The things people say

“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” I posted these words by author Robert McCloskey a few years and Facebook has seen fit to remind me of same. I’ve no idea what was going on in my life back then (other than I was blonde) but whatever it was, I’ve lived to tell the tale.

And while the words themselves still ring true, perhaps more telling is that that I had no clue who Robert McCloskey is (or was) and yet, here I am, quoting him. If you’re interested:

John Robert McCloskey (September 15, 1914 – June 30, 2003) was an American writer and illustrator of children’s books. He both wrote and illustrated eight picture books and won two Caldecott Medals from the American Library Association recognizing the year’s best-illustrated picture book. Four of those eight books were set in Maine: Blueberries for Sal, One Morning in Maine, Time of Wonder, and Burt Dow, Deep-water Man; the last three all on the coast. He was also the writer for Make Way For Ducklings, as well as the illustrator for The Man Who Lost His Head. McCloskey was born in Hamilton, Ohio, during 1914 and reached Boston in 1932 with a scholarship to study at Vesper George Art School. After Vesper George he moved to New York City for study at the National Academy of Design.  In 1940, he married Peggy Durand, daughter of the children’s writer Ruth Sawyer. On June 30, 2003, McCloskey died at his home in Deer Isle, Maine.
I started thinking about the people in my life and the notes of wisdom I attribute to them, words that might well live on long after they’ve departed this world, assuming I’m still around to quote them.
SF: If it’s for you, it won’t pass you
PF: In the heel of the hunt
VS: We’re not putting hearts into babies
CM: No one’s dead / no one’s going to die
AS: Will you ever go to bed and let me go home?
CM: There are worse things in life than death
IM: It’s your doughnut
PF: That’s the bill of the fare
MC: His ankles forgot to ask his trousers down for tea
CG: Not bein’ bad, like
CM: Paper will take any print
JM: Perfection leaves no room for improvement
ND: Did you meet anyone you liked better than yourself?
AP: Spend money on your hair and your glasses – they’re two things you will wear every day
I’m going to add to this as I come up with more. And it’d be interesting to see if I’m quotable myself.
4 replies
  1. Ginger Paque
    Ginger Paque says:

    I see your note every day: ‘Always Accessorize’, and it’s not as simple as it seems. It means ‘take the time to embellish your life’. Even if I don’t leave the house for days, it changes things to wear earrings, or more extravagant yet, a necklace, when there’s no one to dress up for but me!

    • Mary Murphy
      Mary Murphy says:

      Think I got that from AP, who said, spend money on your hair and your glasses – they’re two things you will wear every day. Will add to the list 🙂

  2. Bernard Adams
    Bernard Adams says:

    The mother of a good friend used to say that the two things on which you should never spare expense were coffee and toilet paper . . .


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