Friday, August 20, 2010

"A Man Cannot be Comfortable Without His Own Approval"


Mark Twain was born as Samuel Clemens in Florida, Missouri, on November 30, 1835.  I tried to do a little research on his early education.  It seems as though his schooling was brief and random, and not consistent with the usual curriculum.  When Samuel was 12 years old his father died and he had to then quit school to help support the family.  For a while he was a printer's apprentice until his brother bought out a small paper in 1850.  He started his writings then, when his brother wasn't around.  However, before he was 18 years old, he left and went to New York where he found a job in a printing office.  And somewhere around 1862 he was sent to Carson city to report on the Legislature.  It was then that he began signing his articles "Mark Twain".  It was a river term, used in making soundings, from his piloting days on a riverboat with Captain Sellers, an old steamboat pilot.  When the water was 2 fathoms deep (that's 12 feet and deep enough to be safe) the leadman on a riverboat called out, "mark twain"!.  Mark Twain was actually the original pen name of Captain Sellers.  When the old captain passed away in 1869, Samuel  started using his pen name, so it is told, as a tribute to the Captain.  Samuel wrote a letter stating that since the Captain had died, he no longer needed that signature.  He quotes, "I laid violent hands upon it without asking permission of the proprietor's remains."  And that name became known up and down the Pacific Coast.  He soon acquired world-wide fame.  There is so much written about Mark Twain's travels, experiences, and writings.  One would have to research the many biographies written about this man to see it all.  I can't even begin to condense his story and present it properly.  But I have always enjoyed reading of his adventures and I appreciate Mr.Twain for making them part of America's heritage.  Right now I am rummaging through pages of his quotes.  He did call himself a "freak", you know.  And in 1907, Oxford University awarded him an honorary doctorate in letters.

Just a couple of his writings that most of us grew up with (which are my favorites) are "Huckleberry Finn", first published in 1884 and "Tom Sawyer" in 1876.

Mark Twain died of a heart attack on April 21, 1910, in Redding, Connecticut.  He is buried at Woodlawn cemetary in Elmira, New York.  In 1909,  Mark Twain was quoted as saying "I came in on Halley's Comet in 1835.  It is coming again next year and I expect to go out with it."  Well, our buddy Mark was pretty accurate.  Although the year was 1910, he did pass away one day after the comet's closest approach to the earth.

I gathered my information from various resources:,, ask yahoo, and

I want to take this time to thank my regular readers for humoring me in my writings.  And I welcome any new readers to my blog-hope you were able to find something interesting and amusing during your visit.  As always, please feel free to make comments and visit anytime.  My only regret is that only two people voted on my poll during Elvis week, and one of them was my husband, Karo.  He voted for me.  The poll is now closed and the other voter (unknown) chose Stella Stevens.  It was actually Stockard Channing who sang, "Elvis, Elvis, let me be!  Keep that pelvis far from me!"  Miss Channing sang this in her "Sandra Dee' song in the movie Grease.  I hope everyone enjoyed my personal tribute to Elvis.  "Hunka Hunka Burning Love!"

Of course, I cannot leave you without yet another quote from my man Mark (Samuel Clemens) Twain~

"So I became a newspaperman.  I hated to do it, but I couldn't find honest employment."

~by the way, it is 99 degrees at 7:45 pm in Fort Worth, Texas tonite!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

This Man Needs No Introduction!

Elvis tribute collage created at KardKorner Headquarters

Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935-August 16, 1977)

I will not attempt to do a bio on Elvis...we all know his exciting journey and how he changed our lives.  My husband Karo and I are great fans of Elvis.  My sister and I and our friends would vote on who we thought was the "cutest" between Elvis, Fabian and Ricky Nelson.  Of course, Elvis always won out!  I never got to see Elvis live, but Karo got to see him at the Fort Worth Convention Center in the spring of 1976.  As young girls, my sister and I always made it a point to be available when Elvis was to appear on TV with  Ed Sullivan or the Milton Berle show.  We have record albums, CDs, DVDs and photo books.  My husband grew up singing Elvis songs and he sounds pretty close. We have even recorded a few of his songs in our home recording studio.  We watch Elvis movies on my husband's birthday, on Elvis' birthday and on the anniversary of Elvis' death.  Between the two of us, our favorite Elvis movies are:  Loving You, Jailhouse Rock, King Creole, and Blue Hawaii.  Our little grandson Shawn has even watched some of Elvis' DVD concerts with us in our music room and is mesmerized by this talented man.

Karo and I did get to visit Graceland in 1998 as many others have before us.  And we did get some pretty good pictures at Graceland and at Sun Studio where Elvis got his start.  I have posted a few of these pictures in the righthand column.  And I installed the video "U.S. Male" from YouTube.  Click on the little picture of Elvis with the old cowboy hat on to see slideshow and hear the song.  There's not much more I can say about Elvis, except that the world misses him.  And I would like to share a short poem that I wrote about him...

That good looking guy from Tupelo,
Had dreams of starting his own show.
When Sam heard him sing, the bells sure did ring,
And his gift to the world did unfold.
written by Suzanne Prickett 08/06/10

OK readers!  I warned you about a new survey coming up. Look off somewhere to the right under Elvis' picture and you'll see it.  The polls will close Wednesday, August 18, 2010 on Patrick Swayze's birthday, at 8:00 pm.
And you are always welcome to browse my posts and pictures and make comments at anytime.  Please take your time and enjoy your visit.  Also, it's hotter than a firecracker in Texas right now!     

