Forest City Courier, Aug. 29, 1940
We have all heard the old expression, “Keeping up with the Joneses,” and most of us have been guilty of it at one time or another, but I have yet to meet the person who will admit it. When we see the Joneses’ drive a new car into their garage, we immediately begin to find fault with our old bus. It appears antiquated. Those little creaks and noises emerging from different places that we used not to notice at all sound terribly loud now. The upholstering looks faded, and we don’t see much use in keeping the little torn places patched up anymore, ’cause we hope we can trade it in on a new one soon.
In late summer we see Mrs. Jones blossom out in a new fall outfit. Of course it is sort of premature to wear light woolen suits when the sun is beating down to the tune of about 94 Fahrenheit, but if Mrs. Jones can stand it we can too; so, off we got to town to look at the new dresses, hats, shoes, etc.
Mr. Jones has discarded that old suit he looked so comfortable in all summer. That new suit he is wearing is the latest cut. He looks rather self conscious in the new shoes and hat too, as he hails his friends still wearing those summer slacks. Well, guess we had better hurry down and be measured for a new suit, and tell the tailor to hurry it up too!
One day you look out and see the paperers going in carrying step ladders and all sorts of paraphernalia. Yes, that looks just like the rolls of wall paper the man behind is carrying. Well, it’s about time they were doing something to those walls. We look around at the walls in our own living room. They don’t look as bad as the Jones’, but even at that new paper would improve them a lot. Maybe it would be a good idea to bring home some books of samples tomorrow and decide on some attractive patterns. But, no, we will wait and see the Joneses’ after theirs is finished. We don’t want to duplicate theirs. In fact we want something better, even if it does cost more. Of course, people will accuse us of trying to keep up with the Joneses, but we had planned all the time to get these new things.
Deep down in our heart we know that we are trying to keep up with the Joneses. In fact we are trying to outdo them!
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About twenty-eight years ago I bought a piece of real Indian pottery from a little wayside store near Asheville. I came across it the other day among some things that have been packed away for several years. It is crudely molded of reddish clay and I imagine was baked in the sun. The design is horizontal stripes in black with three swastikas. Now, these swastikas have taken on more than a casual significance, and I am at a loss whether to break the vase or wait to find out the true difference between an Indian symbol and a Nazi symbol. Recently I read somewhere that the ends of the arms on this vase run clockwise. But what I want to know is whether the other one runs this way too. As long ago as twenty-eight years the Indians in tracing designs might have paid little attention to which way they ran. If any reader knows the difference, I would appreciate some information on the subject. It would be easy enough to black out the whole design, or better still, break the thing into one thousand nine hundred and forty pieces.
Reprinted with permission from The Daily Courier. Copyright owned by The Daily Courier.