My wife and I came to Texas in 1966. I was doing advanced technical training at Brooke General Hospital ~ Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. At the time, our apartment off premises cost us $75 a month. Doesn’t sound like much, but it was a major bite out of the $114 paycheck I received from Uncle Sam. Needless to say, my wife was a real go-getter. She got a job for close to eight hours a day at the Joske’s Department store, located a little ways south of the Alamo.
Her weekly routine startled even me! Up at 4 A.M. to get me started so I could get to the Fort and check in by 5. After I left, she would try to grab another hour or so of sleep before having to dress up fancy and take the bus downtown to be at work by 8 A.M. When 4:30 in the afternoon came, she punched out and ran to catch the bus back to our apartment. Changing her clothes, she’d literally raced nearly a mile to the Mustang Drive-In, and work cars for tips for the next five hours!
I didn’t know it at the time, but she was squandering tips money in order to buy a present for me. We had envelops marked ‘Rent,’ ‘Food,’ ‘Misc.’ and our bills always came first before we looked to ‘pleasure spending,’ which didn’t warrant an envelop because there usually wasn’t any extra money to be had (unless my folks slipped us something in the mail).
My beautiful young wife worked like a plow-horse to make up the difference lacking in my US Army pay. Somehow we seemed to get by. Then came a day I’ll never forget. She said we were going on an adventure. So on one of my free days, we boarded the bus and headed for downtown San Antonio. There were several pawn shops along main street, and she clasping my hand, dragged me into one. I thought some trinket in the window had caught her eye. So much for window-shopping.
All the way to the back we strode. There hanging on the wall were a few acoustic guitars. She said, “Pick one out!” She wasn’t joking! Now up to this point I had always been one of those guys with three bucks in my pocket and a fuel tank guage reading on the big E. How in the hell did we have money to purchase a guitar?
“You want one, don’t you,” she asked. Yah, I really, really did! I had to leave mine, can’t remember if I sold it for seed money or what. But I hadn’t plucked a string in almost a year!
My adolescent guitar playing started with an American made Stella, ¾ sized no less! The whole thing was constructed of thin-walled plywood, even the top, and the strings rose from the frets like high-wires at the circus. It sounded and played like crap. That’s what $25 bucks bought me as a kid. Now, here in this San Antonio pawn shop I was surrounded by Martin, Gretch, never-heard-that-brand guitars, and Gibson. I knew that Gibson and Martin kind of faced off in the acoustic realm, some of my friends had Martin guitars. But at that moment, at that pawn shop, we were constrained by finances. My wife pulled out several coin-filled socks from her purse, and laid them on the counter. There it was fifty bucks in nickels, dimes and quarters!
Well, that fifty bucks bought me an old, dark sun burst Gibson J-45 with a dilapidating cardboard case! Strings were above the frets but not to the extent of that crappy Stella! Although it wouldn’t have been my first choice, I kept that guitar for 30 years. Truth is, I never liked it. That J-45 could only thump, it had no musical note sustain, and chords toned somewhat low, almost as being without life. I had no idea at the time that that Gibson sound was stylistic with Western swing music, thumpy and beat worthy. However, the experience with a guitar that I thought fell short of all my expectations more or less shaped my attitude toward Gibson guitars generally.
Translated, that meant my string of instruments went from Martins to Taylors, to Collings, with a few never-heard-that-name-guitar in between. However, my disdain proved to be unfounded. I recently acquired an old 1965 Gibson Lg-0. I let my luthier work his magic on it with a proper set-up, and you know what? I’m in love! I think this one will stay with me till I die, it is such a joy to play, being in every way so opposite of that first Gibson J-45. I know my wife bought it for me out of love, with hard earned tips at a time in our lives when we had nothing. Thanks, Honey, I’m having a Gibson love affair, again!
Masks! Why do people wear them? One, they are sick, coughing, and don’t want to spread the germs causing them the problem to others, or two, you wear a mask in hopes that some sick, coughing, wheezing, sneezing feverish butthead isn’t out shopping, or milling around, or just out to get a caffeine fix at the local Starbucks that you visit, and you are trying to protect yourself from ingesting/breathing those germs spread in the air all around you.
