By Chuck Wiser, I write the words to share what my eyes see and my heart feels
Writing of and sharing thanks the past couple of episodes has been so pleasing that I return to that theme to start this article. As mentioned previously I typically end my day by giving thanks for my day. How fitting then that I start my writing day by giving thanks to a couple of acquaintances who offered kind words about my writing. Two individuals, that I chanced to encounter visiting local stores the other day, reached out with comments about my Wramblings, that meant a lot to me. I’m not shy, I will mention names. Butch Cozzi was the first. Butch and I played fast pitch softball in the same league many moons ago. In our conversation in passing, Butch mentioned my Sun writings. In addition to the tales, he wove about my editor’s golf prowess, he said that he enjoyed my articles and reading the things I write about. That is a common theme amongst those who comment. Paraphrasing Butch, he said: “I don’t always agree with what you say, but I like the way you write about them.” The other person, encountered on the same shopping trip but in a different store, was Don Cinque. I met Don during my teaching career as he was a manager I believe, in one of the local companies (*) where I ran industrial training programs for their employees. Don’s comments about my columns were similar to Butch’s but added that he “appreciated my correct grammar usage.” Thanks Guys! Please note the (*) listed in the Grammar Grins section.
The following is not a criticism as such but expresses some puzzlement over what appears to be a slight (**) or oversight. In reading the recently mailed Allegany Arts Association (AAA) newsletter, I was looking to see if mention was made, of the up-coming Genesee Valley Chorus winter concert scheduled at Grace United Church at 3:00 PM on December 11th. This once annual Holiday time, activity of the chorus, is now back on track. I thought we had a connection directly to AAA but apparently, we didn’t. In any event, the Chorus will perform a Choral – Cantata type arrangement titled I Believe (He’s the Son of God) written by John Wilson, along with a mix of other Christmas music arrangements. I looked through it several times not wanting to cast aspersions if I had just overlooked any notice, and sincerely apologize if I did. I just re-checked and am fairly certain there’s nothing there. Attendance at these public performances, especially following social distancing and people getting used to not being out and about relies heavily on notifications of such events. It is disheartening to toil for weeks and months, volunteering our time, only to look out upon a sea of empty seats but for our own families.
Enough rumbling, I will turn to Wrambling’s.
Grammar Grins and Groans.
Preface: I am not, nor do I claim to be a grammar expert, but am very conscious of, and, about it. I rely most heavily on my intuitive “looks like or sounds like it is correct,” and resort to checking my usage via “grammar assist” embedded in MS Word. This “algorithm” is not perfect but it at least hi-lights areas of concern.
(*) Indicates where I had initially typed “company’s”. It didn’t look right so I consulted one of my research sources, and indeed it was incorrect. Where I used it “companies” was the correct form. Had I used it elsewhere in the sentence such as “he was the company’s manager”. It would have been correct. I can see why so many people profess to hate English and are not really concerned with their usage, but it’s why I love it.
The next “Grin/Groan” occurred above. (**) refers to one just noticed in proof reading this. An article I read recently used the word “Sleight.” In a previous paragraph I used the word “Slight”. Wondering if they both meant the same but one having an older history or heritage, but with a different spelling like Defense vs Defence, or if in fact they were completely separate words. They are different. Slight, in addition to meaning “mild’ or “little,” means to “insult someone by treating or speaking of them without proper respect or attention”. Sleight means to “use dexterity or cunning, especially so as to deceive.” A magician uses a slight amount of sleight, to entertain you.
Next: I used the word combination “meter reader” recently and it came out sounding like “meater eater.” I may have mentioned this one before in the context that certain phrase combinations drive musical directors up a wall.
On the heels of the previous Grin/Groan another of the music directors, or singers, nightmares occurs in a Barbershop Holiday medley piece from Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn, arranged by Adam Scott. It is aptly named Happy Holiday/The Holiday Season. There are two similarly phrased lines that take extra attention to keep straight, and which are nearly impossible to enunciate differently. They are: “While the merry bells keep ringing…” and, “may the calendar keep bringing…”. “Sure”, you say to yourself, I can keep them separate. Challenge: Try to say out loud “keep ringing” and “keep bringing” while smoothly connecting the phrase and not “lifting” (as they say in music jargon) or hesitating between the two words.
