DEAR ABBY: The convicted felon who signed himself "No Name, No City, No State, Please" attributed an inspirational quotation on "Persistence" to Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald's.
I hasten to inform you that Mr. Kroc did not author that inspirational quotation - former President Calvin Coolidge did. After Coolidge retired from public life, he served as a director of the New York Life Insurance Co., and his inspirational statement was distributed to that company's agents in 1932. It reads as follows:"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan `Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." Sincerely . . . LAWRENCE E. WIKANDER, CURATOR, CALVIN COOLIDGE MEMORIAL ROOM, FORBES LIBRARY, NORTHAMPTON, MASS.
DEAR MR. WIKANDER: Your letter was one of many containing the above information - and I anticipate more. Thank you, and all the others who wrote to correct this error.
Please be advised that Ray Kroc did NOT claim authorship to that inspirational message. A reader wrote to say that it was framed and hanging on the wall of Mr. Kroc's office, so he assumed that Ray Kroc was the author. Then I compounded the error by assuming that the reader was correct, which was a major McBlunder.
DEAR ABBY: I must agree with "My Turn in L.A." concerning class reunions. I, too, number among the ranks of those not included in the "in" crowd, which consisted mainly of the rich kids, the athletes and the cheerleaders.
After observing their snobbishness, I had no desire to associate with them. The few friends I did have in school have remained my lifelong friends.
I recently ran into an old classmate who had never given me the time of day in high school. I must have looked prosperous, because she engaged me in a rather lengthy conversation as if we had been bosom buddies. I parted by saying, "It was nice to have met you."
She got my subtle message and replied awkwardly, "Oh, I guess we never did speak that much in school."
Abby, my most cherished and meaningful life experiences have taken place outside the walls of that school. And I can say without bitterness that I have no desire to share them with self-made strangers. Sign me . . . THEIR LOSS
DEAR LOSS: "My Turn's" letter prompted a surprising number of letters from readers who echoed your sentiments. One reader recalled a remark I once made - in jest - concerning high school reunions: "Only the rich and the thin go back."
1990 Universal Press Syndicate