Sunday, August 1, 2010

August On My Mind!

December 31st is the time of year for new beginnings where it is customary for most to plan for the New Year.  We make resolutions and vow to change something about our lives that will make the new year better.  And then we CELEBRATE!!!

But for me, it's August.  That sultry, middle of the year, month!  And in most states, it is usually the hottest month ever.  Sometimes the state of Texas sees hotter temperatures in the month of September.  But, for me, August is the turning point for new beginnings and thoughts of transitions into a new year.

As a young girl, August was a month of anticipation.  I had to start thinking about a new school year and how I would measure up to the kids and teachers.  Of course, I was able to stay in touch with a few of my school friends during the summer, but not really on a daily basis.  In 1950's Kansas we started a new school year the day after Labor Day.  We would have enrolled for school the previous week.  Then there was a matter of new school clothes and shoes.  With 3 school aged kids in my family, our new clothes would be limited...2 or 3 dresses each for my sister and me, and 2 or 3 new shirts and pants for my brother.  And, we would each get a new pair of shoes-saddle oxfords or loafers.  So, would my plaid dresses and brown and white oxfords pass inspection of my peers or only provoke laughter?  And last, but not least, how quickly would August go by, when summer runs out of time and it's back to business again?  How soon would the earth begin to cool down and roll me into my dearly beloved autumn?

During my teen years, bringing in the 1960's, I felt much the same about August, with a few fun exceptions.  There would be some teen dances throughout the summer at the Methodist Church-guaranteed to take your mind off of summer's eminent demise.  And my parents purchased season passes for us at a local swim club, so I did get to spend some time with friends and actually meet new friends.  I started working parttime after Christmas with a work permit at the age of 14.  So I did have a little spending money and was able to "shuck" the oxfords for a "cool  fad" pair of shoes to start the new school year.  However, during a checkup with our family doctor, he asked how it was that he missed my tonsils, since he had jerked my sister's and brother's tonsils out when we were much younger.  So, out with my tonsils and goodbye fun in the sun!  I then prayed for the long, hot, dog days of summer to guide me through recovery and back to school.

In June of my 16th year, I took Driver's Ed classes at our high school.  Most of the time I had to walk about 2 miles to the school and back for the classes.  But once in a while, I would drive my Grandfather's old Plymouth that my mother had bought from my Grandmother when Grandpa passed away.  I would park it a couple of blocks behind the school and walk to my class from there.  One day my Driver's Ed instructor asked, "Well, how's the old Plymouth running these days, Miss Berry?"  I tried to act dumb, but he knew and he laughed...PHEW!  So I managed to breeze through the hot classroom studies and did receive my driver's license.  Once again, came the countdown to August's arrival and the thought of driving that OLD Plymouth to school for the first time.  And, once again, August did take me into a new life with new commitments and new celebrations!

And now, in my very adult life, I have focused on August both in the working world and in my family life.  I remember buying new school clothes and shoes for my son before he could even walk!  Sometimes I even buy myself a back to school outfit, and once I got in on a back to school sale on eyeglasses!  And, yes, I still look at school supplies, lunch boxes and book bags.  And I can always use an extra spiral notebook.  School now starts sometime in August and that really throws me.  I countdown the days before school starts in our area.  Well, since I do drive to work every day, I need to be conscious of the school buses and school zones.  And the traffic is heavier after school starts in August, so I try to leave for work a few minutes earlier in the mornings.  Now, as a Grandmother,  I think of my grandson and how I will get to help with school clothes and supplies.  He is just now 21 months old and we have already gotten crayolas and drawing paper for him.  See a pattern forming?

Oh August,  I'm counting on you to take me by the hand and dance me into the beautiful season of Fall where God's paintings are color splashes of orange, red and purple!
  Posted by Picasa

Well, I decided to call up my old pal "Mark Twain" and see if he has anything to say since he's been on a short break...and his reply was:

"The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right."

I'd like to know who his English teacher was.  I mean, I copied this quote exactly as it was written!  Maybe I should research his life and education further-could be something I missed.  But nevertheless,  I love the guy!  My brother, sister and I played "Authors" and "Old Maid" card games when we were younger and I remember his picture on one of the cards-but I don't remember which card it was.  Does anyone out there know?  Drop me a line if you can shed some light on the subject.  In the meantime, I'll do some more research and be back with you.

By the way, the temperature today, Monday, August 2, 2010, in Texas got to 106 degrees!  We have a husky dog and my husband keeps her favorite spots watered down, and then puts a fan out to cool down the wet spots.  That poor dog-my husband rescued her about 8 years ago.  We don't know if she was lost or dumped out.  But Texas is NOT the place for a husky.  We love her and she is a good dog.  And we couldn't part with her, but we feel so bad in the summer.  It snowed this past December and she was a totally different dog.  She couldn't get enough of it.  I will have to post some pictures of her later with snow on her. 

And time is nearing for a new survey.  I would like to see a better showing of hands this time around.  Come on!   There's nothing like a little trivia to keep us thinking, eh?