Facebook Twitter

NEW FATHER-TO-BE COULD USE A BIT OF FATHERLY ADVICE

SHARE NEW FATHER-TO-BE COULD USE A BIT OF FATHERLY ADVICE

JUNE 10, MONDAY: Alcoholics Anonymous began, Akron, Ohio, 1935. Author Maurice Sendak born, Brooklyn, N.Y., 1928.

JUNE 11, TUESDAY: St. Barnabas. King Kamehameha I Day (Hawaii). 11 inches snow, Berlin, N.H., 1842.JUNE 12, WEDNESDAY: Baseball Hall of Fame dedicated, 1939. Anne Frank born, 1929.

JUNE 13, THURSDAY: New York Times published "The Pentagon Papers," 1971. Queen Elizabeth's official birthday.

JUNE 14 FRIDAY: Harriet Beecher Stowe born, 1811. Flag Day. St. Basil. Sandpaper patented by I. Fischer Jr., 1834.

JUNE 15, SATURDAY: Odds for daily thunderstorms now, in Florida, 2:1. Waylon Jennings, country singer, born, 1937.

JUNE 16, SUNDAY: Father's Day. Madison Square Garden opened, 1890. "Old Ironsides" dry-docked, Boston, Mass., 1927.

Ask the Old Farmer's Almanac: Any Father's Day advice for a new father-to-be?

- F.Y., Doyleston, Pa.

Answer: Consider this wise statement by Peter de Vries: "Who of us is mature enough for offspring before the offspring themselves arrive? The value of marriage is not that adults produce children but that children produce adults."

Parenthood is a most daunting profession, and few of us are trained for it. Even pediatricians will tell you that their medical training is more enhanced by what they learn from their own children than their parental skills are enhanced by pediatrics. Your own childhood may serve as a model, if you can remember it. Some people are determined to do things differently than their own parents did, only to find themselves repeating, verbatim, the words that they swore they'd never say - as in, "Because I'm your Dad, that's why."

Lest all this cause you alarm, keep in mind the Russian proverb: "If you live without being a father, you will die without being a human being." Others include, "Children are poor men's riches," although the Navajos say, "A man can't get rich if he takes proper care of his family." Certainly, fatherhood is a superlative state, on a par with some of the best things in life, as in, "The best smell is bread, the best savor salt, the best love that of children." So be brave, keep your sense of humor, and spend lots of time at home.

Ask the Old Farmer's Almanac: We're erecting a flagpole for the first time this summer. Anything we should know?

- D.T., Chanhassen, Mont.

Answer: Well, if your flagpole is wooden, and we hope it is, be sure to set it in the ground during the dark of the moon, that is, between full moon and the last quarter phases (June 1-14 is "dark" and the next is June 30-July 14). According to the old-timers, the dark of the moon is the time to set fence posts in the ground for best resistance to rot, and your flagpole is essentially a glorified fencepost.

As for the flag etiquette, there's almost no end to it, so you'll have to study up a bit. Respect for the flag is the key, and if you keep that in mind, you'll be halfway there. Here are some of the basics. First, you can fly the flag anytime you wish, but sunrise to sunset is customary, unless you have a special lighted display planned. (At the Capitol and at the Fort McHenry National Monument in Baltimore, it flies 24 hours a day.)

Many people choose to bring the flag in during heavy rain or severely inclement weather that might tend to tatter and wear out the cloth. By the way, a worn flag should be disposed of properly, that is, in a dignified manner. Burning is considered dignified, in this respect. If you are flying other flags, as well, the U.S. flag should be uppermost. On Memorial Day, the flag flies at half-mast until noon. Following the death of a president or former president, the flag flies at half-mast for 30 days; 10 days for a vice president, chief justice, or speaker of the House; and so forth. When in doubt, check the flag at the U.S. post office, and use that as your guide.

Ask the Old Farmer's Almanac: When did Americans get so set on the cap and gown accolades? What ever happened to the self-made man (or woman)?

- S.C., Menlo Park, Calif.

Answer: It's true that American advances in public education have had the effect of sending greater and greater of our numbers on to higher education, but there are still plenty of rags-to-riches tales that have happened apart from the hallowed halls of learning.

Former U.S. presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln never attended college. Famous writer Ernest Hemingway was not a college boy; Will Rogers and Jack London were both high school dropouts; and Charles Dickens, Noel Coward and Mark Twain never graduated from grade school. Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, John Philip Sousa, and Isadora Duncan were other grade-school dropouts, but it didn't seem to slow them down. Orville and Wilbur Wright, Henry Ford, George Gershwin, and Mary Baker Eddy made big names for themselves without the benefit of a high school diploma.

Many sports figures got their diplomas just by the skin of their teeth, or so they'd have you believe. Professional basketball player Elden Campbell was asked if he earned his university degree. "No," he replied, "but they gave me one anyway."

Send your questions to: Ask the Almanac, The Old Farmer's Almanac, Main St., Dublin, NH 03444.

*****

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

This week with Old Farmer's Almanac: June 10-16, 1996

NEW MOON, JUNE 15.

TRY A PAPAYA?

Why a papaya? Because it's King Kamehameha Day (June 11) in Hawaii, honoring the warrior king who unified the Hawaiian chain of islands early in the 19th century. Festivities in Hawaii run at least a week, from the lei-draping of the Kamehameha statue in Honolulu to various parades, surfboarding and windsurfing events, and music festivals. The Fourth of July also traditionally marks a great series of events, including the paniolo (Hawaiian cowboys) hosting their famous rodeos. The Makawao Rodeo, in the Maui cow town of Makawao, is just one of many, with riding, roping, country music, dancing, and Hawaiian-style rodeo clowns.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him float.

TIP OF THE WEEK

If pineapples are fully ripe, they should be refrigerated. If not, keep them at room temperature.

PINEAPPLE SALAD

1 large pineapple, halved

2 bananas

1 teaspoon lemon or orange juice

2 oranges and/or kiwis

1 cup strawberries

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup kirsch (optional)

With a very sharp knife, cut the pineapple in half, lengthwise, leaving the fronds intact. Carve out the pineapple pulp and discard the core. Chop the pineapple, slice the bananas, and mix in the lemon juice so the banana doesn't brown. Put these in the pineapple "boats," then cover with sliced, seeded oranges and/or kiwis, and finally a layer of sliced strawberries. Mix the honey with the kirsch (or a little fruit juice, if you prefer), and pour this over all. Chill well.

Makes 6 servings.

OLD FARMER'S WEATHER PROVERBS

Look for a change in the weather if the telegraph poles buzz.

If St. Vitus Day (June 15) be rainy weather, it will rain for thirty days together.

Wet June, dry September.

Special Offer:

Handy chart full of interesting weather proverbs. Send $3 to Weather Chart, Dept. UF, The Old Farmer's Almanac, Box 520, Dublin, NH 03444.