All The World’s A Stage

One hundred years ago today my grandfather was born. Though I never met him, I’ve always admired him from the stories I’ve been told and from his writing. Here’s the only prose reflection I’ve been able to find by him, a meditation of Shakespeare and Christ. I feel as though this gives some insight into how he became the man he was.

All the world’s a stage
And all the men and women merely players………

These words, written so many years ago by that famous author and scholar, “William Shakespeare” have made an impression and never ceases to be a source of wonder to my mind.

Though written so long ago they have stood the test of time and the great thinkers of today still use portions of the writings of this man of long ago.

The continuance of the above, “they have their exits and entrances” furnishes food for thought, and were a man to enter into the spirit of the passage; would be a beautiful philosophy.

Looking at life from this point of view has made me over many a rough spot and many a trial or burden is made more endurable by substituting this passage of the play for the real experience.

After all, is it not a world of make believe? Do not humans, as a general rule love to labor under the delusion of “theory” rather than the settled and established fact?

Men are continually looking for a new religion, and many are the sects that base the greater part of their beliefs upon theory.

Just glance at our news stands, the modern trend seems to be towards such magazines as “astounding stories,” “wonder stories,” stories and theories such as “Buck Rogers” and “Flash Gordon.” There was a time when these stories were considered in the fairy tale class, but now are devoured by grown men and women with great gusto.

Taking all of this into consideration, perhaps you will find some excuse for a man taking his philosophy of life from the writings of a man who lived and died so many years before we were born.

Sometimes we are “cast” and are forced to play in a role that is extremely distasteful to us. Sometimes the other characters do not act and speak in a manner of which we can approve, but the great actor gives no sign of this, nor does he allow it to affect his act in any way.

We must always bear in mind that though the personality or the role of the other actors does not meet with our approval, yet the cast is formed and to attempt to change it would probably end in disappointment and failure. We cannot all be heroes and a play to be a success must appeal to all human emotions, love, grief, happiness, all work together to the one end of making the act a success.

Were it not for the rough spots we would not be able to appreciate the smooth places, were it not for the grief, could we recognize happiness at it’s time worth?

Yes, it takes all sorts of characters to make a play, and each one has his own parts and whether they be small or great they should be acted with all the good judgment, tact, and skill of the actor or they will have an evil effect, not only upon the other actor with which he comes in contact, but upon himself as well.

In the eyes of our great audience, our personal feelings must not affect our part, the play must go on and if we should fall by the wayside or be forced to make our exit before the appointed time, another will take our place, and on moves the act and we are soon forgotten.

Some writers have said that the entrance upon the scene does not make as much impression as does the manner in which the actor makes his exit; and they give that greatest of all characters and teachers, “Jesus,” as an example. His entrance was certainly nothing very elaborate but his exit has made an impression and has brought about a condition that will last though all the ages of eternity.

And this rule is true in all cases, no matter how small the part we have we must play it at our best, and when the end comes we must make our exit in a manner that will be a credit to our instructor.

Thomas Wainman Carpenter


Memories of Mother

Hello again,

My grandfather loved his mother very much, I’m told. He wrote this sometime after she died.

Down that pathway called mourning
I’m drifting again
And in childhood, once more I shall be
Just as carefree and happy, as in the days when
I sat on my mother’s knee

No harm could befall me when mother was near
In her arms I found comfort and peace
And from sorrow and trouble and heartache and fear
I would soon find sweet, welcome release

When bad dreams awoke me, teardrops would fall
As trembling, I lay in my bed
My mother was there, and in voice sweet and low
Would sooth me, softly she said:

“Fear not the darkness, soon it will be light
Fear not! There’s no cause for alarm
Mother is with you, all through the dark night
She’ll protect you and keep you from harm”

Now mother has gone, but her memory lives on
And when troubles to plague me today
When fears do beset me- as in days of old
I still hear dear mother say:

“Fear not the darkness, soon it will be light
Fear not! There’s no cause for alarm
Mother is with you, all through the dark night
She’ll protect you and keep you from harm”
T.W. Carpenter


The Lunchbox Poem

On St. Patrick’s Day I posted a poem by my grandfather, TW Carpenter. He was, according to the stories, always writing poetry. He worked in a factory for much of his life, and, being the sort of man he was, he was always playing tricks on his coworkers. As the legend has it, there was a man who came in day in and day out with a big ol’ ham sandwich for lunch. He did this so consistently that my grandfather wrote a little poem about it:

Blessings on thee, little man,
With thy belly full of ham,
Mama loves you, sweetie pie-
Just for you did piggie die.

I hope you think of that the next time you eat a ham sandwich.


But Where Did All The Snakes Go?

Good morning, and happy St. Patrick’s Day!

My grandfather loved to write poetry, and I think he was pretty good. One of my favorites of his is entitled, “Wearin’ of the Green,” and it was published in some newspaper back in the ’70s or so. I thought I had posted it somewhere on the web before, but I couldn’t find it just now when I looked. At any rate, enjoy!


Wearin’ of the Green

There will be a celebration in another day or two,
And to prepare ourselves we have a slightly emerald hue.
For it was the custom in our land, when March rolled on the scene,
To proudly show our colors, by the wearin’ of the green.

Ma’s sister Kay popped in last night, to show her Easter bonnet,
And it’s a thing of beauty, for it has red feathers on it.
She put it on to show it off and she looks just like a queen.
Ma took one look, and now poor Ma is wearin’ of the green.

Sad to state, Pa came home late, from a gala celebration.
The boys had got him in a state of slight inebriation.
A potted Shamrock in his hand, for you my (hic) Eileen,
Ma had a fit and Pa got hit, he’s wearin’ of the green.

My brother Joe, I’ll have you know, is just a forward boy,
He stole Pa’s pipe the other day, when Father wasn’t nigh.
Behind the shed he lit up, for he knew he wasn’t seen.
Took a great big puff- that was enough, he’s wearin’ of the green.

That long lean boy who calls on Sis, is really quite a beau!
Bought her a diamond last week, said it cost a lot of dough.
But that diamond just turned out to be a little piece of glass,
And the golden ring I am afraid, is just a hunk of brass.
For when Sis wears it, her poor hand don’t look like anything.
And sister too, I’m telling you, is wearin’ of the green.

So from my folks, now to your folks,
There’s just one thing to say
From the bottoms of our hearts to you,
A gay St. Patrick’s Day!!!

By Thomas W. Carpenter