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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Many Miles To Go

Suddenly, you turn the corner at the University of Miami's main campus, in Coral Gables, when you see this tombstone jutting out at you.





You don't know why someone saw fit to place a deadly tribute in the middle of this leafy, elite campus, and thus intrigued, you edge closer to see who it is.





Robert Frost?

Did he keel over at UM, perhaps of heat prostration when walking to the Ashe Building?

Bizarre.

Miami is full of such unexplained oddities, which I can say without a hint of irony in this case, are without rhyme nor reason.

P.S.: When I showed my mother these photographs, she startled me in the way parents have sometimes, of revealing something about their childhood, you had never heard before.

"Robert Frost? Did you know that in high school [she went to Salem, in Baden-Württemberg], I won the Robert Frost poem recitation prize?"

"Really?"

"Yes. First prize was a trip to the US consulate, where they gave me peanut butter sandwiches and Coke with ice. I was in heaven."


Who knew?

It is under the small, dim, summer star.
I know not who these mute folk are
Who share the unlit place with me--
Those stones out under the low-limbed tree
Doubtless bear names that the mosses mar.

-- "Ghost House"

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14 Comments:

  • Coke with ice! I remember my grandfather being enthralled by idea of Coke with ice...well, any pop and ice! His brother used to take the ice out, and put it under his hat on warm days...he was 90 and didn't care if it melted down, it cooled him off...

    By Blogger Ron, at Wed Jan 24, 03:19:00 am GMT-5  

  • I was made to memorize and recite in front of the 4th grade class Frost's "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening." The whole class learned that poem.

    God bless Mrs. Altschwager for making us memorize and recite.

    By Blogger Ruth Anne Adams, at Wed Jan 24, 03:05:00 pm GMT-5  

  • hmmm...it seems blogger has gone mad...again...

    By Blogger Ron, at Wed Jan 24, 04:30:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Coke with ice! I remember my grandfather being enthralled by idea of Coke with ice...well, any pop and ice!

    Wow, and here was me thinking that Americans and ice cubes went together since the first moment.

    But that's silly of course, since Cokes were refrigerated in the US, but ice crushing machines were not in vogue until the 1960s.

    When I went back to England in 2001, my first stop was at Madame Tussaud's (old Historian that I am, it makes sense, even though it's the biggest tourist trap in London).

    After 3 years in the US, I found myself saying, at the museum restaurant attendant downstairs -- "One Coke, please. Not too much ice."

    Since I didn't sound like a tourist, I'll never forget the look my compatriot (a black girl) gave me.

    "No ice?"

    There's never any ice in soda pops in Britain, or indeed, in Europe. That's an Americanism.

    P.S.: My mother sometimes drinks Cokes HOT, or room temperature. Yuck.

    His brother used to take the ice out, and put it under his hat on warm days...he was 90 and didn't care if it melted down, it cooled him off...

    What an image, I love it, Ron.

    If you don't use this image in your novel, or memoir, I will in mine!

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Jan 24, 04:44:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I was made to memorize and recite in front of the 4th grade class Frost's "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening." The whole class learned that poem.

    Awesome. And since I have a visual of you as a child, Ruth Anne, I can see you in my mind's eye, standing up to recite. So cute!

    --

    If only post-hippie educators today didn't think that memorisation is the equivalent of child abuse, or some such ridiculous notion, they'd have a lot more A-students in their class.

    Memorisation skills is half the battle, of being a good student.

    God bless Mrs. Altschwager for making us memorize and recite.

    My favourite teacher, was my 2nd grade equivalent, Mrs. Baker.

    Mrs. Baker made us read Saki short stories, as well as memorise Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Rosetti sonnets, AT OUR AGE.

    So pfui on people who think that they'll overcook little kids' brains, if you push them harder.

    On the contrary -- those little brains are CRYING OUT for exercise.

    I admire all teachers, but the ones with an agenda today...well, FU.

    Darn it, I'm homeschooling.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Jan 24, 04:51:00 pm GMT-5  

  • hmmm...it seems blogger has gone mad...again...

    I got your back, Ron. :)

    When I find double posts at Althouse with my name, I cringe. It makes me feel like a fool, even though chances were that it was a Blogger glitch, not me clicking send constantly.

    So, I deleted them, Ron. You can too, if it's a dupe and you want to. :)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Jan 24, 04:55:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I forgot to mention these were my German grandparents! So they had that Euro-astonishment about ice in pop...

    He asked if we put ice in beer too...

    By Blogger Ron, at Wed Jan 24, 06:53:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Speaking of reciting...the reason I went from 1st to 3rd grade was that I did the whole Hamlet soliloquy in front of my class as my '1st grade project.' My mother thought I needed help, but hell, I knew most of the play from acting it with a small horde of stuffed animals. One small stuffed dog (named 'Lil Dog' who was also the Banker of my stuffed animal community) had a medallion on a chain, so he got to be Hamlet because all my pictures of Hamlet included a medallion on a chain...

    huh. The things I remember when I haven't eaten!

    By Blogger Ron, at Wed Jan 24, 06:58:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Victoria - totally OT, I sent you an email, just wanted to check that you got it. :)

    By Blogger Simon, at Wed Jan 24, 08:26:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Oh Simon! I have to warn you, as well as apologise in advance -- I check my email like a chicken. A peck here and there only...

    I promise to open up my inbox Thursday! Good job you giving me a heads-up here, though. :)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Jan 25, 03:01:00 am GMT-5  

  • Lil Dog

    You too, Ron?? My dog dollie was the shopkeeper, from whom I would buy my groceries in my own little corner mart.

    His name was Frankie (after Frankie Howerd of "Up Pompeii" fame).

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Jan 25, 03:03:00 am GMT-5  

  • But ... but ... but ... why is that marker there? Did the poet lean against that wall during a visit? Or perhaps drain a bit of Coke sans ice?

    Just wondering, mind you.

    By Blogger benning, at Thu Jan 25, 07:57:00 am GMT-5  

  • Haha - it was nothing important, it was just a reply to something you posted at Althouse that I didn't want to post in-thread, so to speak. :)

    By Blogger Simon, at Thu Jan 25, 08:14:00 am GMT-5  

  • Robert Frost died in Boston, and is buried in Bennington, Vermont.

    http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=371

    By Blogger Russell, at Sat Jan 27, 07:38:00 pm GMT-5  

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