The Tale Spinner

Vol. XXIII, No. 6

February 11, 2017


  • Barbara Wear forwards a description of the Silent Generation
  • Marilyn Magid tells the story of a woman who lived to 103
  • Shirley Conlon sends advice on how to survive a heart attack
  • Tom Telfer forwards interesting information about seniors
  • Catherine Nesbitt tells of an answer to prayer
  • Burke Dykes shares some of the lessons he has learned in life
  • Sites are suggested by Marilyn Magid, Rafiki, Shirley Coutts, and Tom Telfer

Barbara Wear shares this article:


(and their children - so they will understand)

Born in the 1930s and early '40s, we exist as a very special age cohort. We are the Silent Generation.

We are the smallest number of children born since the early 1900s. We are the "last ones."

We are the last generation, climbing out of the depression, who can remember the winds of war and the impact of a world at war which rattled the structure of our daily lives for years. 

We are the last to remember ration books for everything from gas to sugar to shoes to stoves. We saved tin foil, and poured fat into tin cans. We hand mixed "white stuff" with "yellow stuff" to make fake butter. We saw cars up on blocks because tires weren't available.

We can remember milk being delivered to our house early in the morning and placed in the milk box on the porch. (A friends mother delivered milk in a horse-drawn cart.) We sometimes fed the horse, and our dog, Spot, a Fox Terrier, would greet the milkman when he made our delivery; then he would ride in Glenn's truck to the end of his route, when Glenn would drive by the house and let Spot off the truck just in time to greet us coming home from school.

We are the last to hear Roosevelt's radio assurances, and to see gold stars in the front windows of our grieving neighbours. We can also remember the parades on August 15, 1945 - VJ Day.

We saw the "boys" home from the war, build their Cape Cod-style houses, pouring the cellar, tar papering it over, and living there until they could afford the time and money to build it out.

We remember trying to buy a new car after the war.The new cars were coming through with wooden bumpers.

We are the last generation who spent childhood without television; instead, we imagined what we heard on the radio. As we all like to brag, with no TV, we spent our childhood "playing outside until the street lights came on."

We did play outside and we did play on our own. There was no little league. There was no city playground for kids. To play in the water, we turned the fire hydrants on and ran through the spray.

The lack of television in our early years meant, for most of us, that we had little real understanding of what the world was like. Our Saturday afternoons, the movies gave us newsreels of the war, sandwiched in between westerns and cartoons.

Telephones were one to a house, often shared and hung on the wall. Computers were called calculators, only added, and were hand cranked; typewriters were driven by pounding fingers, throwing the carriage, and changing the ribbon. The "internet" and "GOOGLE" were words that didnt exist.

Newspapers and magazines were written for adults, and the news was broadcast on our table radio in the evening by H.V Kaltenborne and Gabriel Heatter.

We are the last group who had to find out for ourselves.

As we grew up, the country was exploding with growth.

The G.I. Bill gave returning veterans the means to get an education, and spurred colleges to grow. VA loans fanned a housing boom. Pent-up demand, coupled with new installment payment plans, put factories to work. New highways brought jobs and mobility.

The veterans joined civic clubs and became active in politics.

In the late '40s and early '50s, the country seemed to lie in the embrace of brisk but quiet order as it gave birth to its new middle class (which became known as "Baby Boomers.")

The radio network expanded from three stations to thousands of stations. The telephone started to become a common method of communication, and "faxes" sent hard copy around the world.

Our parents were suddenly free from the confines of the depression and the war, and they threw themselves into exploring opportunities they had never imagined. We weren't neglected, but we weren't today's all-consuming family focus. They were glad we played by ourselves "until the street lights came on."

They were busy discovering the post-war world.

Most of us had no life plan, but with the unexpected virtue of ignorance and an economic rising tide,we simply stepped into the world and started to find out what the world was about. We entered a world of overflowing plenty and opportunity; a world where we were welcomed.

Based on our nave belief that there was more where this came from, we shaped life as we went. We enjoyed a luxury: we felt secure in our future.

Of course, just as today, not all Americans shared in this experience. Depression poverty was deep rooted. Polio was still a crippler.

The Korean War was a dark presage in the early '50s, and by mid-decade, school children were ducking under desks. Russia built the Iron Curtain, and China became Red China.

Eisenhower sent the first "advisors" to Vietnam; and years later, Johnson invented a war there. Castro set up camp in Cuba, and Khrushchev came to power.

We are the last generation to experience an interlude when there were no existential threats to our homeland.

We came of age in the '40s and early '50s. The war was over and the cold war, terrorism, technological upheaval, global warming, and perpetual economic insecurity had yet to haunt life with insistent unease.

Only our generation can remember both a time of apocalyptic war and a time when our world was secure and full of bright promise and plenty. We have lived through both. We grew up at the best possible time, a time when the world was getting better, not worse.

We are the Silent Generation - "The Last Ones."

