Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Notes From My Knapsack 2-20-05
By Jeff Gill

"Conservation Hearts and Dollar George"

The Little Guy is a bit sad over the end of Valentine’s season; no promises of cherry pie for Washington’s Birthday can assuage his grief.
(Cranky columnist note: President’s Day implies that we are celebrating James Buchanan and Millard Fillmore, which I will not be on the morrow. I trust you solemnly honored Lincoln’s Birthday last weekend in the manner you find fit, but this one, Monday-ed holiday or Feb. 22, is about the Man, George Himself. End of small tantrum.)
The feast of Saint Valentinus was a real festival in the Little Guy’s life, as he enjoyed getting cards made for Mom, and carefully reading his heart-shaped hard candy from the New England Confectionary Company (you knew that was what NECCO stood for, right?).
It is probably a sign of the kind of conversation our first grader overhears around the house that they were, irreversibly, "Conservation Hearts." Even after he got the mistake, his evil genius then saw the pleasure of insisting on the new label.
Which got the Lovely Wife and me to thinking. What would "Conservation Hearts" say on them?
"Be Green."
"Turn Down the Heat."
"Light a Candle."
"Recycle Now."
"Shall We Hike?"
"Composting Is Fun."
Or, my energy-conscious favorite, "Let’s Shower Together."
NECCO, there’s a market here…

I can’t say that Presidents are far from the LG’s mind, since his presidential place mat has him as charmingly tedious about the names and numbers of our parade of POTUS’s as he was about state capitals when the dinner time mat was a map of the US.
An intriguing confusion came up when he saw a $20.
"That’s not James Garfield," stated the LG.
"No, that’s right," answered the LW, puzzled. Now, since Daddy has spoken of Garfield with approval before (only ordained minister to be president, Civil War vet, progressive Republican, died tragically), it wasn’t unheard of to hear about Garfield in the house, but why now?
Long quizzicality finally produced an answer. George Washington is on the One Dollar Bill, Lincoln a little further along, so the $20 should have POTUS #20, i.e. Garfield.
We thought this was clarified, but then he saw a $50 on the counter (no, this isn’t a common event here, as that’s more than my allowance, let alone LG’s).
He picked it up, looked at it, and laid it down dismissively.
"There haven’t even been 50 presidents."
Grant never did get any respect.

A quick closing note: tomorrow, Monday, Feb. 21, the Village of Hebron has a blood drive in the municipal complex from 1:00 to 6:00 pm. The American Red Cross in central Ohio, and just about everywhere else, really needs donors. If you think because you’ve been turned down twelve years ago you still can’t give, it might be worth stopping by and checking.
The restrictions based on where you’ve traveled, or surgery, or medications have all changed greatly in recent years. There still are some, but many have been eliminated due to improved testing technology.
So go open a vein! They have great cookies for after, too.

Jeff Gill is a writer, storyteller, and supply preacher around central Ohio. If you have close encounters with presidential history or news to share, e-mail him at disciple@voyager.net.

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