Chicken follows: Favourite Things Fridays

Hi World,

Mrs P. from Quilting in My Pyjamas has started a new Friday thing called Favourite Things Fridays.  As you may have surmised, we are all called upon to reflect upon our favorite things.  Or rather, Favourite Things, as Mrs. P would say.  She’s an Aussie.  She eats vegemite for real.  I know.  High ick factor.  But I still like her:-)

One of my favorite things is speeches.  I love them.  My very favorite speech of all time is the Gettysburg Address.  Let me tell you why:

Way back in the eighth grade, my fifth favorite teacher ever, Mr. Robertson (my first favorite teacher being Mrs. Maxwell from the first grade, followed by Mrs. Yates from the second grade, followed by Mrs. True from the third grade, followed by Mr. Robertson’s wife, Mrs. Robertson, from the fifth grade, which means we won’t be talking about Chicken’s fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Barnes, and we’ll skip the whole sixth and seventh grade), challenged us to memorize the Gettysburg Address for extra credit.

I should explain here that Mr. Robertson was way cute.  Like middle-school major crush cute.  And I just had to impress him somehow.  So I memorized it and recited it and got my extra credit.  I didn’t get to marry Mr. Robertson, however, because apparently Mrs. Robertson knew more speeches by heart plus all the capitals of all the states, which I had forgotten by the time I got to eighth grade. 

But I never forgot that speech. 

The Gettysburg Address is beautiful.  It is short and so honest.  I do not know if Abraham Lincoln wrote it himself, but I like to think that he did, and that the words he spoke that day, on that battlefield, were from his own heart. 

I recited this speech as a bedtime story to all of my kids before they got old enough to talk and demand “Goodnight Moon”.  It is my way of remembering it. I have a lot of kids so I know it really, really well.  Maybe when they are older they will get a warm feeling in their hearts whenever they hear the Gettysburg Address.  They may not know why, of course.   It would be more of a subliminal thing.  A Pavlovian thing.  It is not like I go around reciting the Gettysburg Address before meals.  I don’t.  Hardly ever.

Well.  Once, I did recite it at a company retreat.  But that was an emergency.  The electricity went out, there was nothing to do, I felt a need to entertain, and I can’t sing or dance.  If you have ever watched “The Office”, it was probably something like that.  Picture an “Office Retreat”, a lot of semi-drunk people playing pool, and suddenly the lights go out.  What should we do?  It is too quiet!  So I recited the Gettysburg Address.  Someone fell over backwards in their chair.  Probably overwhelmed.  Yes.  I am a tool.  Call me Michael.  Thank you.  Whatever.  Anyway. 

So thank you, Mr. Robertson, for introducing me to the Gettysburg Address.  Here it is.  Please pay attention  If you memorize it by Monday, I’ll give you extra credit:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

What do you think?  Nice, right? 

And now I realize that I’ve missed Friday and we are in to Saturday, so I guess it is a Favorite Things Saturday post.

It is September 11, so I think it is still fitting. 

Where were you? 

Here are some more good words:

I know Jesus and I talk to God and I remember this from when I was young…
Faith, Hope, and Love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is Love…

alan jackson

Wishing you well,

Chicken out

  18 comments for “Chicken follows: Favourite Things Fridays

  1. September 11, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    First off…Favourite was spelled that way long before you guys decided the u was redundant. Secondly vegemite rocks. Dont knock the mite.

    Third, thanks for playing Favourite Things saurday this week. I've never heard the Gettyburg address being Aussie and all. It really is such a moving and meaningful speech and still relevant to life today in so many ways. I love that you posted this.

    Lastly, on that terrible day 9 years ago , I woke to the news that this had occured, and sat glued to the television in utter disbelief. Some of the early images from the newscasts were not vetted because they were being streamed live and I saw things that day I will never ever forget. In the end I said to Mr. P …”Turn it off”. It became overwhelming to watch and even though we Australians were such a distance away we felt your loss and grief. We still do.


  2. Anonymous
    September 11, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Great post, Chick, especially apt for today. Yours is a kindred old soul.


  3. September 11, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Ah, Chicken. You steal my heart. I love the fact that you memorized the Gettysburg address and recited it to your kids and at the company retreat. You rock, baby!


  4. September 11, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Mrs. P-one of these weeks, I will get it right and will actually post about my favourite thing on my blog (as opposed to yours) and on a Friday. 1. Just because it's older doesn't mean it's better. That U is definitely redundant:-) 2. Vegemite just reminds me of a bunch of bugs run through a blender and spread on toast. I'm not sure why. But don't let that ruin it for you. 3. Thank you for your nice words. Last night I was watching some of the footage and it brings it all back very quickly. I used to wonder why everyone always asked “Where were you when you heard about JFK”, but now I get it.