Good luck! Unless you wear a proper medical respirator, that mask is not your safety net.[i] And here is why I make that claim. Most people use the same cheap paper mask over and over again. Keep it in you pocket or purse, cause at every turn you’re going to need it. Oh, and if you have a costlier multi-layered cloth mask, don’t count yourself safe yet.
If you are one of those fools who wears the same mask, paper or cloth, for days on end, think again. Lets suppose your mask blocks some droplets with the Covid-19 contained. Your breath is from your mouth and lungs, moist and warm. Wear the same thing for hours and hours and you have an incubator right there on your nose! Now, you get somewhere, and you pull it off, scrunch it up or gently fold it with your hands, and now where do you think all those germs on the surface went?
But you say, “I’ve been doing it like this for months and haven’t gotten sick!” I would have to believe that is because less the masks have protected you, and more likely you just haven’t come in contact with the contagion, not on your mask, means not on your hands!
The key with this thing seems to be proximity. Those coughed out spittle droplets won’t stay suspended in the air forever, they are subject to gravity, and thus fall downward. Another thing, the corona viruses don’t last long outside the human body, they are not just out there lurking in every dark corner somewhere.
If the US government really thought that this pandemic was as end-of-the-world as they paint it to be, they would have used the extended unemployment welfare checks money to manufacture masks that really solved the problem and give them out free to everyone like they did the with prophylactics in the high schools! Folks would be working (a good thing) and healthy (a better thing).
I wanted to run this by you, most of my points are common sense obvious. As to the “jab” business, the subject is simply too convoluted for me to comment. Although, the masks thing got people out of the practice of hugging one another, and I’ve read there are concerns of negative chemical aspects being emitted through the pores by those who did receive the ‘preventative’ shots, called slough. If this be true, I guess it is best for jabbers and non-jabbers not to embrace one another! Some even point out that more folks who received the jab have fallen sick to Covid-X more so than those individuals un-inoculated![ii] Go figure…
After hearing of the terrible attacks on concert goers in Paris, France December, 2015 I was moved to write a song for the 5 year old surviving son of Elsa, killed along with her mother at the concert. Up to this time I had never written a song or a child. What it needs is a female voice singing it. Contact me if you know anyone who would like to cover this song.
Ok, we’ve all got them. Things or situations that just seem to get under out skin. For those of you who think you have no pets, think of the last time you were bitten by a mosquito. If the flying around doesn’t irritate you, once the proboscis has entered your body, and the little bugger vomits into your seven layers of skin, and then after sucking out Your blood, you develop a welt that quite frankly irritates the hell out of you. Scratch away! Mosquito habits are one of my pet peeves, but not the focus of this short blog.
Years ago, retail facilities provided washrooms as a courtesy, men and women shared a small closet sized area with a sink and a loo, one at a time of course. As time progressed, they gave us His and Hers, although the amount of elbow room didn’t change much. As development finances increased, so did the amount of space given to the room generally, usually with ‘stalls’ encasing each commode. Now here’s where the peeve comes into play.
When the designs called for ADA accessibility, the large commode stall had a door that hinged with an opening to the greater aspect of the restroom. Obviously this was done so a wheel chair-ed individual could use the facility. However, on those smaller, designed-for-the-masses stalls, some moron utilized hinges that cause the door to open inwardly! Even if you are not a cripple, which stall do you head for? And that’s my point. Think it through for a moment.
All stall doors should open with a pull out into the restroom so there is quick ease of entry. It is no big deal to do this, no traffic jam in the restrooms! For anyone who has had to use public facilities when pushing the door into the space in front of a toilet that you need to step in and stand at, you understand the gymnastics. It’s like whomever designs public restrooms has never graced the insides themselves. A fluid example of moronic design.
I attended a college in Wisconsin, love that state. The small campus had a cluster of new brick buildings, each with well laid out cement walkways going hither and yon. After the first year of operation, there were “trails” through the grass! The students themselves developed the best sidewalk design for ‘their’ needs. Architecture be damned, erect the buildings, let the walkways develop naturally.
And that is what I believe should happen now with restroom design. Both for Men and Women, those stalls should be equipped with doors that open to the greater space of the room allowing for ease of ingress and egress. Tradition be damned. Pet peeves aside, having a positive restroom experience is essential in this day and age. When you think of the monies spent by companies like Google and Mac Donalds and such putting so much resources into ‘play’ or ‘chill’ areas, shouldn’t the stress of taking a restroom break be paramount? That’s my song, and I’m sticking to it. #Restroom Pet Peevers Unite!
