Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tuesday Triple

NOT my SAT score; NOT my address
on Pennsylvania Ave., NOT my number of Facebook friends,
NOT my bank balance, NOT ... all sorts of stuff ...
Tuesday Triple, says the title of this post. No, this is not a post about a memorable triple I ripped back in the day when I was playing baseball (though there were plenty, I assure you!). No, I've got three things to talk a bit about, so here we go.

1. For Father's Day, our son had found somewhere online an Oklahoma license plate from 1944 (the year I was born); he bought it; got it; forgot it. (He is, in many ways, most definitely my son!) But on Sunday night we were down at their place in Green, and his wife, Melissa, reminded him about it. And now he knew right where it was. And now it's in our house. And it's looking the worse for wear (as I am).

I don't remember a lot about Oklahoma license plates, but I think I remember this: That the first number refers to the county. Garfield County, where we lived, was (if I recall correctly) a 5. As I look at an alphabetical list of the 82 counties, I see that Garfield is #24. So maybe it was based on population?

I just this moment checked a website that confirms my memory! Five was the Garfield Co. code between 1952-61. I turned eight in 1952, so that was about the time I started paying attention. (Link to list of Oklahoma codes.) In 1944, however, the code was 9. In 1944, 58 was the designation for Woods County, a little west of Enid; Alva, the Woods County seat, we had been to and through a number of times. So, I am declaring right now: I saw this very car in Alva when I was too young to remember.

2. Not long ago, one of my word-a-day calendars featured the word pridian, a word I didn't know (but I know it now!). It's pronounced--as you see--PRIH-dee-uhn.

That word bounced and banged around in my head a bit, and it made me remember some books I used to urge on my middle-schoolers back in the mid-1970s: Lloyd Alexander's YA fantasy novels, collectively called The Chronicles of Prydain. They all featured Ged, a boy training to be a wizard (hmmmmm ...), in the kingdom of Prydain. In my thin-thin-thin file on the books (what happened to all the other stuff?!) I found a "pronouncing guide" to the books, and Prydain is prih-DANE. 

But it got me wondering ... was Lloyd Alexander being cutsie? Using for the name of his fictional kingdom a version of the word that means yesterday or in a previous time? I just checked the OED, hoping to see prydain as a variant spelling. Nope. But I'm gonna go with it, anyway.

Alexander, by the way, died in mid-May 2007. So he lived to see Harry-Potter-Mania. (Wonder what he thought of it? Maybe some guy wrote a novel about a white whale and a crazy captain named Carl and called it Carl the Crazy Captain and the White Whale, and then Melville came along?) My "Alexander" folder does have his obituary that I cut from the New York Times on May 19, 2007.

Years ago--back in my frenzy about the books--Alexander spoke at a convention of the National Council of Teachers of English. I want to say it was in Philadelphia, but I'm not sure (like a dope I didn't save the program, apparently). Anyway, I stood in the back and took picture after picture with a telephoto lens (no flash: I was sensitive!). But he noticed me and gave me a weird look a couple of times while he was speaking. But I'm used to that, weird looks. I had some great pictures I hung on my classroom wall for a couple of years. Where are they now? Ask my son, I guess. Cuz I do not know.

3. Finally--I let a milepost slip by. My 1600th post on DawnReader was on Sunday. And, as is my wont, I checked my (not all that impressive) numbers: Over the life of the blog, I've had 275,703 hits. That's 172 hits/post. A nice comfy number. But nothing to write home about (so I won't). I began on January 6, 2012 (link that that 1st post). I called it "I Am Born"--a Dickens allusion: It's the title of Chapter One of David Copperfield. And I've been fairly regular, missing days now and then for reasons ranging from health to depression to laziness to dotage.

But--as I've said before--I'm writing these, really, for myself. To get things down. To give my son and grandsons something to check out, later on, when I've checked out ...

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