Roving by Bob Allen
Following my request for favorite sayings, Connie Nourse responded with, “Well, the one my mother used if she thought I was getting upset over something unimportant, was ‘Fret not thy gizzard.’ Of course there’s a story to tell about that.
“Mom’s mother went to college at a normal school (a school or college for training teachers) in Framingham, Mass. Grandma told Mom every school day began with an assembly, and each young lady had to stand up at her seat, recite a Bible verse and cite the chapter and verse. And she was required to recite a different one every day.
“One morning, a student who had not done her homework jabbed her elbow into the student next to her and whispered, ‘Quick! Tell me the shortest Bible verse you know.’ So the student next to her whispered back, ‘Fret not thy gizzard,’ and made up some phony citation of chapter and verse.
“The lazy student’s turn was next and she confidently stood up and recited, ‘Fret not thy gizzard,’ and gave the phony chapter and verse citation. Every student in the auditorium cracked up laughing, but the dean, who knew the whole Bible forwards and backwards, was not amused. The student who had not done her homework was in big trouble, and all the rest of the students had an amusing story that lasted a lifetime.
“In our case, the story has lasted for several lifetimes. I suspect Grandma used to expression on Mom when she thought Mom was being a drama queen over some trifle; and Mom used it on me for that reason.
“My daughter has heard the saying more than once, and perhaps she has said it to my grandchildren, with or without the explanation of the original story. I will send them, and my cousins, a copy of this message so they will know all abut it, too.
“Maybe the story will last a few more lifetimes!”
More fun with sayings
One of our family favorite sayings came from our little 5-year-old friend who lived across the street, Larry Carter.
Once, when in our yard along with my sons, Bobby, Greg, Jimmy and Todd, Larry responded to a comment I had made with, “Good thinking, Mr. Allen,” which astounded us all because it sounded so grown-up.
For about 48 years, it has been our favorite saying whenever a member of our family says something noteworthy. And, it always provokes a chuckle.
Another saying, which came from my mother (origin of which I’m not sure), was, “Ha, ha, she cried, as she shook her wooden leg frantically out the second story window.”
We always wondered about it. We never got a reasonable answer as to its origin and just took it as another one of the crazy things Mother came up with.
One of the funniest outcomes of this non-sensible saying happened many years ago when our now production manager, Al Merritt, (then in high school) told us one night as we were getting the last press run ready, that he had to recite a poem the next day and didn't have one ready.
Right off the cuff, I recited the verse about the lady with the wooden leg, never thinking he would be taking me seriously.
What a surprise when he told me the next afternoon that he recited the wooden leg saying in front of the class. The entire classroom erupted into laughter and he received an A for it.
Outstanding church treats
There were several treats at Wake Forest United Methodist Church Sunday. First was an outstanding performance by six members of the Joyful Hearts vocal ensemble singing, Do Lord and When We All Get to Heaven.
Cheerfully singing with rotating solo parts were Judy Seltmann, Chris Harper, Johanna Blake, Celeste Pageau, Kim Przybyl and Elsie Shuler.
Wow! They were great, and I overheard one member of the congregation say, “That’s my kind of music!”
And there was an excellent presentation by choir member Bill Brown, playing his guitar and singing, The Lord is my My Shepherd. He usually performs during the choir vacation in July and this was his best ever with perfect sound amplification by Tom Dillard.
—Bob Allen, publisher emeritus of The Wake Weekly, welcomes and encourages your comments or suggestions at 919-556-3059 or [email protected]