Saturday, July 14, 2012

Because you can never have too many copies of the Declaration of Independence,

I bought two more yesterday.

$4.63 to the children; $0.32 to the state
I love The Palmer House Thrift Store where every penny I spend except those that go to the Sovereign State of Mississippi goes to The Palmer Home for Children in Columbus, Mississippi. I buy a lot of books there.
Palmer Home for Children is today an independent institution governed by an unpaid, volunteer Board of Directors. But we are proud of our Presbyterian heritage and maintain close ties with Presbyterian and other churches as well as interested friends concerned about family breakup and the plight of fatherless children.
[Incidentally, according to Off the Beaten Path Mississippi,  Mississippians give more per capital to charity than citizens of any other state. I tried to verify this independently but was not able to do so. It does make sense, though, given Mississippians' acquaintance with tornadoes and hurricanes, and our tendency to go to church. As my father would often say, "There but for the Grace of God go I."

Oh look. It's raining.]

The Palmer Thrift Store was having a 1/2 price sale on books! And yes, that is Ronald Regan who once said,
... On my way to the hall, a fellow recognized me and asked what I was doing in Las Vegas.... I told him what I was here for, and he said, "What are a bunch of farmers doing in Las Vegas?" I couldn't resist. I said, "Buster, they are in a business that makes a Las Vegas crap table look like a guaranteed annual income!" --Remarks to state officers of the Future Farmers of America, July 29, 1987
From The Quotable Ronald Regan compiled and edited by Peter Hannaford, copyright 1998 published by Regnery Publishing, Inc. It's for Mr. Big Food's bookshelf.

Lydia Pickham is Her Name (1949) is not a work of fiction! 

Lydia Pickham was a business woman who lived in the mid-19th century and who, according to the infallible source, Wikipedia, developed and sold herbal-alcohol remedies for woman.

Looks like a serious operation
Crucible (1937) and Faint Perfume (1928) are two old crappy works of fiction.

The Autobiography of W.E.B. DuBois: A Soliloquy on Viewing My Life from the Last Decade of Its First Century (1968) is DuBois' third autobiography!

in it-- unlike the others-- he seeks, as he writes, "to review my life as frankly and fully as I can."
By my crappy old standards of what counts as crappy old, this book-- and indeed several of the others-- is not very old. But I scooped it up, anyway. I want my library to be as complete as I can haphazardly make it; this third autobiography certainly fills in a void!

The remainder of the paragraph:
Of course, with the directness and honesty which so decisively  characterized him, he reminds the reader of this book of the intense subjectivity that inevitably permeates autobiography; hence, he writes, he offers this account of his life as he understood it and as he "would like others to believe" it to have been. 
We'll come back to autobiographies. 

Amy Vanderbilt's New Complete Book of Etiquette: The Guide to Gracious Living (1967), and The Wealth of England from 1496 to 1760 (1946) likewise fill voids. Chapter 42 of the former provides instruction for "Gracious Living without Servants." Good thing, too because I don't even have a farm hand. Chapter 12 of the latter, "Landed Wealth and the Differentiation of classes, to 1790" tells me that beginning in the late 1600s there was a lot of government meddling in corn & grain markets but throughout the early to mid-1700s things were pretty good. However,
[t]here were still occasional years of famine, such as 1693-9, 1708-9, 1741, 1757-9, and there was the sheep-rot in 1735 and three outbreaks of cattle plague, of which the worst was 1758-9; but except for times like these... .
Except for times like these??????? See the Regan quote, above.

America and its Presidents by Earl Schenck Miers (1964) is another not particularly old book, but it's great! It's written for what back in the crappy olden days of the 60s would have been Jr. High School Boys. From the Introduction:
All types of boys-- rich boys, poor boys, orphans, city kids, farm lads-- became in later years the Nation's Number One Citizen. ...

Hard work, hard thinking, hard praying-- these qualities made a free country. And faith in human decency and dignity-- this quality above all others was essential to the government of a country that existed because, as the Declaration of Independence stated, "we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."
Good stuff.

Click to make bigger & see the Gadsden Snake labeled with initials of the 13 Colonies.

This is the older of my two new copies of the Declaration of Independence. First copyrighted in 1937-- with this third edition 20 years later-- The Federal Union: A History of the United States to 1877 was written by John D. Hicks of the University of California, Berkley. This edition is selling on Amazon for $19.97, $0.50 + tax at the Palmer House Thrift Store.

Of note-- and something I didn't previously have in such a concise form-- is a one page "Genealogy of American Political Parties." I was unaware that between 1820 & 1824 there was an "Era of Good Feelings." (Four years hardly seems like an 'era' to me.)

As you can imagine, the Palmer Thrift Store has a lot of crappy newish books. And I do mean crappy. I hardly ever look at paperbacks except for cookbooks, and I hardly ever even skim titles on spines of jacket-intact-hardbacks. But The Founders' Almanac (2002) caught my eye. Its subtitle is:

Published by The Heritage Foundation. What's not to like?

The sad thing is, it doesn't look like the previous owner even turned the first page. 

The Founders' Almanac includes

A LIST of the
Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread.

TJ's Autobiography, 1821. 

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