Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A favorite non-fiction

I probably mentioned that I read many different kinds of books, both fiction and non-fiction. "Team of Rivals" is still on the Best Seller list, a position well deserved. I have read it with much fascination. But as fate would have it, the very next book I read was on the same topic -- well, part of it, anyway.

Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer (non-fiction) is by James L. Swanson, and, as the title suggests, is generally confined to the search for John Wilkes Booth. What makes this smaller volume (about 400+ pages) so intriguing is that some of the text is in Booth's own words. When he was finally captured, Booth's diary was discovered, and author James Swanson has done a magnificent job of integrating diary text with the rest of the work. I highly recommend it.

Here is the photo of the newborn baby caps mentioned in Alison's posting comments today. No, I didn't knit any of them; I just do the computer work.

Does Your Campground Have a BC?

The story is told of a lady who was rather old-fashioned, always quite delicate and elegant, especially in her language. She and her husband were planning a week's vacation in Florida, so she wrote to a particular campground asking for a reservation.

She wanted to make sure the campground was fully equipped, but didn't quite know how to ask about the toilet facilities. She just couldn't bring herself to write the word "toilet" in her letter. After much deliberation, she finally came up with the old-fashioned term BATHROOM COMMODE. But when she wrote that down, she still thought she was being too forward. So she started all over again and rewrote the entire letter referring to the bathroom commode merely as the BC. "Does the campground have it's own BC?" is what she actually wrote.

Well, the campground owner wasn't old-fashioned at all, and when he got the letter, he just couldn't figure out what the woman was talking about. That BC business really stumped him.

After worrying about it for awhile, he showed the letter to several campers, but they couldn't imagine what the lady meant either. So the campground owner, finally coming to the conclusion that the lady must be asking about the local Baptist Church, sat down and wrote the following reply:

Dear Madam:
I regret very much the delay in answering your letter, but I now take pleasure in informing you that a BC is located nine miles north of the campground and is capable of seating 250 people at one time. I admit it is quite a distance away, if you are in the habit of going regularly, but no doubt you will be pleased to know that a great number of people take their lunches along and make a day of it. They usually arrive early and stay late. It is such a beautiful facility and the acoustics are marvelous. Even the normal delivery sounds can be heard.

The last time my wife and I went was six years ago, and it was so crowded we had to stand up the whole time we were there. It may interest you to know that right now a supper is planned to raise money to buy more seats.

I would like to say it pains me very much not to be able to go more regularly, but it surely is no lack of desire on my part. As we grow old, it seems to be more of an effort, particularly in cold weather.

If you do decide to come down to our campground, perhaps I could go with you the first time you go, sit with you, and introduce you to all the other folks.

Remember, this is a friendly community.

Campground Owner


  1. Oh, owwwwwwwwch... That's funny!

    And I love the newsletter news and all the hats being made. Good for them. Very cool.

    My mom read Team of Rivals for days while I was in the hospital and she was there by my side; now it's my turn to get to it. I haven't read the Swanson book yet either, but I can recommend "Lincoln: an illustrated biography" by the Kunhardts. They've unearthed a bajillion photos of Lincoln, many of them previously unknown, and wrote a commentary to go with them. Fascinating.

  2. Hey, nice hats! Great when embiggened.