Recently, I suddenly awoke remembering a horrible dream! The last words I heard spoken were, “And don’t forget to bring your Tuba to the party!” I sat up, threw my legs over the bed, still perspiring, and motionlessly pondered those words. For the next few minutes, the weirdest visionations flashed through my mind. I saw the Everly brothers swinging great horns back and forth ever so often loosening their lips enough to vocalize a “Peggy Sue” in unison then wrap them back on the mouthpiece. Andre Segovia sat there holding that convoluted bulbous brassy monster with a look of wonderment, or was it a grimace as in “Get this damned thing off me, I’m loosing circulation!” Yet what really got me focused was Elvis in his white sequined outfit gyrating up on his toes clutching a tuba as if it were Marilyn Monroe!
Bring your tuba to the party! What a scary thing to ponder. Just think about it, Ed Sullivan and the likes of Lawrence Welk had popularized the accordion. Why didn’t every kid want an accordion? Why not the tuba? What if they just made different sized tubas? (They kind of already did that with the array of horns that already existed.) So then, why has allure and appeal, and outright stardom embraced the six stringed instrument?
The tuba wasn’t convenient. Lets face it. It isn’t easy to carry with you, and in photo shoots, the big brassy thing takes center stage. It’s heavy, just handling it requires a Sumo wrestler strong man! It wasn’t the instrument so much as it was the persona embodied in the person handling it that made it un-attractive. Oh, and let’s not forget in a diminutive way, it had curves that well, were attractive in a sexual sort of way, but that sexual denotation in the hands of a skilled stage man was the key, an instrument remotely resembling the ultimate object of sexuality. The curvy guitar wielders would eventually dominate the stage. Everyone caught the innuendo when those hunky guys fondled trim waisted instruments.
To borrow a quote from a posting at The Acoustic Guitar Forum, “You start off playing guitars to get girls & end up talking with middle-aged men about your fingernails” – Ed Gerhard That saying may be closer to the truth than anything else. I remember the first time seeing the reaction of the “girls.” I was 12.
School officials paraded us 7th graders from our classrooms to the indoor gymnasium bleachers. I sat up in the nose-bleed section hoping to sleep through the moment. Before us, down on a solitary chair placed at about the halfway line of the basketball court was this 8th grade kid sitting there with a five string banjo in hand, and his guitar to the side. For about the next 15 minutes or so he wowed us with riffs on the guitar, and flash-flying finger picking on the banjo. Didn’t quite catch why we were there or the full name of the fellow, Ramsay or something. I wasn’t so much impressed with his musicianship as I was in what I saw. The girls were just ogling him and going gah-gah at the experience.
Well, the experience spurned me on. I practiced riffs and difficult fingering on my accordion like nobody’s business, yet no one invited me to their parties! Like, “Hey Henning, come to the party and bring your accordion!” As an 8th grader I wanted to get next to those girls, but didn’t have the mojo. By the first couple years in high school I thought things would change. Nope, still a no-go wandering around looking for his mojo, but at least along the way I had found the pal Sony Terry and Brownie McGee sang so much about in their blues songs.
With the accordion gathering dust in the closet, I was determined to learn to play guitar. Unfortunately, I was alone in this endeavor and could only afford the funkiest piece of crap around for 25 bucks, a three-quarter sized Stella made in the US out of inexpensive plywood, with strings as high off the frets as Mount Everest! (as an aside parents, get your kid the easiest to play guitar that sounds halfway decent right off the bat! Worth the investment.) There weren’t luthiers around back then that could do a guitar set-up. Every guitar I own today new or old has gone to the luthier for a proper set-up, worth the money. So, with funky Stella in hand (didn’t even have a canvas bag case for it!) I started taking lessons from… you guess who? Stu Ramsay, that ogled kid, now a Senior who I had seen way back when. He could only roll his eyes at my Stella, but he didn’t dissuade me ‘cause the three bucks for the lesson felt good in his pocket.
The Ramsay family seemed cool folks to me. They were different, thought differently than I was used to. Stu had a couple brothers and an older sister. His mom was a stately, long-haired woman, nice but stern in a stoic sort of way. At his house we’d smoke cigarettes, and although his mom frowned at it, she wasn’t restrictive. Coffee. They’d throw grounds in a pot with water, and some egg white! After boiling, the egg white settled the grounds, and cups would be poured. Never seen it done that way before or since. Someone, never did learn who, played the Grand piano in the living room. Right next to it Stu kept this strange looking guitar. It had a big round disc in the middle.
