Forest City Courier, Feb. 9, 1939
There are two kinds of stores that we dare any man to visit with a week’s salary loose in his pocket. One is a first class grocery and the other is a shop that specializes in all the new and trick gadgets for kitchens. He goes into a grocery, say, for an ordinary pound of coffee. Were he a sane and dutiful husband, he’d buy that coffee, and clear out. But the gastronomic temptations are too great. Here is a jar of clear luscious honey that would go good with those breakfast pancakes. Yonder is Canadian bacon that was made to fit in with that platter of eggs, and, farther along cheese of all kinds, fresh fruits and all manner of delectable foods put up in glass like jewels kept in cases. From one counter to another he passes, buying this and succumbing to that, till finally he staggers home under a load of parcels looking like Santa Claus. The same sort of thing happens when a man is left unwatched and unattended in a household equipment store. He is fascinated by all the new things he sees the trick lemon squeezer that will also beat eggs and cut cookies, the washing machines that purr and churn like speed boats, the wide and fearsome set of knives, the steel that will not rust and the trousers hangers that are almost human. Let a man enter such a store for a package of picture wire, and he will come out with enough equipment to start in as a cook or a carpenter. There is a notion that these matters appeal only to women. Well, they do appeal to the housewife’s wise and sane way of keeping house the easiest way. So, who among us would object to having these labor saving devices in our kitchens? If he can’t resist buying them, then this leads us to believe that men should buy the household equipment.
* * *
Someone kindly gave me several branches of pussy willow a few weeks ago. It is interesting to watch the gray buds pushing out from their brown scales, also interesting to watch the wonderful color changes in the flowers. I suppose you would call them flowers, where you wouldn’t expect any color to be. It leads the procession of spring flowers, and I suppose that is the reason everyone knows and loves it. In an old magazine recently I read that the first weeping willow was planted by John Curtis on his estate in Virginia. A traveler in Syria once sent Alexander Pope, the English poet, a box of figs, in which was a twig from one of the weeping willows beside the rivers of Babylon. This twig was planted by the river Thames where it grew. During the Revolutionary war a British officer brought with him a slip from this tree which he gave to John Curtis. The tree which grew from it still stands on the estate, and nurserymen say it is the ancestor of all the weeping willows in this country today. And what is more attractive or expressive than this tree with its leaves fairly dripping from its twigs.
Reprinted with permission from The Daily Courier. Copyright owned by The Daily Courier.