1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



Alex McLaughlin - May 27, 2011

DO YOU THINK THE RAIN WILL HURT THE RHUBARB?  I thought it was time to have something to write for the Aldersonian so I came up with this idea to analyze some quotes of earlier days and make book (or make a wild guess) on whether the phrases would survive another generation.

DO YOU THINK THE RAIN WILL HURT THE RHUBARB?” I can remember hitchhiking back from Hinton to Alderson and getting stuck in Hilldale between Talcott and Willowood where the Hinton golf course is. I can’t think of that golf course without remembering Johnny Johnson.

I am not sure who I was with, probably Rog, but we kept walking along the road threatening to go up to each house and ask the inhabitants "Do you think the rain would hurt the rhubarb?" Didn't know what rhubarb was. Thought it must be something that country folks like those that lived in Hillsdale would know about .Something that city folks from Alderson wouldn't know about. 

It would probably take a flood to hurt the rhubarb. . Of course we later learned the punch line was "not if the rhubarb is in a can.”

Conclusion: Don’t think that this one will survive this generation except in very small clusters of the country. Fewer and fewer people grow gardens.

I’ll BE A MONKEY’S UNCLE” this phrase is used to express surprise or disbelief. The term first appears in 1926, the date of the widely publicized Scopes Trial in the United States. Mr. Scopes was a public school teacher who taught evolution which was against the law. One interpretation of evolution was that people evolved from monkeys.  If the monkeys actually came before humans wouldn't it be more appropriate to say "I’ll be a monkey's nephew". I will make no judgments regarding monkeys given my past efforts to talk about mice and rats.

Conclusion: I can’t reach a conclusion on this one because the issue of creationism versus evolution continues to be an issue in schools in parts of the country. Otherwise wouldn’t have thought that many of the young people would have ever heard of the Scope trials.

"HADES": We have heard that it is "Colder than hell" “Hotter than hell “and “that that will be a cold day in hell". Maybe it is so horrible that it can be at the same time the coldest and hottest place imaginable. Because of "fire and brimstone I am inclined to think that hell will be hot .The saying colder than hell is irony or an exaggeration. But don't know nor want to find out.

Conclusion: This one will survive over time. For those that don’t believe in hades they do so at their own peril.

"Knee high to a grass hopper and that dog won’t hunt":

Conclusion Great phrases. I don’t think that many young people know what a grasshopper is or have seen one. Come to think of it I haven’t seen one lately.

City people are never going to use the phrase “that dog won’t hunt”. I think I will start a campaign to preserve this phrase because it makes too much sense to let it die out.

"You look like you been rode hard and put away wet":

It actually refers to riding a horse -- you ride them until then are all wet, then you should brush them and dry them off. So, it was sort of saying you were taken advantage of -- rode hard, not taken care of, and put away wet.

Conclusion. Mixed feelings about this one. As the world becomes more urbanized there are less and less people that have familiarity with horses. But at the same time there are still a lot of people out there even today that look like they have been rode hard and put away wet. How else could we describe them. 

"Yonder. over yonder . right near. right far place. pret near abbreviation for pretty near": 

Conclusion: I am not sure these will make the test of time. I know what they mean but I am not sure that young generation knows or cares what they mean. 

"A fool and his money is soon parted":  This apparently was coined by Thomas Tusser who lived in England from 1524 to 1580.

Conclusion: This saying will be here forever. The world still keeps spitting out fools. 

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