• Curses No Cursive

    by Jane Roland

    It is becoming apparently clear that those of us born in the last generation are hopelessly out of date.  The most recent revelation is that cursive is being removed from the school curriculum.  Educators to whom I have spoken about this are not happy; but it is the sign of the times.  There has been significant discussion about the fact that the use of computer technology has all but eliminated the hand-written means of communication.  I must admit I am one of the guilty ones.  I send Christmas greetings and birthday cards on line.  However, I have somewhat of an excuse.  My handwriting has never been very good, no matter how hard I tried.  I suspect it is because I should have been a left-hander.  In my youth, the subject was actually called handwriting, the name changed to cursive many years later.  I recall struggling to make the perfect circles. Now I have a ganglion in my wrist which makes typing messages much more appealing than struggling for symmetry.  John (my husband and volunteer) asked a teacher why this was happening.  She replied, “Because youngsters cannot read script.”  So there it is.

    Last week, there was an article in the Herald devoted to reading.  Questions and answers by teens.  Most did not read books.  They didn’t like to, didn’t want to and just plainly would not.  Thank goodness there were a few who actually went to the library or ordered books online, but they are in the minority.  I have not and, hopefully, will not succumb to a Kindle or other tablets devoted to furnishing literature to read more comfortably than holding a tome and turning pages.  I like the feel of the paper and the smell of old books (unless moldy).  While my handwriting skills were lacking, I more than made up for it by reading well beyond my age.  My parents read to me when I was little, but were often busy, so, in order to catch up with the story I taught myself early on to be able to continue without them .My  father, until his untimely demise would plop me on his lap and read The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland. I would pretend not to understand so that I could continue to bond with him.  When we were transferred to Ft.Huachuca in Southern Arizona, a cavalry post that became infantry there was a one room school house.  The first six grades were together.  I immediately was bounced from first grade reading to fifth; however, not so much in other subjects (certainly not “cursive”), and I couldn’t spell a thing. Everything was phonetic and it didn’t work.   When I became older and realized that English and, later, journalism, was my forte, I went nowhere without a dictionary.  I was fortunate if I knew enough about the word to look it up, yet I received highest honors in English.

    jane 11-15-13These days I read a lot, resting my book on Sammy the cat who lolls in my lap at night.  In the mornings I lie in bed awaiting deliverance of the newspaper by my husband and the two dogs.  Lilah leaps on the bed, Brandy comes along side awaiting a pat and bestowing a kiss (she may be a heart patient but she is still going).  On Sundays the Chronicle accompanies the Herald and I peruse the contents for a couple of hours.  There is little I don’t read.  This morning I learned that Willie Brown, not a favorite politician, but fine writer, told me that if I see “Twelve Years a Slave” it should be balanced with “Last Vegas” (a movie he thoroughly enjoyed, especially Mary Steenburgen).   There was quite a section in both the Herald and Chronicle about war horses.  I thought of the steed upon which I learned to ride.  His name was Silver (days before The Lone Ranger) because he had a silver forelock.  He was my father’s horse and moved from Governor’s Island to Ft.Huachuca with his master.  He was not a young horse at the time, but full of energy, strong enough to carry my father and gentle enough for a six year old to mount.  I have no idea if he had seen war, I loved him dearly and was promised that soon I would be given a smaller horse and accompany my father on rides when he was not working (he was post adjutant) Sadly none of that came to be, my father succumbed to pneumonia and shortly thereafter, his beloved steed was euthanized.  It is only fitting that these wonderful beasts should be honored. Do you remember when it was thought that horses were “dumb”, with little brains? Those of us who know the animals have always been aware that this was not true. I eventually got my own horse, but it was years later. I continued to ride but on borrowed beasts

    On November 22, 23 and 24 the Treasure Shop will have its Holiday Open House, stop by and see the window designed by our wonderful Frank Quilantang; the opening celebration will be from 5:00 until 7:00.  Once again those who attend will have first shot at wonderful decorations, vintage, new or like new gifts for friends, family and themselves.  Felton and Michele’s music will entertain and there will be delectable nibbles made by volunteers and Mando’s.   Festivities will continue throughout the weekend.   On December 7 at the Monterey Beach Hotel, AFRP will host its annual Holiday Party, featuring the comedy of Dan St. Paul, for information and reservations, call 333-0722

    posted to Cedar Street Times on November 14, 2013

    Topics: Animal Tales and Other Random Thoughts


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