Themes, Essays and Outbursts

HLB Takes a break on a hike in New Hampshire, 1947

So labeled was a file folder found in amongst a box of papers from Pawn’s late mother. “Themes, Essays and Outbursts” is how she labeled her collection of high school english assignments. Quite appropriate. In with those were found these treasures…

I like to go on long tramps thru the woods
In the fall when the first leaves fly
To lie on the moss on some high banks
And dreamily watch the river go by

I like to be out of doors in the dark
Alone with the stars and the sky
To hear nocturnal creatures sing
And listen to the night winds sigh

I like to feel the soft rain fall
that softens the dark brown earth

And this, labeled “N.Y.U. Quadrangle” at the bottom:

Chemical Analysis of Women

SYMBOL: Woe. Thought to be a member of homo sapiens.
ATOMIC WEIGHT: Reputed to be 120. Isotopes are known though from 100 to 180.
PHYSICAL PROPERTIES: All colors sizes and shapes. Seldom found in the pure state. Boils at nothing, and freezes without reason. Surface is usually covered with a film of paint or oxide in colors and depth. Unpolished specimen turns to green in presence of a highly polished one. All varieties melt with proper treatment. Very bitter if used incorrectly. Density is not as great as generally supposed.
CHEMICAL PROPERTIES: Highly explosive and dangerous in inexperienced hands. Extremely active in presence of man. Possesses great affinity for gold, silver, platinum and precious stones. Has the ability to absorb great quantities of the most expensive foods. May explode spontaneously when left alone with man. Undissolved by liquids, but activity is greatly increased when saturated by a spirit solution. Sometimes yields to pressure. Fresh variety has great magnetic attraction. Ages rapidly.
USES: Chiefly ornamental. Efficient cleansing agent. Acts as a positive or negative catalyst in the production of fevers. Probably the most powerful reducing agent known.

This gem proffered in the hand of Uncle John, from long ago:

Peg sat curled up in the chair and remarked, as she opened Arsenic and Old Lace, “Al said today this play is a travesty. I didn’t know what she meant, but I pretended I did.”
“I know what it means” called out ten year old Emily, from the next room. Astonished at her knowledge, we asked her what it did mean. “It’s a man who made real fine violins a long time ago.” she replied.*
We all just about choked, but managed not to laugh. “Peg said Travesty.” I corrected.
“Oh!” answered Emily, “I thought she said magistrate

*thinking, no doubt, of Strativarious

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