July 4, 2017

160618.needlepoint003Mimi liked the Phillies. She would sit in her chair in the living room and listen to every game on her small transistor radio. But her hands were never idle. As she listened, her hands were ever busy, crochet and needlepoint always making something. Most of her creations ended up as gifts for some occasion or another, otherwise we would have run out of room for them all.

This was a busy household. Roland once lamented in a letter that between Alan’s motorcycle, Bill and Sarah’s models and other projects, he had been run out of his own basement. He clamped a board to a windowsill in the living room and used it as a workbench for his own creations.

This is how families amused themselves 100 years ago, or at least it is what my family did.

scan0005When ownership passed to my father, he still stayed busy in the basement and that is where I learned to use and love tools. Growing up, we were always building something; tree forts, go-carts and other products of our imaginations.

There was another remnant of the past that I was occasionally subjected to. The Jingle Club. It was devised as a way to keep the kids home and off the street and guests were always welcome. At one time, around my grandfather’s youth, the club met weekly. A word would be distributed for the next meeting and all invited would write a poem using that word. Some were submitted using pseudonyms and those present would try to guess the author.


As that generation grew up, the club disappeared but was revived for a time by my grandfather and again during my youth although meetings were much less frequent. I quite honestly, hated it. The attendees were mostly older than me and far more literate. With age, I have become a pretty good story teller but never mastered poetry beyond the occasional Haiku.

Here is a sample from 1975, a meeting I did not attend as I was preoccupied with other endeavors of youth.

Jeanne K. Hunn
Written for the “Jingle Club”, June 22, 1975

There was a river rat who loved water, wind and sailing
One day his boat upset and swamped but the salt continued bailing
He drifted seaward on the tide, his efforts faint and failing
When a stinkpot entered on the scene and viewed the frantic bailing

The nasty, nasty motorboat spewed gas, smoke and confusion
But offered the sailor a length of line, damaging his delusion.
That yachtsmen are a different breed not worthy of one’s friendship
The stinkpotter gave a helping hand, so draw your own conclusion

We’re not so different after all, but in our choice of locomotion
The sailor enjoys a silent ride, one filled with deep emotion
While the yachtsman travels speedily, soaking up the scene
The sailor glides by quietly in a state of bliss serene

To each his own now I say
Merit hath these two
Why not call a truce today
And let us ride with you.

William Hunn

William Hunn

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