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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

'Chimney-corner' Lincolnisms

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A great American said ...

Some time ago I mentioned Abraham Lincoln in this space and a regular reader, who wishes to remain anonymous, sent along a quote attributed to the 16th president. In this election season our reader friend thought it might be appropriate to repeat those words in this space.

"You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

"You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.

"You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.

"You cannot lift the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer.

"You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.

"You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatreds.

"You cannot establish security on borrowed money.

"You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man's initiative and independence.

"You cannot help man permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."

I went to a website that purports to check or at least have some knowledge of such things that make the rounds these days on the World Wide Web. That site indicated that attributing these statements to President Lincoln was "false" although the webmasters were unable to find a definite source to which the about might be attributed.

The website also had one other Lincolnism, "You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift."

Maybe these can be considered "chimney corner" Lincolnisms. In other words, things Lincoln would have said if asked his opinion.

Regular readers will recall Claude Killian of Campbell who liked to refer to "chimney corner scriptures." Those were passages some folks repeated often with the lead-in phrase, "It says in the Bible..." when there really was no scripture to back it up. I guess it just sounds good to have the Bible as a backstop.

Then again, God takes the blame for a lot of things he has nothing to do with.

* * *

What a place

That same reader shared with me a letter written to her husband several years ago by Dan Wesselhoff. Perhaps it was Dan's passing last week that prompted her to dig out the letter and share those remembrances.

Dan had moved here from Peoria, Illinois and admitted in the letter he was unsure about swapping out the "Big Town" for small town living. He quickly got over that and even though they moved several years ago, Dan wrote that "my heart belongs in Kennett, Mo."

Dan's letter was pretty indicative of how most folks who come here quickly find a home and not just a residence. I won't go into all the many reasons Dan gave a part of himself to Kennett, but he was taken with the, um, unique nicknames a few folks have.

"Have you ever been in a place in the world where people have more nicknames than Kennett? Why there is a T-Bone, a Snowball, a Bubba, a Spook, a Booger, a Pussycat and a Sluggo -- we even had a judge named Flake and a banker named Swindle."

* * *

My fault

I'll take the blame, this time, for a lack of rain. In the first week of April I bought an umbrella and put it in my truck when we were traveling and got caught in the midst of a downpour. I haven't used it since.

In an effort to make up for it I have washed my truck every week thinking that nothing draws the rain like a freshly-washed vehicle. Or, a Dennis Bracey-led Boy Scout camping trip. When our son was in the Scouts it almost seemed like Dennis would wait until he knew rain was in the forecast before deciding to go camping.

* * *

"The Blind Side"

The next time you happen to see the feel-good movie about Baltimore Raven offensive tackle Michael Oher, watch the scene in the Touhy family kitchen where they are sitting around talking.

Hanging on the wall behind them is a print by Kennett native Glennray Tutor. Actually, there are a couple of Tutor's prints in the movie, that's just the one I learned about.

Word is that Glennray's work may be on tap to appear in another motion picture. We'll try to keep you posted on when that happens and give you a heads up.

For more of his work visit glennraytutor.com or just call his brother Scott.

* * *

Mail service

With all the news lately about what may, or may not, happen concerning the postal service leave it to the DDD's unofficial, but much appreciated, historian Vivian Helton to find a related story from bygone days. The story appeared in the Monday, Feb. 13, 1956 edition of the newspaper.

"'A rural free delivery mail route will be started January 2 from Holcomb, coming down through the White Oak neighborhood, east to Sumach, north to Moark, and west through the Hooker's Bend section and then back to Holcomb.'

"In a short article, which added further instructions for subscribers whose addresses would change, noting that other rural route plans were afoot in the county, and predicting that with so many transients about 'confusion is certain to follow,' The Dunklin Democrat on December 29, 1905, announced the coming of the first rural free route in Dunklin county.

"A few days later, January 2, 1906, Martin Van Buren Napper, a young Holcomb man, started out in a horse drawn cast to cover the 24-mile route serving 49 boxholders. For the next 30 years, until his retirement in 1936, Van Napper continued to serve the route which was later increased to 39 miles for the last ten years he drove it. He received $634 for his first year's pay.

"As the paper predicted, the rural route system soon became a common thing in the county. On November 16, 1906, T. E. Johnson started carrying a route out of Senath, and others were soon to follow.

"The 'confusion' which the newspaper predicted evidently failed to materialize. The greatest problem in the early years was not the people but the land. The somewhat primitive backroads of the then 'Swampeast' Missouri proved at times a daily problem."

Bud Hunt is regional vice president, publisher of the Daily Dunklin Democrat, Daily Statesman, Delta News-Citizen, Missourian-News and North Stoddard Countian.