Old Country.’


The next recipe comes from then Governor Ray Blanton of Tennessee.,and to me, worth trying.


Soak in water one cup Black-eyed Peas overnight, and then boil, in water, along with bacon until done. BUT NOT MUSHY. Drain well.

Mix following ingredients and marinate the cooked beans in it for 5  (Five) days before serving. (I would suggest refrigeration, better safe than sorry)

1 cup salad oil
1/3 cup wine vinegar
1 medium onion, slivered
1 clove crushed garlic
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp pepper sauce
1 tsp savory salt

After five days, drain well and serve on thin squares of cornbread.’

Quite a few of the recipes found in the Bicentennial Book are such as we use today, but I have chosen from those which are ‘different’, perhaps from their ancestery, or peculiar to the food available in their areas. And so here is South Carolina’s then Governor, James B. Edwards, who calls it his favorite Ice Cream. It was, he states, his Grandmother’s Recipe.


Mix together:
One quart Buttermilk
One Pint whipping cream
Two cups sugar
One Tbsp Vanilla
Mix ingredients and pour into an Ice Cream churn and then freeze.


And finally , in choosing unique and different recipes, I’ve chosen to share a recipe given by Carl Albert, Speaker of the House of Representative in Washington DC, but from Oklahoma and he tells us how his family serves the lowly Turnip, and makes of them, a special dish..

3 medium size turnips
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 and 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 cup grated cheese

Peel the turnips. cut in slices and boil for about 15 minutes in salted water. Make a white sauce with butter, flour, milk, salt and pepper. Pour this over the drained, cooked turnips and sprinkle cheese on top.
Bake for about ten minutes and serve very hot. Serves 4.