After my first lesson I asked about the ‘Dobro’ leaning there. He grabbed it, put some picks on his fingers, picked up this metal tub called a “bar” and proceeded to fly around gracefully making hillbilly dobro music. How should I know they call the genre Bluegrass. I was stricken. Couldn’t get that dobro off my mind. I went home to practice some major chords on the Stella, but it hurt like hell and sounded like crap! I remember after about three or four unfruitful guitar lessons, Stu hit me with it. He made me an offer; “I’ll teach you what I know about playing dobro if you practice and then play for me!”
Are you kidding me! Free lessons and the potential chance to play hillbilly music in front of girls, I would have been nuts to say no, I said, “Yes!” And that started my association with Stu Ramsay, multi-musical instrumentalist, child prodigy of Frank Hamilton, Ray Tate and a host of negro blues artists. You see, I didn’t know it at the time, but Stu had spent his junior to senior summer traveling all over the country with two other guys, college graduates mind you, as a bluegrass trio calling themselves, The Knoblick Upper Ten Thousand. They even had a commercial record! Since Stu wanted to finish high school he dropped out of the trio for that senior year. As I heard it the Knoblick lasted a couple years then broke up. The leader went off to NY and started writing R&R songs and promoting a new folk-rock group, The Loving Spoonfuls.
Stu’s musical association began with The Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, and of course, because he was an adolescent rising star, his folks made sure he received private lessons from those folk/ blues gurus that only demanded the best. His study/practice habits were without tom-foolery, but strict and concentrated, and Stu expected that attitude from his students. Back then to learn a riff or ‘lick’, you’d slow a Folkways record down to assay the riff, try it out, and do it over and over and over until you got it right. Stu was a master of the method and mechanics. Same with banjo or dobro, and harmonica. He was a serious musician, and I think that one positive attitude would eventually sink his commercial boat.
Stu Ramsay was a good musician, his focus and attention to detail par excellent. He didn’t create songs, he really wasn’t a singer-songwriter, but he did sing. After our couple year stint with bluegrass, he felt himself more and more drawn to the blues styles of the past negro greats. But back to my story. After four months of practicing day and night to the detriment of my junior high school class work, we formed a trio, then bas player Dave Roe came on the scene which rounded us out. Somewhere along the way Stu chose to name the group, Stu Ramsay and the Clary’s Grove Boys. We did mainly Bluegrass renditions after the tradition of the Stanley Brothers, Flat and Scruggs, the Country Gentlemen, etc. This bluegrass wasn’t hillbilly, but the up and coming Americana acoustic music of the sub- suburban middle states. You might regard bluegrass as a genre within folk music generally, often featured at music hoot-n-annys and folk concerts that started to arise back then. Bluegrass music, like blues of the times, really didn’t utilize electric guitars, and that one fact set us apart.
Now, Ramsay had a recording contract with Mercury Records, three years- three records. With the help of a couple studio musicians (guitar and bas) he played acoustic dobro, banjo, guitar, and harmonica often with two or more instruments on the same song. Mercury pressed his album, Stu Ramsay Loves Dobro Banjo Guitar Harmonica. When our little group started playing in public, we were mainly doing non-paid promotional gigs for his album. By the following summer, we had a few paying gigs, too. I remember we got a spot at the popular Chicago lounge, The Gate of Horn. Unfortunately, to play that venue we needed to join the Chicago Musicians Union. That cost each of us 87.50 dollars. The Gate take was 75 dollars apiece! Mercury got us to again pay to play!
Mercury used a great big studio down off Michigan Ave, and Stu cut the tunes for his second album. Once he had the Master tape in hand, he went to visit the promoter, a Frank Friedman if I recall correctly. Stu walked into his north side offices so proud with that Master only to get struck below the belt a hefty blow. Friedman headed Triangle Productions and somehow had finagled contracts with up and coming R&R bands. Stu thinking he had the goods there in his hands for a second pressing, was told they wouldn’t be acting any further on his contract. I remember the line, “We have the Beatles, Stuy, we don’t need you!” Evidently they handled the Midwest concerts and had found a lepriconic pot of gold.
