Thursday, August 16, 2007

Grave Yard Stew

I'm always intrigued by our American English language and its colorful idioms. When I was a child, and my mother was sick, she would always prepare something my dad referred to as "graveyard stew." It was a piece of toast with a pat of butter, over which she poured hot milk, and she ate that. I always found it disgusting, as I found most food as a child. The only thing worse was when a poached egg was laid atop the toast.

I found the term Graveyard Stew in a listing of hobo slang, and wondered if my dad had ever consorted with hoboes. This is not as weird as it sounds. During the Great Depression, many men, including two of my uncles rode the rails. "On the bum," my uncle called it. He became a successful businessman and made a lot of money, so the years or months of riding the rails didn't shame him, for he often mentioned it. Apparently graveyard stew was frequently eaten by the toothless.

When was the last time you saw someone with no teeth? My grandpa could eat apples and corn on the cob without any teeth, but at my grandmother's insistence, he always put them the false teeth in his pocket when he went to Minnesota (from Kansas) to fish. Aren't old family stories fun?

We should all take pride in the fortitude, rectitude and endurance of our ancestors. People like that will not come this way again, alas.

I would have had an agent except that she was already repping someone who had a cybersleuth series. Can you believe it? Onward, onward. The first chapter of Festival Madness is with an editor to help with the first paragraph. I want to get it out to all the California agencies before thoughts of the man go away. By the way, the Man Burns, i.e. Burning Man on September 1st and the temple will burn a day later. Alas, again, would that I were there. Maybe next year. Burning Man is one of the festivals, the main one. Now, again, onward.

If you are a new reader of this blog, go to www.burningman.com. You'll have the time of your life, and that's just the website!

Grapeshot

2 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Grapeshot/Odette said...

Your version sounds like my mom's except for the soda crackers. Two of her brothers worked on the Santa Fe, which stopped in Newton, KS, back in the day.