Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Smashing Saloons for Jesus 

Image hosted by Photobucket.com I was rooting around through some old family photos yesterday and came across this one of my great-great grandmother. The hatchet brooch she is wearing in this photograph has always intrigued me. It looks like a Carrie Nation jewelry piece donned by woman of that time to demonstrate their support for the temperance cause, especially the more radical saloon chopping activities of Ms. Nation. She was not a teetotaler herself, and was said to have loved touring Italy above all other countries in Europe because wine was served there at every meal. Another one of my great-great grandmothers, however, was quite active in the temperance movement, despite her husband’s wishes, who foresaw how prohibition would create criminal kingpins like Al Capone. He also enjoyed a drink now and then. My grandmother describes this forebear's typical day:

Each day she would arise well before dawn. After feeding and tending to her large family, she would leave to teach school, stopping on the way to feed, bathe and dress her Aunt Til’s large brood. Aunt Til was always ailing and abed. After school, she usually took a turn at organizing a rally against drinking, including a bit of hatchet work on one of the local saloons.

She and her friends really took advantage of their social position – they were untouchable thanks to their powerful husbands, who were probably hightailing out the back of the saloon as the woman charged through the front, brandishing hatchets and singing hymns.

At night she went about in her trusty buggy, her youngest (my great grandmother!) bedded down comfortably on its floor to take care of the sick and hungry who had no other source of help. She delivered babies, set broken bones, dispensed medicine. Sometimes they were out until dawn if the delivery was a difficult one.

It is just amazing how similar our lives are, despite the passage of all this time.

Yesterday's schedule (In all fairness, I was recovering from a tummy bug, and it was my day off.)

9:30 wake up

9:30-10:30 – Leisurely walk with the dogs

10:30 – 11:30 – breakfast, read paper

11:30 – 1:30 – putter about, desultory housework, surf internet, check e-mail, root through old family photos, talk on phone with grandmother, navel gazing

1:30 – 2:00 – heat leftovers in microwave, watch Dr. Phil

2:00 – 4:00 lie in bed and read House of Leaves

4:00 Throw tennis ball in back yard for Billy while trying to catch up on dangerously high stack of unread New Yorkers. Shake my fist at divebombing mockingbirds.

4:30 – Dixie, the blind black lab from Alabama, steals ball from Billy. Dixie performs prancing, gloating victory lap around yard, Billy lunges at her and tries to rip her throat out. Break up dog fight that ensues. Neighbors are surely delighted by noise!

4:45 – 5:45 – Nerves shattered by the fight, I have to go lie down some more

6:00 – 8:00 - Ultimate Frisbee game. Get our asses kicked.

8:30 - 11:30 Watch trashy English soap opera Eastenders. Thank God for Tivo. E and I scream at the TV and replay dialogue over and over again, trying to decipher what the characters are saying. Watch trashy American reality TV, Hooking Up. Get completely grossed out by participants, filled with despair.

11:30 - more reading, bed

Ow, OW! My stomach hurts from laughing. Never die, Foxy, old pal.
Isn't EastEnders closecaptioned? BBC programs usually are...yeah, I know. Less fun that way.

Are you getting as p**ed as we are here in the Eastend by Chrissie's continuous and totally over the top Dick Dastardly impersonation, every time Sharon or Dennis mention Den Watts?

Next thing, expect Billy Mitchell to come up beside her and laugh in a Mutley-style fashion or say "sashnfashnrashn" or similar.

Just thank the good lord above you don't have to pay a license fee to view it.

"Do something..."

my lot came from the East End. The temperance movement were very active there back in the 30's. My Nan took the pledge in a fit of enthusiasm and blamed divine retribution for any alcohol related discomfort thereafter. The merest burp would cause her to mutter 'bloody pledge' under her breath.
We got the Sally Army round the pubs as well 'til well into the eighties.
Whilst I'm here, you seen this guy?
No Foxy Librarians yet, but it'll happen I'm sure.......
The Eastenders we get here across the pond is about 10 years old. Albert Square has such a timeless quality to it, so it's hard to tell what year it is, but Phil Mitchell, the most unlikely sex symbol EVER, is still dating Lisa Fowler. She hasn't even had his lovechild yet.
well, Foxy,

You've been warned - in about 10 years time Eastenders will be unwatchable. We here in Cheapside yearn for the good old days of 'Cuddly' Phil and 'Laughing' Lisa....

Enjoy it while it lasts - the 'Rapture is almost upon us - at, least acc. to Laura Veirs (Phoebe from Friends incarnate)

Mussels and winkles,

"Roberta Swipe" (Ms.)
You're a librarian, you're funny as hell and you watch Eastenders - sounds like a kindred spirit to me!
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