May 1, 2020
“Tough times never last, but tough people do.”
Robert H. Schuller
As states start to loosen their public health restrictions it is even more important that we do what is best for ourselves. Being in the vulnerable age group with a number of medical problems put my wife and me in the high risk category. So I do not see us leaving our sanctuary any time soon.
While the temptation is great we will persevere and wait for a better time to rejoin society. The following seems to be appropriate for these times.
Stick to it
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill.
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns.
And many a fellow turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man.
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup.
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.
“There is no armor like perseverance.”
This essay, by Hugh Gallagher, won first prize in the humor category of the 1990 Scholastic Writing Awards. It appeared in the May issue of Literary Cavalcade, a magazine of contemporary fiction and student writing published by Scholastic in New York City. Gallagher, who is eighteen, grew up in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, and will attend New York University this fall.
IN ORDER FOR THE ADMISSIONS STAFF OF OUR COLLEGE TO GET TO KNOW YOU, THE APPLICANT, BETTER, WE ASK THAT YOU ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: ARE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT EXPERIENCES YOU HAVE HAD, OR ACCOMPLISHMENTS YOU HAVE REALIZED, THAT HAVE HELPED DEFINE YOU AS A PERSON?
I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention.
I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award winning operas, I manage time efficiently. Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row.
I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I can cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru.
Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets. I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I’m bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge.
I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don’t perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes. Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat .400. My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international circles.
Children trust me.
I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed covert operations for the CIA. I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to me.
I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life, but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four-course meals using only a Mouli and a toaster oven. I breed prize-winning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis.
But I have not yet gone to college.
Last night I dreamt I had insomnia.
It was a sunny Saturday morning on the course and I was beginning my pre-shot routine, visualizing my upcoming shot, when a voice came over the clubhouse loudspeaker.
“Would the gentleman on the woman’s tee back up to the men’s tee please!!”
I was still deep in my routine, seemingly impervious to the interruption. Again the announcement, “Would the MAN on the WOMEN’S tee kindly back up to the men’s
I simply ignored the guy and kept concentrating, when once more, the man yelled:
“Would the man on the woman’s tee back up to the men’s tee, PLEASE!
I finally stopped, turned, looked through the clubhouse window directly at the person with the microphone and shouted back, “Would the person in the clubhouse kindly shut up and let me play my second shot?”
I had dinner with Garry Kasporov the chess master.
Problem was, we had a checkered tablecloth and it took him two hours to pass the salt.
A wild-eyed man dressed like Napoleon with his right hand inside his coat entered the psychiatrist’s office and nervously exclaimed, “Doctor, I need your help right away.”
“I can see that. Lie down on the couch and tell me about your problem.”
“I don’t have a problem. In fact, as Emperor of France, I have everything I could possibly want. Money, women, power, everything! But I’m afraid my wife, Josephine, is in deep mental trouble.”
“I see,” said the doctor. “And what seems to be her problem?”
“For some strange reason, she thinks she’s Mrs. Schwartz.”
“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.”
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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