Storied Past II

When I think about it, I have very few friends of long standing whose stories I haven’t heard countless times. I know they would say the same about me. Funny thing is, those people are the friends you most long to be with, to sit around and hear—and tell—those same old stories one more time. You sit in a circle of goofy grins, because all are anticipating the next punchline. Eventually, you reach the point when you interrupt to correct someone else’s story, just like a little kid. “You’re telling it wrong!” Could it be this is what cultures have done since language was invented?
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20 responses to “Storied Past II”

  1. It certainly is true of the native populations in the Americas. They had no written language nor anything to write on. Oral traditions are passed down over centuries of telling the same stories over and over again. The Salish tribe in the northwest tell stories of a great flood, which actually happened 12 or so thousand years ago (Lake Missoula)

  2. Languages and the content of orally transmitted stories both evolve, often rapidly. ‘Girl’ once referred to any young person, when ‘boy’ meant ‘servant.’ Writing tends to slow the process down, but doesn’t stop it. E.g., roll up a magazine and slam it down on the kitchen counter. That’s an impact, as was the recent N MN crash btw a car and train that killed 2 people. What does impact mean now. Anything, and therefore nothing unless the context tells you. We even have ‘impactful’ instead of effective. Does a ‘gay old bachelor’ mean what it did, say in 1940? How many of us would find ‘Mrs. Harold Goldsmith’ acceptable? I wouldn’t.

    This is one reason theologs have problems w/ the 4 anonymous Gospels, written 30-65 yrs. after the execution of Jesus by the Romans. [We have brief independent confirmation of that by the historian Josephus.] They were created in part on decades old oral traditions. I’ve heard many relate that they’ve had visions of Jesus. I’ve never asked what he looked like.

    Previous run featured various expressions of longing for the good old days of this blog, but little by way of what was specifically missing or what current entries were objectionable. We paranoids need to know if someone wants us to leave.


  3. I have, on occasion, told a joke to someone and about midway thru realized that the person that I was telling the joke to, told ME the joke! I once had a guy really belittle me for it, while on another occasion, the person said “Yeah that’s a great joke, I don’t mind hearing it over and over.” Once person was my friend and the other person was not!

  4. My mom created her own stories often to make them more interesting. There were often true elements but she’d add embellishments. Generational stories would be mixed and you were usually unsure what century you were in.

    Her baby sister often traveled with us and she’d hide under a car blanket and pretend to be asleep. I have heard a thousand hours of mama’s stories, true and untrue.

    Wish I could be bored again for an hour.

  5. Mr. Johnson aka Jimmy aka Noble Leader aka JJ:

    It is Christmas and shopping for gifts time. Please have a pre-Thanksgiving Black Friday auction of some original Arlo and Janis comic strips.

    Ghost and I just dropped off my last strip for framing which had been found at last.

    Ghost requests Janis focused ones. With no more clothing than absolutely necessary

  6. Challenge for all: Relate something from your life that we haven’t read of already.

    Me: While I am VERY much non-athletic, sometimes I kept official scores at college basketball games. Just goofing off, I also managed to sink several baskets [old two-handed set shots] from a measured 81 or 82 feet away (from the foul shot line at the other end of a 98 foot court).

    Hey, I didn’t say it had to be significant….

  7. Nice challenge! I completed Red Cross life guard training one summer at FFA (Future Farmers of America) camp. In Vocational Agriculture class that same year I learned how to stick weld, judge meat cuts, and conduct meetings with standard parliamentary procedures according to Robert’s Rules of Order.

    Finally, something that EMB will likely laugh at… Even though I have MANY hours of college Biology including various Microbiology and Bacteriology courses with high grades– I could rarely create a streak plate without at least slightly gouging the agar on one of the streaks. (my welding beads were always a bit shaky, too!)

  8. Dave: I was never adept at lab procedures. Took physiology at U.MI. back when we used smoked drums to record muscle twitches. Never took micro or histo. Learned to make ‘coal ball’ peels at a NSF summer botany conf. at UNC in ’63. Mammalogy and ornithology labs are mostly dry labs with bones and study skins, or field trips. Grad assts. taught most freshman bio labs at BSU, but I lectured in both general ed and majors frosh labs all 36 yrs, + mammalogy, ornithology, organic evolution [no lab; Genetics prerequisite].

    Been posting on this blog so long cannot remember whether I’ve told you all everything that’s any of your business. Met two delightful children abroad. One was a 4-5 yr. old w/ her mother [Nordic princess type] in a railroad train compartment in W. Germany. I had 3×5 cards, we drew pictures, and she, talking w/ Mom, called me uncle/onkel, some such. Kind of heart warming. Don’t know if her dad was still alive.

    Other was a 1-2 yr old in the nursery on the troop ship home, Pam I believe. Stepped over the barrier to the nursery and played w/ kids and toys. Likely learned her name from Mom, but don’t remember her.

    Same trip where I met a Brit war bride who was going to join hubby in USA, become a citizen, then divorce hubby. Not heart warming. May have already told you all about her.


  9. I once had a cow bite off my VERY long finger nails while dosing her with medications in agriculture class in college. I ripped off a string of creative expletives.

    This is interesting because cows do not bite.

    Ghost will probably remember if I told that one.

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