Showing posts from October 18, 2015

Self interest or altruism

My 92 year old WWII era Marine Betty had a bad fall last Thursday.

I was walking around the pond when I saw the ambulance drive away from her home/.

As luck would have it, her neighbours Judy and Linda were on the scene, so they were able to fill me in on the details.

This meant that I could call one of Betty's sons (he lives in Colorado)  and alert him to his Mum's accident.

Turns out that Betty had broken her right hip.

I saw her in the hospital on Friday, a few hours before her surgery,  She was a bit "out of it" due to the effect of pain killers.

I then e-mailed her local friends to tell them about Betty's accident.

Her Friday evening surgery went well.  She was under the knife for just about an hour.

Saturday dawned and I learned the surgery had been pleasing to the surgeon.

I have been in constant contact with the Colorado son, with Betty's neighbours and with her friends.

I saw her today.  Despite severe pain, she was her usual funny and feisty self. …



Pulchritude (and other words)

Of course I know the meaning of the word pulchritude, but it always sound to me like a "dirty word".  (That may be because I like dirty words).


I am reading "Under Magnolia - A Southern Memoir" by Frances Mayes (Crown Publishing 2014). It's a sweet and bitter, sad and funny of life as she grew up in the small town of Fitzgerald, GA.

Here, from the New York Times,  is a review of the book:


On page 159 Frances Mayes  muses about the Greek and Latin roots of some of our everyday words. I  looked into this at

Have fun and see if you can discover the common roots of the words subtle, textile, text, and texture.

(Subtle was the one which I least expected).

subtle (a…

Wow. Pope Francis Nails it again


A "fail" in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune 19th October 2015: I smiled until I sighed.

Comer back ye Copy Editors -  all is forgiven

Our local newspaper, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune carried a "puff piece" today about the founding Pastor of St. Martha's Roman Catholic Church:  the Revd. Charles Eslander.  The article was written by one Jeff LaHurd - an H-T "correspondent".

Here is the header:

Sarasota history: The priest, the church and the circus.

By Jeff LaHurd Correspondent

And here are excerpts from the story:

SARASOTA- On Sunday morning, Oct. 2, 1927, Father Charles Elslander celebrated his first Mass in Sarasota. He had been a priest for five years, serving St. Augustine, Tallahassee, Orlando and mission churches in north Florida before he arrived to become this community's Parrish(1) priest.
Father Elslander's first service was in a small wooden structure built in 1911, at Adelia and 9th Street, on property donated by the Owen Burns family. St. Martha was Burns mother's patron saint. A man of the cloth, Elslander served not only his…

A place where I lived for sixteen years - Pittsfield MA - and where I had the most enjoyable years of my ordained ministry.

According to Rand McNally  Pittsfield MA is about 136 miles from Boston MA.

But for the newspapers in  Boston (which is self-identified as the "Hub of  the Universe")  Pittsfield might well be a City in an alternative Universe.

What you will read below is a "puff-piece".

It 's nice enough , but it utterly ignores Pittsfield's loss of up to 15,000 blue collar jobs since the days of the Korean conflict.

It utterly confuses the locations of the former Berkshire Savings Bank; the former Pittsfield National Bank,; and the frmer First Aggie (First Agricultural) Bank.

It ignores the lovely neo-Gothic First Church, U,C.C. on Park Square,

And whilst  it says nice things about the gorgeous Tiffany windows at St, Stephen's Parish (not St, Stephens as the Globe  crews up its grammar) ), it has never a word to say about the the fabulous mary elizabeth tillinghast  stained glass windows and altar at St.Stephen's.

Maybe that's because a male (Louis Comfort Tiff…