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Tag Archives: Emerson

“Bum, Bum, Bum Here We Come!”

Image result for children playing outside games

The serious Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “It is a happy talent to know how to play.”

As adults, we don’t play like we did as children, but the memories of those fun days of playing with neighborhood children can suddenly flood our minds.

Yesterday, I went to a PEO meeting and was asked by one of the members where I had been. I missed last month’s meeting, and she had missed the one in July, so we hadn’t seen each other.

What came out of my mouth was certainly unexpected and truly made me smile.

I replied, “Pretty girl’s station” and then went on to recite the rest of that game’s answers.

Sitting in front of me was one of my contemporaries, and we laughed together. Neither one of us could remember how it started, so I went to Google for information today. If you aren’t of a certain age, this outside game might not be familiar to you.

Pretty Girl Station is the game I remember playing in the front yard of our home on Penarth Road. Even though the name is exclusive for today’s time, it was played by the neighborhood children for a slew of years.

Participants are divided into two teams, and being even isn’t important. Even with all the trees in our front yard, it was easy to face each other in a line-of-sorts.

Both sides decide on an occupation they want to pretend to be for the other side to guess. Since this was a children’s game, those jobs were easy ones to guess and portray, like fireman, nurses, etc. Mostly the choices were from television or pictures in books that we were all familiar with.Then Team A, with much fanfare and drama, walked toward the other team, saying, “Bum, bum, bum. Here we come.”

And then the questions and answers begin.

Where’re you from? (Team B)
Pretty Girl Station (Team A)

What’s your occupation? (Team B)
Most any old thing (Team A)

Then get to work! (Team B)

And then Team A plays out their occupation, similar to charades. When the job is recognized Team B, then Team A runs screaming (a most important part of this game) to get back to their side without being caught by Team B. If caught, then a child had to become a member of Team B.

This game continues could while away many hours of a summer afternoon. I can picture the fun, even if I don’t recognize the children.

Besides playing it at school, we also played it on the playground at First Baptist kindergarten.

“Life is more fun if you play games,” said Roald Dahl, and his writing declares that reading can also be fun.

So I might not go to the yard to march around singing, “Bum, Bum, Bum, Here I come,” this afternoon, I will certainly have a book in hand for a while.

Why don’t you join me for a fun afternoon with your book? As Martha Stewart always says, “It’s a good thing.”


Founded in 1748, Continuing to Change Lives

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Established December 28th, 1748 by nineteen young gentlemen of various trades and professions wishing to avail themselves of the latest publications from Great Britain, these men wished not only to keep abreast of the intellectual issues of the day but also to “save their descendants from sinking into savagery.” Ten pounds sterling bought their first order.
The initial group consisted of nine merchants, two lawyers, a schoolmaster, a physician, two planters and a peruke maker (wig-maker).
• Alexander Baron, schoolmaster from Scotland
• Morton Brailsford, merchant
• Samuel Brailsford, merchant
• Robert Brisbane, merchant
• John Cooper, merchant and distiller
• James Grindlay, lawyer
• William Logan, merchant
• Alexander McCauley, peruke (wig) maker
• Dr. Patrick McKie, physican
• Thomas Middleton, planter
• John Neufville, merchant
• Thomas Sacheverell, planter
• John Sinclair, merchant
• Charles Stevenson, merchant
• Peter Timothy, printer
• Joseph Wragg, merchant
• Samuel Wragg, merchant

First, they ordered pamphlets and magazines from London that had been printed the year before. Then they started ordering books; copies of classical books were a priority. The society was “in a large measure, a social club,” and by 1750 had about 160 members. Leaders in Charlestown’s society coveted membership.
View of Charleston by W.R. Miller, 1853

Below is a water rice mill drawing view of SC John Drayton and the building that holds artifacts such as these.

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As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.”
This organization paved the way for the founding of the College of Charleston in 1770; a goal of the membership was to promote education. By purchasing scientific instruments and providing regional exhibits, they promoted the study of the regional natural history. This was the origin for the founding of the Charleston Museum (the first in America) in 1773.
This collection was quite mobile. At first, elected librarians safeguarded the Library’s materials in their homes. In 1755, William Henderson was elected librarian of the Society, and collecting he moved the collections into the Free School (of which he was headmaster) on Broad Street. From 1765 until 1778, it resided in the upstairs of Gabriel Manigault’s liquor warehouse. In 1792, the collection was transferred to the upper floor of the Statehouse, currently the County Courthouse at Broad and Meeting.

Edward Crisp, “A Compleat Description of the Province of Carolina in 3 parts.” 1711.
From 1835 until its 1914 move to the current King Street location, the Charleston Library Society occupied the Bank of South Carolina building at the corner of Church and Broad Streets. For their building fund, they sold “brick” memberships to the public.
This video takes us up the steps and inside the Library.

Open for luncheons, author events, weddings, research, meetings, and whiling away a morning in the middle of another world, the Library is a popular venue in Charleston today. The newspaper collection dates back to 1732. The materials housed in the Library Society’s Archives and Special Collections contain more than 14,500 rare books, 5,000 rare and semi-rare pamphlets, 400 manuscript collections, and 470 maps and plats.


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Aren’t we grateful that those 19 young men believed in the import of reading. Louis L’Amour put it this way, “For one who reads, there is no limit to the number of lives that may be lived, for fiction, biography, and history offer an inexhaustible number of lives in many parts of the world, in all periods of time.”

How about a field trip to the Charleston Library Society?