By Abraham Lincoln

I can still remember the big, fat, yellow pencil I took to school that first day when I became a first grader at Gordon school. It was a big one and Miss Beatrice Brown had to sharpen it with her pen knife as the two pencil sharpeners mounted on opposite walls of the school house had no holes to sharpen big, fat, yellow pencils.

I can remember that I also had some problems learning how to draw letters or draw the numbers. My small hand had never tried to use such a big, fat, pencil. Mother had always allowed me to use regular hexagon pencils. She sharpened the lead until the point was like a needle and I used pencils to draw on craft paper cut out of grocery sacks.

In those days, Sears was named, Sears and Roebuck, and the company was located in Chicago. They mailed catalogs, as thick as our Bible, out to customers across the nation.

Sometimes we got one in the spring and then another in the fall because the clothes changes for spring, summer, fall and winter. Mother used old catalogs for toilet paper and one of the older catalogs was put in the outside toilet. Back then it was like us putting a new roll of toilet paper in the bathroom.

I did not buy one but I did see one of those big, fat, yellow pencils at WalMart yesterday. It wasn’t that expensive. I should have purchased one. I think It would have fit in the pencil sharpener I have that sharpens regular pencils and a larger hole is for sharpening crayons. I think the crayon hole might have sharpened the big, fat, yellow pencil.

The pencils I did buy were the Ticonderoga pencils and that was also the brand name on the big, fat, yellow pencil. I like the erasers on the Ticonderoga pencils because they do the job much like regular pencils and they do not leave a mess. Well, not much of a mess, anyway.

We have become so accustomed to the feel of sticky rubber finger grips on ball pointed pens that feeling the hexagon shape of a wooden pencil actually feels odd. But then it becomes satisfying after the first sentence or two.

I also bought a package of yellow pads. Not the legal size but the regular size. There is something about writing on yellow paper pads that is fascinating to me. Maybe it is because the paper is so familiar or I have a secret desire to be a lawyer—who does use the legal size yellow pads. 

The paper pad makers now make white paper pads that have the same lines as the yellow pads. They would make better scanned copies of things I do but I do not think I will be doing much that requires scanning on yellow pads or on which ones for that matter.

If you want to get yourself a neat Christmas gift that doesn’t cost much, buy a few Ticonderoga pencils. Or you can go to http://www.pencils.com and shop around. I can recommend California Republic Palomino HB in bright orange with a soft white eraser.

Shelled Peanuts


These are the shelled peanuts that we buy and toss out for the crows and birds and squirrels to eat. There is a lot of nourishment in them so we try to make sure that any animal that is injured gets its share of this food.



This is that baby girl Patty was holding. She is now grown and a RN (Registered Nurse) and she has a 14 year old daughter who is in high school.

Almost Unbelieveable


This baby is now a Freshman in high school. Patty is now gray, and could not lift Audrey and hold her like that now.

Baltimore, Maryland


Patty lived in Ohio with her folks while I finished my tour of duty in the Far East. I got home on leave for a week or two and then Patty, our new baby Angela and I had to move to Baltimore, Maryland where I was assigned to the Counter Intelligence Corps. We lived on Dundalk Avenue, where this photo was taken, and I worked at Fort Holabird.


Chipmunk loading cheeks with peanuts They can real

Chipmunk loading food for its underground pantry.

My favorite color

My favorite color

I call them lilies. Taken with the Lumix DMC ZS20 camera.


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