More than 99.9% of us are either retired or deceased, and feel privileged to have lived in the best of times!

Marilyn Magid shares this story of


An elderly but hardy cattleman from Texas once told a young female neighbour that if she wanted to live a long life, the secret was to sprinkle a pinch of gunpowder on her oatmeal each morning. 

She did this religiously and lived to the age of 103.

She left behind 14 children, 30 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, five great-great- grandchildren, and a 40-foot hole where the crematorium used to be. 

From Shirley Conlon comes this advice on


I hope everyone can send this on as it is really important for everyone to know.

Let's say it is 7:25 p.m. and you're going home (alone, of course) after an unusually hard day on the job. You're really tired, upset, and frustrated.

Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to drag out into your arm and up into your jaw.

You are only about five km. from the hospital nearest your home. Unfortunately, you don't know if you'll be able to make it that far.

You have been trained in CPR, but the one who taught the course did not tell you how to perform it on yourself.

Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack, the person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness.

However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously.

A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest. A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let-up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again.

Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps the heart to regain a normal rhythm.

In this way, heart attack victims can get help or to a hospital.

Tell as many people as possible about this. It could save their lives!

A cardiologist says that if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10 people, you can bet that we'll save at least one life.

Tom Telfer sends this article about


This made me feel better, so I'm sharing it.

Brains of older people are slow because they know so much. People do not decline mentally with age, it just takes them longer to recall facts because they have more information in their brains, scientists believe. Much like a computer struggles as the hard drive gets full, so, too, do humans take longer to access information when their brains are full.

Researchers say this slowing-down process is not the same as cognitive decline. The human brain works slower in old age, said Dr.Michael Ramscar, but only because we have stored more information over time. The brains of older people do not get weak. On the contrary, they simply know more.

Also, older people often go to another room to get something, and when they get there, they stand there wondering what they came for. It is not a memory problem - it is nature's way of making older people do more exercise.

Now when I reach for a word or a name, I won't excuse myself by saying, "I'm having a senior moment." Now I'll say, "My disk is full!"

I have more friends I should send this to, but right now I can't remember their name. So please forward this to your friends; they may be my friends too.


Catherine Nesbitt forwards this story about 


The pastor asked if anyone in the congregation would like to express praise for answered prayers.

Suzie Smith stood and walked to the podium. She said, "I have a praise. Two months ago, my husband,Tom, had a terrible bicycle wreck and his scrotum was completely crushed. The pain was excruciating and the doctors didn't know if they could help him."

You could hear a muffled gasp from the men in the congregation as they imagined the pain that poor Tom must have experienced. 

"Tom was unable to hold me or the children," she went on, "and every move caused him terrible pain. We prayed as the doctors performed a delicate operation, and it turned out they were able to piece together the crushed remnants of Toms scrotum, and wrap wire around it to hold it in place."

Again, the men in the congregation cringed and squirmed uncomfortably as they imagined the horrible surgery performed on Tom.

"Now," she announced in a quivering voice, "thank the Lord, Tom is out of the hospital and the doctors say that with time, his scrotum should recover completely."

All the men sighed with unified relief. The pastor rose and tentatively asked if anyone else had something to say.

A man stood up and walked slowly to the podium. He said, "I'm Tom Smith." 

The entire congregation held its breath. 

"I just want to tell my wife again the word is sternum."


Burke Dykes shares these


 1. Never take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

 2. There can be a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness.z

 3. You should never confuse your career with your life.    4. No matter what happens in life, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.

 5. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

 6. Never lick a steak knife.

 7. Take out the fortune before you eat the cookie.

 8. The most destructive force in the universe is gossip.

 9. Nobody can give me a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.

10. A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter is not a nice person.


Marilyn Magid sends this link to a video of a card trick developed by a magician after the attacks on Paris. He did this in front of Penn and Teller, and they just shook their heads in disbelief:

Rafiki forwards the URL for a video of trials rider Danny MacAskill performing amazing tricks as he takes a mountain bike out for a ride. Be sure to watch all the way to the end - the out-takes are hilarious:

Shirley Coutts sends this link to a video of more ways to use vinegar to make your life easier. You can skip the ad at the end:

Tom Telfer forwards the URL for a video in which a mother whale lifts her baby to see humans on a boat:

Zvonko Springer sends this link to a video of an incredibly strong couple performing at Le Plus Grand Cabaret du Monde:

We live in times where we quickly put people in boxes. This video shows that we have more in common than we think:

A global movement to end all wars has been created. To see the case against war explained clearly if you have any doubts, or to sign up, check out their website at

MUCH more info at link

if the universe is big, and old, and there are countless habitable worlds, why do we see no evidence of life? Where are all the aliens?

In this TED talk, Simon Anholt asks which country does the most good for the world:


Friends are the fruitcake of life - some nutty, some soaked in alcohol, some sweet - but mix them together and they're my friends. Life wouldn't be the same without them.

- Author unknown

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