That was a hard blow for a kid of 19 or 20 years, to think one moment you were worth something in the commercial musical arena only to be kicked in the butt for all your hard work. I don’t think Stu ever recovered from that moment. He stayed with bluegrass and blues and after graduating went off to the mountains to find himself. I know he had at least two name changes, Darsono, and now Wilson. I still like to think of him as Stu Ramsay, cause I had a lot of fun with him when we’d play, or hang at the Old Town School of Folk Music, or at Dawn Greening’s house in Oak Park. Stu introduced me to the guitar and dobro, and for that I’ll be eternally grateful. Bringing my guitar to the party is a whole lot easier than lugging a tuba!
Not long ago I wrote a new song. Although I cannot lay claim to the experience depicted myself, it did happen to a military acquaintance, and the gist I have used in the lyrics. I remembered how humbled and distraught he was after returning to the post in Germany, it quite literally shook him. That’s also the thing about Jesus, he fills us in on a remarkable truth, giving us the insight in the example story of the Wheat and the Tares, and then, he preaches love. If I’m right, the Tares are those individuals earmarked for the fires of hell, to no fault of their own. They are Tares, and in the same way a leopard cannot change its spots, a tare cannot cease from being a tare. Yet, we show respect and admiration for the leopard, should it be no less we show respect and concern in this life for all men?
I know, it is not an easy thing to respect or even ‘love’ everyone. Perhaps that’s why the Greek language has several words translated ‘love,’ so we get it right in the instance. God kind of love is agape, love shown of/for the believing brethren one toward another; eros has to do with intimacy, sexual love; and of course, philio which deals with acknowledgement of the other person, treating your neighbor as you want to be treated, and perhaps, that brotherly camaraderie prevalent in society. The point is that the ‘love’ we show others should be the human epithet.
There He Lay, There He Lay
The old man gazed at me, On the Rue Paris,
As though I wasn’t really there.
His glassy eyes Behind wrinkled skin,
Spoke hardship and despair.
We were all in line, At a picture show,
A title I cannot remember,
When he keeled real hard, Falling to the ground,
Others simply let him go, and
There He Lay, There He Lay.
He had the foulest stench about him, Teeth were rotted clear away.
I knelt and laid my lips upon him, Kissing an open grave.
I breathed life there into his lungs, Kept pressing his chest in time,
My hope was this old soul survived, When the gendarme grabbed my arm,
There He Lay, There He Lay.
Inside I was rebelling, Strong arms kept repelling,
Of all those gathered round observing, None moved in to help the hurting,
I had laid my lips upon him, To breath life into his lungs,
Restrained, I could only offer tears, As life forces left this one, and
There He Lay, There He Lay.
I had hoped to report the medics made haste,
First responders redirected his fate,
That he opened his eyes, And he gasped for breath,
Truth is they all came too late.
I had laid my lips upon him, To breath life into his lungs,
Restrained, I could only offer tears, As life forces left this one,
When I was growing up, to read the Sunday comics enveloped in the Chicago Sun Times was a great pastime. One particular comic involved this Mandrake the Magician character who would often show up with a supernatural bent. It would be giant hands extending from the clouds, or perhaps a portion of his torso with bare feet touching the ground, a kind of heaven touching earth event. So much for Mandrake.
Nostradame(1560’s) was noted for his rather dark predictions of future events, wars, plagues, catastrophes, etc. that he received during trance moments of an occult nature. Today, many adherents believe his predictions were/ are spot-on accurate. Such foretelling is not an experience of all men or women. But I suppose if a preponderance of predictions do come to pass, than the individual is less a Mandrake prophet, and more the genuine article.
There are two prophetic utterances in the Bible that some people might find ludicrous. Yet, if there is any, and I mean anypossibility of fulfillment, the outcome is magnanimous! Close to the end of Jesus’ earthly walk he makes the statement concerning the future, “Men’s hearts shall fail them for fear of the things they see coming upon the earth.”
Throughout history there have been many situations that could make one faint. After the prophet Mohammed established the tenants of Islam, the crescent sword took the heads of many infidels. During the Dark Ages, the organized Church of Rome conducted sweeping ‘trials’ and cruel punishments against those felt to be infidels of the Church! Wars and rumors of wars happened right up to the dawn of the 20thCentury.