    Anonymous: We are talking Aussie today, so I think you mean Kyndred. Thank you.


  5. September 11, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Thanks Bossy:-) I consider that high praise coming from you.


  6. September 11, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Chicken, I wish I could be as cool as you. I really enjoyed your FTS post.

    I had a good friend living in New Jersey on 9/11 and I was really worried for her. Thanks for helping me remember what is really important.

    xo -E


  7. September 11, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Hi Elizabeth-you are so nice to say so. I'm pretty sure you have a great handle on what is important:-)


  8. September 12, 2010 at 3:56 am

    freedom!!! and the G-address is an awesome party trick.


  9. September 12, 2010 at 6:03 am

    It's Mr. Robinson's loss.
    You're so smart. This post was very insightful, and yeah, kinda beautiful in a chickeny sort of way.
    (Seriously, you got talent! I'm always absorbing every word.)


  10. September 12, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Hi PPunker-thank you for visiting. Sadly, it is my only party trick. Just imagine if I could play piano, too. The opportunities!

    Hi Sandra, why thank you. I agree. We could have eaten ice cream cones all summer and had deep discussions about Abraham Lincoln and Nancy Drew, but no. Thank you very much:-)


  11. September 12, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    I adore you now. I memorized the prologue from Romeo and Juliet in 8th grade and recite it STILL at least once a year.

    But the G. Address? One of the most beautiful bits of rhetoric ever. EVER.


  12. P.
    September 13, 2010 at 1:33 am

    Well, I am very impressed! I think the only thing I committed to memory was a poem we had to memorize in 8th grade, There is no Frigate Like a Book…(to take us lands away, nor any coursers like a page of prancing poetry. This traverse may the poorest take without oppress of toll. How frugal is the chariot that bears a human soul.) That's not even long, but I am no good at memorizing things, including most jokes. So your Gettysburg Address blows me away. Bravo!


  13. Anonymous
    September 13, 2010 at 1:55 am

    Bravo Chicken! The only thing I have memorized is the ABC's…but I do recite them on occasion.

    Great post.



  14. September 13, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.


  15. Anonymous
    September 13, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    I learned how to sing the preamble to the Constitution from Schoolhouse Rock, but sadly, have missed many opportunities to sing it in public, not understanding the inherent crowd-pleasing capabilities of Government Documents. Now that I know that people will actually be entertained by the vocal stylings of me, covering Dead White Guys Greatest Hits, I'll be All Over It at every gathering. Thanks for the tip, chick. Once word gets out, I'm sure I'll be on everyone's A list. I'll have to get a new party outfit. Something sparkly…?


  16. September 13, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    First, I love the name of your blog. Cracks me up. Second, I love that you recited speeches to your children before bed. I'll have you know that a cousin of mine worked in a law office with ole Abe when he was a lawyer. Yep. Dats right. Tops, right? There's a lot to learn from the speeches of yore.

    Looking forward to reading more of your stuff!


  17. September 13, 2010 at 7:02 pm


    I swear, if we lived near each other, we would drink Chardonnay together and be blonde best friends. You are my soul mate, I think.

    How beautiful and appropriate those words are for today.

    I was at my girls' school volunteering and when the third plane hit the Pentagon, I thought the world was coming to an end. The adult volunteers at school had grouped around the TV in the principal's office. I will never forget it. It's a Catholic school and one of my favorite, favorite priests was there teaching religion on that day. It was his lunch hour and he sat with us, oddly quiet. Every one reached out to him for council and comfort and he gave it to us with wise words and many prayers. It wasn't until a few days later that I learned that his brother was in the World Trade Center. He never said a word to any of us, just took on our broken hearts and every once and awhile leaving the room to try and find him. No one knew where he was. He didn't make it.

    I have my own story of a hero that day. Never Forget.


  18. September 13, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    CB-Hi. You do not have to memorize. You are always coming up with your own great material!

    GG-oh how thou dost mock me. I'm sure you are on everybody's list just for your witty repartee alone. The preamble would just be icing.

    Thanks FS and likewise regarding your blog name! Your cousin is no longer living, correct? Just checking. I haven't found a vampire yet, but I keep checking just to make sure. That is a really cool family fact to be able to share. Thank you for visiting and I know you will be seeing a lot of me on your blog.

    Joann: Thanks and yes, we would be spending lots of time together, I hope, if we were in the same vicinity. That is such a sad story, but yes, what a hero and strong person your priest was. One thing I remember about that day was that it was such a beautiful day and it felt like the type of day that anything good might happen. Really. Full of promise, remember?


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