I won’t go into specific detail with regard to semantics but there is a generational divide between the meanings of certain words or terms and what they mean, or the impact they might have on a younger person versus that on a person of several years difference. I understand the differences and try to understand that the younger generations don’t know, or care about, the differences or how the use of those words affect those of another generation or two. I have recently been told: “Just deal with it”. Sadly it’s not a two way street though. An example of eroding acceptance is the use of the “F Word”. Had I used that word in the presence of my mother, my face, or worse, would still be stinging. Words do mean something. They may mean something different to others than yourself. I understand your viewpoint. Please give others the same consideration or respect.
Several years ago a deer doe that trespasses our yard gave birth to a pair of twin fawns. As they matured it was obvious, they were Bucks as horns developed. Each year we would see them back first as spikes, then 4 pointers and then 6 pointers, and one, I presume, as an 8 point buck. That first pair I believe made it at least that far. That same Doe, I presume, had twin fawns each of the next few years. This year there was a set of twins that were spike bucks. Not sure if it was the same mother doe. A couple of days ago there chanced to happen by a single 6 pointer. Not sure if it’s a single survivor or just a lone stray. It will be interesting to see what appears next year. I was going to share a video clip of our recent visit but the video is too large to embed herein. If I can get a clear screen grab I will add it as just a picture.
Humming my way back to the musical theme I shared my first Holiday Music singing adventure as a part of the Maple City Barbershop Chorus this past Monday as we “Rang the Bells” for the Salvation Army outside the Walmart in Hornell. Those of us who are blessed with the opportunity to sing, get to share our love of music with Assisted Living or Nursing Home residents, local shoppers, and various organizations, especially at this time of year. If you happen to come across any of these groups while they are performing, feel free to stop by, and join in to sing along with any tunes familiar to you. We love to have you join us even if only for a song or two.
For a couple of years now I have received an email using the name “JoAnne Allen.” While I appreciate the memory of her, I am not exactly sure where these are really coming from or what their intention is, other than as a scam. This is an insult and affront to the memory of JoAnne who was such a loving and caring person. That anyone would be so low as to use her name this way is a disgrace. I have checked my contact lists to see if somehow her name was still there, and that perhaps my list “had been stolen” and the names shared. As recalled, I had removed it when they first had started and it is no longer in my lists. Just wondering if this is happening to anyone else, specifically with her name. It happens every couple of months or so.
I still receive the daily hard copy of the Olean Times Herald (OTH) and they occasionally include a “month long” BINGO game. One is just concluding for the month of November. These used to run about once every three months but have been less frequent lately. The Bingo game sheet, which has four separate games, is included in the first issue day of that months paper. Thereafter, 2 or 3 bingo “numbers” are listed in the paper daily. At the conclusion of the game, three categories of completed “games” are put into a box and a single winner in each category is drawn. The winner in each category receives a gift card, typically for Olean Area Chamber of Commerce member retail outlets. The prize categories are: “No completed Bingo (I actually won this one once), Two or More Completed Bingo’s and a Fully completed Bingo’s sheet. At months end conclusion of the game, you have to drop off your game sheet winner candidates at the OTH Office at 639 Norton Drive (Rte 16) in Olean.
After receipt of the first game sheet included with your paper, you can stop by the OTH office each day and get additional sheets. As they know me by now, and that I drive over from Scio they will give me a few sheets every time I stop by. By the time I get blank sheets near the end of the game month, I must update the entire month’s numbers and spend quite a few minutes filling in all of the game sheets. I drive my family, many of whom are rabid “scratch off” game card players nuts as I dawdle coloring in the bingo numbers, just like I play those scratch offs, doing one square at a time. At the center of each of the four Bingo Games on the full sheet is a “Free” box. I’ve added another element to the mystique of the game as I leave the free box unmarked until the very end and then go back and complete the rows that would complete a line/row.
As the “Sun” sets on this article I include a link to a YouTube presentation of one of the songs which will be featured in our December 11th Concert.