Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Childhood Poems Remembered by Lloyd Taylor By Pat Kinsella Herdeg

Flowering Quince

I was listening to a tape of Lloyd and Ethel Taylor from the late 1960’s. In it, they both try to remember some of the poems they had learned as children, from McGuffey’s Readers and other books and lessons they had in early school years.
Uncle Jack asked Grandpa to stand next to the tape recorder so he could get it whatever he could remember. An energized Lloyd emphatically spoke: “Come on then, let’s do it!”

Lloyd remembered a few lines about Lombardy Poplars, which helped me to find the actual reading. It was from The Manual for Special Day Exercises, 1904; each verse is a different pupil and twelve year old Lloyd obviously had the Poplars line:

Camperdown Elm

What the Trees Teach Us
I am taught by the Oak to be rugged and strong
In defense of the right: in defiance of the wrong.

I have learned from the Maple, that beauty to win
The love of all hearts, must have sweetness within.

The Beech, with its branches wide-spreading and low,
Awakes in my heart hospitality’s glow.

The Pine tells of constancy. In its sweet voice
It whispers of hope till sad mortals rejoice.

The nut-bearing trees teach that ‘neath manners gruff,
May be found as ‘sweet kernels’ as in their caskets tough.

Birch Tree

The Birch, in its wrappings of silvery gray,
Shows that beauty needs not to make gorgeous display.

The Ash, having fibers tenacious and strong,
Teaches me firm resistance, to battle with wrong.

The Aspen tells me with its quivering leaves,
To be gently with every sad creature that grieves.

The Lombardy Poplars point upward, in praise,
My voice to kind Heaven they teach me to raise.

The Elm teaches me to be pliant yet true;
Though bowed by rude winds, it still rises anew.

Camperdown Elm

I am taught generosity, boundless and free,
By the showers of fruit from the dear Apple tree.

The Cherry tree blushing with fruit crimson red,
Tells of God’s free abundance that all may be fed.

In the beautiful Linden, so fair to the sight,
This truth I discern: It is inwardly white.

The firm-rooted Cedars like sentries of old,
Show that virtues deep-rooted may also be bold.
                                                --Helen O. Hoyt, in the Teacher’s World.

I liked that the older Lloyd, who grew up to show his children the wildflowers and trees of the countryside, still remembered the nature poem that young Lloyd had to stand tall and recite. 

Black Locust tree taken between Yews

Next, Grandpa recited this poem by Eugene Field, who is sometimes called ‘The Children’s Poet’:

Over the Hills and Far Away
From Poems of Childhood

Over the hills and far away,
A little boy steals from his morning play,
And under the blossoming apple-tree
He lies and dreams of the things to be:
Of battles fought and of victories won,
Of wrongs o'erthrown and of great deeds done--
Of the valor that he shall prove some day,
Over the hills and far away--
Over the hills and far away!
Over the hills and far away
It's, oh, for the toil of the livelong day!
But it mattereth not to the soul aflame
With a love for riches and power and fame!
On, O man! while the sun is high--
On to the certain joys that lie
Yonder where blazeth the noon of day.
Over the hills and far away--
Over the hills and far away!
Over the hills and far away
An old man lingers at close of day;
Now that his journey is almost done,
His battles fought and his victories won--
The old-time honesty and truth,
The trustfulness and the friends of youth,
Home and mother--where are they?
Over the hills and far away--
Over the hills and far away!

Peach Tree

When Lloyd was reciting this last part:

An old man lingers at close of day;
Now that his journey is almost done,
His battles fought and his victories won--

 he was quoting about himself, as he would die a few short years later.

Fifty years from now, which poems of childhood will we remember?

The pictures were all taken by Susan Kinsella, and except for the birch tree taken at Otty Lake in Canada, were taken at the California country estate of  Filoli. Thank you Sue!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A Garden to End All Gardens By Evelyn Taylor

Warm today--almost sixty degrees! Perhaps spring is around the corner, and that got me thinking of flowers and gardening....

Rex and Bryant Taylor were sons of Floyd Taylor, twin of Lloyd Taylor. Once again, Evelyn Laufer Taylor--married to Bryant--writes a story from their past:

When Rex Taylor and Bryant Taylor came home from service in WW II, the two couples--Rex and Dene, Bryant and Evelyn-- lived at The Greystone, which was a house made into two apartments. These were owned by Floyd Taylor.  The previous owner had had a business of raising and selling gladioli flowers.  He offered to sell them to Dene and me. So, na├»ve as we were, we bought them.     We had 3000 glad bulbs which we planted in rows in a patch behind and at the side of the house.  As they grew, the weeds grew, and we found it very difficult to keep up with them.  Floyd, who was a perfectionist, watched our progress and finally gave us an ultimatum that if we couldn’t keep the patch weeded, we could not have it.

Dene, Eve Taylor

One hot Saturday my dad came down from Rochester to help.  He worked so hard and long in the heat and sun that he got heatstroke and ended up in bed upstairs.   The fellows had their new jobs to learn and work at ( both under their dad as boss), so they did not have much time to help us.

Well, we managed to squeak through that first planting and sold a lot of gorgeous flowers for 50 cents a dozen.  As winter approached, we learned that all the bulbs had to be dug up and stored in the basement to dry. What a relief when that was done!  But another stage was to come.  After all were dry, the little corms ( baby bulbs) had to be rubbed off, saved, and planted in a separate area in the spring to grow large and increase our number.  We had Dene’s father help us with this phase when he was here on a visit.

Front Row--Rex and Bryant
Back Row--Floyd and B.W. Taylor

Spring rolled around again, but we had still another operation to do.  This time we had to soak the bulbs in a big galvanized tub of a solution to prevent thrips ( insects that attack glads).  Then on to the planting, weeding, etc. cycle once again!

When we both became pregnant, our flower business had to end.  I cannot say that we were sorry to get out from under that load.  We never made any money, as we had to pay for them.

All this was a learning experience for us. So many money-making ideas just don’t pan out.  I don’t think Rex and Dene had any more, but Bryant and I had many through the years.  No, they didn’t pan out, so it really wasn’t a learning experience for Bryant and me.

Evelyn, Dene and Rex Taylor, 2010