Ancient History

Follow Me?


I cook dinner in Johnny Appleseed’s hat

If history’s greatest ghosts start showing up in our backyard, it must be May. I still haven’t recovered from last year’s sightings and here they are again! This year’s crop of dead historic figures was skewed to more modern times, with one notable exception. I’ll begin with him.

John Chapman, also known as as Johnny Appleseed, was spotted lounging in the grass near our plum tree. I suppose he appreciates all species of fruit trees. He was a good guy and appears to be a happy sort. Legend says the animals loved him, too.



On a rainy afternoon, just when I was feeling the world was a cold, grey place indeed, Charlie Chaplin landed with his umbrella. He shivered a bit, but entreated me to smile. How could I not? The Little Tramp is still good for a laugh.



Mon dieu! Who’s the wise-looking old gentleman in the red knit cap? What was he doing? It appeared he was demonstrating his superior swimming skills thousands of miles from the ocean. I had to ask what was going on. Air swimming is odd. He informed me with crisp friendliness he was Jacques Yves Cousteau, undersea explorer extraordinaire. A-ha!




Who’s the leader of the club that’s made for you and me? W-A-L-T D-I-S-N-E-Y. Technically, he created the world’s most famous mouse. And amusement parks. Plus movies, TV shows, and just a massive empire. Not bad for a poor kid from the midwest. Handsome, talented Walt graced our backyard with a smile and boundless energy. It was great to meet him, but I had a few bones to pick with him. Could he do something about Miley? I was dying to ask. I refrained.



Mon dieu redux! France was well-represented amongst the backyard friendly ghosts this year. It was nice to have a stylish, feminine presence in the form of Coco Chanel. I was a little intimidated as I snapped photos wearing slippers and a stained shirt. She was gracious enough to not say anything. I took comfort in the memory of her words: Elegance does not consist in putting on a new dress.



Miss Chanel once stated: How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone.

I think all of this year’s historic figures understood this idea. That’s why they show up in suburban backyards every early May. I can’t wait to see who shows up in 2011.

The class of 2009: I get to wash Abraham Lincoln’s socks

(Our kids’ school celebrates Night of the Notables every May. Students choose an important historical figure, usually based on their interests. They must dress as their chosen Notable, present a speech in character, and write papers, gather props, make posters. It’s a huge undertaking. It’s over. I’m glad.)

9 comments to I cook dinner in Johnny Appleseed’s hat

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>