Ruthless men had for centuries enacted torture, atrocities and death against their fellow man. The Atomic Bomb changed the playing field somewhat; carnage could be widespread and devastating without ever staining one’s hands with the blood of the infidel!
In all these periods, I am sure there were some men who died of heart attack for whatever the stress and strain and trial of it all. But Jesus’ words seem to be larger than the moment, as though he was talking about the consummate end to life on earth as we know it. (My take on it.) Such may be true because Jesus had a wider field of vision then we do, he sees eternity! Proximal periods along the eternity trail may be what we see. In any event, he knows the end from the beginning!
Think about your life. The bravado and machismo of Hollywood movies, television series and the god-like idolization of sports figures that in another life would be vying for that top gladiator position at the local coliseum. Nothing seems to frighten us, mankind smashes the atom, Higgs-Boson to be found, and perhaps, the illusive God particle… the stuff that makes up the mass of the universe we can’t account for.
And what the Hell, lets just blow up things and destroy, it seems to be what humankind is good at! We create nothing! Like Shiva, Hindu god of destruction and chaos dancing outside CERN visitor center, we are good at destroying, only sometimes do we put the pieces back together.
Ok, Jesus forewarned us that something so unexpected and unearthly will transpire, the fear of which causes men to literally drop dead on the spot! Could the second prophetic utterance then be what he is referring to? The prophet Isaiah, said,
And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.
This same situation is reiterated again in Revelation 6:14,
And heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
If what Jesus referred to is the destruction prophesied by Isaiah above, then we do have reason to fear; unlike Shiva, the true God and Lord of the universe will destroy in order to create a new heaven and earth! Are you prepared for that day or do you merely laugh and brush off the notion of imminent heart failure?
Perhaps a few of you can remember the Black & White cowboy picture series titled, The Lone Ranger, the masked six-gun toting stranger on a white stallion with his sidekick, Tonto. They put fear into the roughnecks willing to break the law. And, there were his shiny, silver bullets! I often wondered why they were silver? He wasn’t shooting the flesh-eating zombies or the blood-sucking vampires that could only be killed with a silver dagger to the heart! Perhaps with all those western silver mines, silver was easier to get than say, lead.
Today, silver is a commodity traded on the stock exchange like apples and oranges, and ranks in the other precious metals category next to gold. It has many medical and industrial applications, is a great electrical conductor, and people like the shine it gives when they wear silver jewelry. But there is an off-missed benefit to silver that I got to thinking about, silver is toxic to many microscopic organisms, e.g. PPLO, bacteria, and perhaps, even viri.
Throughout the 1700’s and into the 1800’s eating utensils were made of or with silver. To some degree, even the commoner might have a silver spoon in his/her mouth. Now, given that silver will kill these organisms noted above, that meant that shoveling food into one’s mouth with a silver spoon invariably had a disinfecting effect on the germs that would enter through the oral cavity. Perhaps those germs that cause mouth sores and tooth decay were ‘driven the nail’ with each shoveled mouthful! So, why then switch to stainless steel? Good question. What about those silver fillings as opposed to fillings with a lead component?
It has been shown that ancient man suffered from tooth decay, but not for eating hard candies and all that 20thCentury refined sugar! I suspect they didn’t have silver utensils. So, if elemental silver is a sleeping panacea, why hasn’t there been a move to get a silver spoon into every person’s mouth? I think we all know the answer. My daughter alerted me to aqueous silver, silver at the molecular level in liquid solution that is so popular in some circles. Personally, I think there would be enough molecular silver ion lost to the spoon that would enter our body without having to drink the stuff! We would improve our health just by using the silver shovel! But…
You just don’t go down to the local big-box store and buy a sterling silver fork or spoon! And flatware sets in sterling cost thousands of dollars! Again, that money thing, silver sets for the rich and famous, SS for the minions. But wait a minute, many of us do have those silver flatware sets, handed down perhaps from Grandma! Unfortunately, the spoons and knives and forks only come out for special occasions because they shine so nice, we have to keep them polished, hidden in the wooden display case!
The other day at an estate sale I came across a sterling flatware set. It wasn’t complete, but that’s ok cause I’ll probably sell off a bunch of utensils and make a small profit. But I now have a Sterling silver spoon to stick in my mouth whenever I need kill some germs!