Thursday, June 11, 2015

Mental Elbow Grease

"As the Swede fellow says, the saws and  chisels in your tool chest Von't yump up into your hand. And books on your shelves aren't going to crawl down and get inside your brain. It isn't the number of books that counts in your mental development, but how you read and re-read them. Books don't give their inner secrets to the man who snubs them and isn't friendly with them and doesn't try to coax out their confidence. The proverbial old-time country doctor's library, just Shakespeare and the Bible and Gray's Anatomy, contained plenty for the man who dug out every word as though it were a golden nuget."

Sinclair Lewis, from his novel, "Gideon Planish". Copyright 1943.

Saturday, June 6, 2015


I have some friends,some worthy friends,
and worthy friends are rare:
These carpet slippers on my feet,
That padded leather chair;
This old and shabby dressing-gown,
So well the worse of wear.

I have some friends,some honest friends,
And honest friends are few;
My pipe of briar, my open fire,
A book that's not too new;
My bed so warm, the nights of storm
I love to listen to.

I have some friends, some good, good friends
Who faithful are to me:
My wrestling partner when I rise,
The big and burly sea;
My little boat that's riding there
So saucy and so free.

I have some friends, some golden friends,
Whose worth will not decline;
A tawny Irsh terrier, a purple shading pine,
A little red-roofed cottage that
So proudly I call mine.

All other friends may come and go,
All other friendships fail;
But these, the friends I've worked to win,
Oh they will never stale;
And comfort me till Time shall write
The finish to my tale.